How and when did you create the Bionda Castana collection and where did the brand name come from?
BC - Myself and Jennifer met at University in London whilst studying a Business degree and we had always had an intrinsic desire to set up our own footwear label together since we met. After years of research and working in other fields, myself in Investment Banking and Jennifer in Marketing, in order to be able to save the money to set up on our own, we took the plunge in 2007 and set up Bionda Castana. We embarked on an apprenticeship at a factory in Milan in 2006 which is ironically now were we produce our collection. Regarding the name, Jennifer and I had always been referred to as the ‘blonde and brunette’ duo at University so it seemed fitting for our company name to take on this concept – we just translated it into Italian. ‘Bionda’ signifying Blonde and ‘Castana’ signifying Brunette.
What is your USP?
BC - Our customer will always know that Bionda Castana products are designed to the very latest fashion styles, whilst never compromising on quality and comfort. Every pair of our shoes is hand-made in Italy but our RRP still remains competitive.
We also offer our buyers a range of 30 different fabrics to choose from when it comes to them buying the collection for the up and coming season. This allows the possibility for our stockists to hold exclusives in various colour ways which gives them all a competitive edge and provides an extensive offering to the final customer.
Who is your customer?
BC - Our customer is someone who understands and appreciates quality. We don’t think of her being in a certain age bracket or aesthetic – it’s her attitude and mindset that would define her as one of our customers.
Who are your stockists?
BC - Our stockists for SS10 are Harrods, Browns, Milletre London, Estnation Japan, Tearose Milan, Boutique 1 Dubai, Aishti Lebanon, Gardeob Moscow, Stenia Greece…to name but a few.
Which exhibitions do you do?
BC - We used to exhibit at MICAM and at the WSA in Las Vegas, but we have found it much more cost effective and worthwhile to simply sell the collection via our sales agent. For SS10 we appointed Sandra Moleirinho from Babulaque Showroom in London to carry out this role and we showed in London, Milan and Paris.