Economic Insights

Nadal´s shoes, selling in China

Maison Corthay, the exclusive shoe brand that wears Rafa Nadal, already sells in China

Abel Amón. 30/04/2015
Maison Corthay
Maison Corthay. Make clic to know more
Maison Corthay. Make clic to know more

Small independent fashion brands increasingly caught the attention of wealthy buyers from China, for this reason the company Maison Corthay shoes are taking positions in the market of this huge market.

As luxury goods companies such as LVMH , Hermes,  Louis Vuitton etc are struggling to reconcile their global presence with a unique cachet, Corthay Rafael Nadal´s  shoemaker (Clive Owen, Kevin Spacey and Cate Blanchet are also customers of the brand) indicates that is benefiting as  a small company that finds its niche in the market for luxury goods.

On March 10, took place the opening of the first store in mainland China, particularly in Shin Kong Place, an upscale mall in Beijing and had craftsmen in the store, showing their great skill making “live” the shoes, a process that includes a personalized service by appointment company’s founder, Pierre Corthay. This fact highlights the brand’s emphasis on high quality and personal service.

Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal

This shoe brand has a strong presence in Asia with four of its seven stores in total worldwide located there, including two stores in Hong Kong and a shop in Tokyo, in addition to the new location in Beijing, without open even its first store in the United States, but already thinking of Shanghai and Hangzhou for  next openings in China.

Despite the current slowdown in China’s luxury market, the brand is betting on rising demand from Chinese consumers for unique, exclusive models for shoes, which are sold in approximately 1000 euros. As for the preferences of Chinese customers, Corthay says that they tend to be bolder in their styles than Europeans. «They are very, very rich and do not care about what others say when choosing, for example a costume» he says. «They take what they want, they want to have fun. They wear pink shoes or green shoes as declaring.» I get it when I want. Do you mind? Okay, I do not care'». According to him, «They love colors. Compared with men in Europe, one could say that the latter are much less shy in colors and designs shoes».

He also notes that immediate comfort is a key factor.«They love to be very comfortable from the first time they wear the shoes, something that is different for Europeans, who are more patient to conform to the new shoes testing. As a result, the brand is introducing new styles with special packing material for the sole».

Maison Corthay
Maison Corthay

A marketing niche strategy. «People who are rich already  have many items of Lous Vuitton or Burberry» continues Pierre Corthay. «Chinese customers are always looking for more niche; of high quality and tailor-made, which is the best service you can offer someone. They are very attracted to this service».

Corthay shoes sales, which can cost 10,000 euros for a bespoke pair, are growing significantly as Chinese consumers increasingly seek rich rare and refined products, said Xavier De Royere, executive director of the French company, without giving concrete business figures.

«The ecosystem requires small fishes», de Royere said in an interview to Bloomberg in the workshop and store of Corthay near the Place Vendome in Paris. «We want to differentiate ourselves from those brands omnipresent in every mall. We seek our market that the high quality and personal service».  Asia and, particularly, China, seems to fit well on that strategy.

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