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Introduction

We transcend the ever-changing trends of fashion to deliver a timeless style that values tradition — like the time-honoured secrets passed down from a father to his son. Our shoes are made with passion and unique Italian expertise, ensuring your shoes will last a lifetime.

We believe high quality craftsmanship should be accessible to all. And, by leveraging innovations with online shopping, we’re able to cut out the middle-man and connect our artisans to the people. So, feel at-ease knowing that innovations in our distribution and communication process makes us closer to you.

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Chapter one

The research

Towards the best artisans

This is a story about a passion for Italian craftsmanship, and about dreamers who decide to jump in on a new adventure. It all started with the research stage. We quit our jobs, and went looking for the very best footwear district in Italy. This search took us to the region of Marche: where the whole urban fabric is built on shoes, from generation to generation.

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Our story started when our passion for italian craftsmanship — how shoes should be made — met our desire to jump in on a new challenge.

By the end of 2012, we realized there was a gap in the market between exorbitantly priced high-end luxury labels that produce high quality hand-crafted goods, and fast-fashion labels that offer cheap but poor quality products that do not meet the standards of the discerning shoe lover.

Make no mistake, we’re dreamers, and some may even say we’re crazy. We quit our jobs to start our own company with nothing more than a vision to change the world of shoes. We embarked on a trip, searching for the best hand-made shoes in all of Italy. We travelled all over the country until we found ourselves in Montegranaro, where the city lives and breathes the art of shoemaking.

In the beginning, it was anything but easy. We envisioned creating a local label that could be shared worldwide. A local label where the product begins in a small workshop in the Marches, where the design, the materials, and the craftsmanship all originate from the same place and each shoe is crafted by local artisans with knowledge that has been handed down for generations.

We overcome many obstacles on the path to achieving our dream. We started out working with a family from the Marches, who ran a small shoemaking business out of the basement of their house. From the mother and father, to their sons and daughters, to the aunts and uncles — the entire family could make shoes.

It was here that we learned to value the intimate details, and unique process for achieving quality. From the Mother’s picture of a famous Italian actor, which she hung next to the crucifix in the kitchen to brighten up her day, to the Father who spent his entire week driving through the hills, to the lace maker or the man who imprints the logo on the sole. Each artisan contributes a step, each family makes their mark.

The privilege of working with these families and these artisans, has been our biggest success to date. Without them, we would not have access to this secret world of shoemaking artistry, hidden from the world, confined by the limits of traditional distribution. We represent them and share their stories with the world.

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Chapter two

The design

It's all about the little details

While fashion changes every season, we offer a timeless style that represents a refined, Italian elegance. We are inspired by classic lines, and pay meticulous attention to detail. Every decision is made in collaboration with the artisans to ensure our philosophy is reflected in the design.

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Every shoe starts off as an idea, and is then given life by pencil and paper. We are inspired by traditional classic lines, and pay meticulous attention to detail just from the shoe’s profile to selecting the type of materials. While fashion changes season after season, we offer a timeless style that represents a refined, but humble elegance.

The first few months are the most difficult. Before agreeing on the right shoe, we carefully deliberate over many prototypes — often staying up late and sleeping little. We are a tight-knit team, much like the artisan families of the Marches.

We do everything together, from working in our Milan office and shop, to travelling up and down the enchanting hills of the Marches. We work to design a lot of shapes and models, and experiment with new luxury materials, crafting each design to represent our values.

Every step is decided together in a non-stop dialogue between our team and the artisans. Every moment is dedicated to achieving our idea of perfection. We have learned much over time, discovering traditional methods of design and creation which have been passed down for generations. And we will never stop learning, will always strive forward in our pursuit of perfection so our philosophy and our shoes live on for generations to come.

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Chapter three

To you

The shoes are ready

From the artisan directly to you with no middleman to inflate the price. This is how a market should be, with direct communication, like talking to a close friend. You should be able order shoes from the comfort of your couch, pain-free and relaxed.

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This chapter of the story is dedicated to you. The one where we ring your doorbell to deliver the shoes of your choice. With no middleman to inflate the price, your shoes are delivered straight from the artisan shoemaker. This is how we imagined, and still believe, your shopping experience should be.

For our entire first year, when the client order system was completely manual, we packed and tied each shoebox with ribbons in our garage. Even our photoshoots for the online store were created in the garage. Despite our humble beginnings, we dedicated our time and undivided attention to detail to ensure our packages were delivered on time, every time.

Much like the way we do everything else, we wanted to innovate the way we communicate with you. We like being direct and honest — think of us as that friend you call for advice. But when we’re not helping our lovely customers, you’ll find us cracking jokes in the office to keep each other on our toes.

From the comfort of your home, ordering a new pair of shoes is made easy. They arrive in no time at all, and if your size is wrong, you can simply ship them back at no expense. The idea is to make the shopping experience as simple and relaxing as possible.

We not only wait for you to come to us, we’ve innovated the way our product is seen so that we come to you. Once, we rented a black and white Piaggio Ape Car 50, an Italian classic, and hit the streets of Milan, bringing our shoes to the people and getting their feedback face-to-face. These shoes are a reflection of us, team Velasca.

When you come into our store, visit online, or see us out and about, know that your smile is our reward. Just like smiles we remember from that day in the Piaggio, running around Milan.

With the growth of our family, we’ve had to ask for a little help delivering our shoes to you. And just like we’re experts in quality handmade Italian shoes, we’ve asked the experts in logistics to ensure you receive your shoes with love, on time, every time.

Bottone play
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Chapter four

The Bottegas

A place to meet

They’re the real life extension of our online world; a meeting place for those who wish to meet our shoes face-to-face, and for those who share the same passion for quality. We opened our first Bottegas in Italy because we believe that, to be considered made in Italy, Italians must be the first to enjoy them.

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In the spring of 2015, we opened the first of many Bottegas. For us, they’re not only physical stores but real life extensions of our online world. They’re single-brand stores that are a meeting place for those who wish to meet our shoes face-to-face, and for those who share the same passion for quality.

For the first few months, we were the clerks; open everyday, even Sundays. It was here that we learned an entirely new set of skills: taking notes, building knowledge, understanding what our customers needed and discovering why they visited such a unique space. It was also here that our customers could find the right shoe, try it on, order them freshly handmade on the iPad or take them home that day.

We opened our first Bottega in Milan because our story started there. We feel attached to our city — each type of shoe is named after an old profession in a Milanese dialect — and we believe that to be considered made in Italy Italians must be the very first to enjoy our shoes.

We’re situated away from the noisiest streets of Milan, to provide a relaxed and intimate experience for our customers. As you approach our abode, you’ll notice our basketball hoop, for lunch break showdowns, but more importantly, you’ll get a sense of where we come from and how it translates into our designs.

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And the story goes on…
This is us

The authors

Enrico Casati co-Founder
Jacopo Sebastio co-Founder
Ludovico Creative Director
Chiara Graphic Designer
Marco Operations Manager
Alessia Customer Care Manager
Alicia Store Manager Milano
Matteo Content Manager
Paola Digital Marketing Manager
Roberto CTO
Lorenzo Web Developer
Fabio Customer Care
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