Designing a Collection
“You are only as good as your last collection” is something we often hear in the retail shoe industry.
At Mandarina Shoes we have several shoe and boot collections running at once to give the customer a choice. It is hard to really niche in the shoe industry because despite style and colour, it is really the shape of your foot as much as anything that determines your real choice.
In general the shoe industry, and to a much larger extent the fashion industry, is so trend driven it seems to change quickly and annually! BUT we have found that classic shoe shapes like kitten heels have been around for years and have been our most searched keyword for the past 5 years. Those plus wedding shoes, which we know will never go out of fashion, we hope!
For the past 15 years we have tried to make collections that are cohesive and makes sense to our customers. A brand like Mandarina Shoes needs a Signature shoe or fabric to be as easily recognisable as their logo, and we have that in our Mules and our orange Mandarina Tartan. The mules, flat and heeled were the first designs 15 years ago and continue to be asked for by our customers.
But a few years ago Espadrilles came back to market with a roar. These canvas shoes with rope soles had been the favourite in Spanish and French markets whilst we holidayed in Europe. We know we had to be a part of this market and set about designing our Espadrille Collection.
We shopped around in Morocco and Spain, France and Ibiza. We bought colourful Espads with various designs as was at that time.
We then set about designing our own Espadrille, not just the normal one but one with a Mandarina Twist. Caroline, our Founder and Brand Director has an eye for the future and a clever take on designing a shoe, as you that are Mandarina fans will know! We ended up with backless Espads with snaffles that sold out on the first showing. They have now become a staple in our collection and this is the 4th year we are running with them.
Designing a collection takes time, effort and a few mistakes! But if you end up with an item that people are asking
for year after year, you know you have succeeded!