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Brief Published: 23 Jan 2013

Del Toro Customised Shoe Boutique, Miami


Florida-based luxury clothing and accessories brand Del Toro, which has had a purely online presence to date, is to open its first bricks-and-mortar shop in Miami.

The boutique builds on the brand’s original unique selling point: customisable velvet slippers. It displays the latest Del Toro designs, but also serves as a space where customers who want to fashion a distinctly personal pair of shoes can peruse a variety of materials to design their own.

For its debut physical store, Del Toro has created a gallery-like setting, featuring murals by local artists Evoca1, GG and Hoxxoh that stretch across three of the interior walls. The store’s fourth wall is set with glass shelves to display hero product.

Clients interested in creating a unique pair of shoes or slippers can choose from an assortment of fabric swatches including velvet, leather, linen and suede, plus details such as thread colour and embroidery patterns. While the shoes are hand-made in Italy, shoppers will be able to view and handle the material swatches in-store to get a better idea of what’s to come. Each pair takes about four months to produce and costs $400-$500.

More exotic shoe fabrics are also, somewhat controversially, available – among them crocodile, python, ostrich and stingray. These options take two to three months to make, costing anywhere from $500 to $1,300 a pair.

Consumer participation – customisation in particular – is set to boom in retail in 2013 as shoppers seek out retail experiences that give them more bang for their buck.

For an overview of what’s already happening in this area, see Industry Trend Consumer-Creators. For more on how stores are slowly transforming into test venues and experiential showrooms, see Future Stores: Brand Hubs and Product Playgrounds.

Also, look out for our upcoming report, E-tail’s Street Presence, for more on how and why many e-tail-only retail brands are launching bricks-and-mortar stores.