Portuguese brand Josefinas, which created “the most expensive sabrina in the world” worth 3,379 euros, increased footwear sales by 50% in the first half of the year and is exporting to 60 countries.
"The increase in turnover in the first half of this year is about 50% compared to the same period of 2018," said the agency Lusa Maria Cunha, one of the founders of the young Portuguese brand, which celebrates this year the 7th. birthday.
The Josefinas business, founded by friends duo Maria Cunha and Filipa Júlio, has been asserting itself on the world market, creating special hand-made ballerinas by seamstresses and shoemakers in a small footwear factory built in Nadais, north of Portugal.
Mexico and Hong Kong are some of the main destinations in the world to which thousands of Josefinas models are exported by regular mail, inspired sometimes by the Russian ballet, sometimes by the Arab literature of the "One Nights", sometimes by the work of Lewis Carol's children's literature "Alice in Wonderland."
Ever since social media "influencer" Chiara Ferragni has put on Josefinas shoes that "sales have soared," especially in Mexico, Maria Cunha said.
Unlike Mexico, whose favorite Josefinas are sneakers, in Hong Kong the best seller is ballerinas, where the choice is from over 100 models, from Black Lisbon, Paris, Safari, Queen of Hearts, Moscow, Opium, Show Girl, to the most recent, Burel Couture Black, with material from Serra da Estrela that is “sustainable, Portuguese, thermoregulable and comfortable”, describes Maria Cunha.
In Europe, Portugal is the best ranked country in the ranking of those who buy the most brand that has already received recommendations from renowned fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle or Grazia, but the United Kingdom comes next, as well as Switzerland and Germany, said the founder, noting that the US is another important country for exports of the 'made in' Portugal brand, as it currently absorbs “20% of total production”.
The Josefinas brand, which entered the world market in 2013, does not intend to create physical stores. The plan for the future is to continue to develop day-to-day pop-up events in Portugal and move towards internationalization of these pop-ups in 2020, he said.
“We want to move forward with the internationalization of pop up,” he added, recalling that they have already done so in London (UK) and want to continue this experience.
In addition to developing the shoe business, the Portuguese brand has recently joined the Portuguese Victim Support Association (APAV) and will launch next November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a model of black sabrines and whites specially designed to draw attention to the social problem of violence against women.
“Do not knock” or “Do not shame” are some of the messages that will be written on the traditional labels placed on clothing that usually have information on textile composition.
The business of handicrafts made by seamstresses and shoemakers in northern Portugal gives part of the revenue to the humanitarian organization Women for Women International (WfWI) to help women in distress. WfWI gives women the support they need to start a business of their own or to be trained and learn a profession.
The Josefinas were born in honor of the wife and grandmother named Josefina, who accompanied Filipa Júlio, one of the founders of the brand, in the walks that took through the streets of Porto.
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