Shoes made in Italy

Welcome to our FAQ Page on all matters “made in Italy shoes”. Thanks to your overwhelming response to our features on how to produce shoes in Italy, we’ve been receiving so many enquiries and emails that we simply cannot get back to everyone.

We love to support fellow shoe designers and founders and happily share what we know, but we also have to run the main ROCCAPINA business. That said, we thought it’s easiest to put together a FAQ page that should answer most of your questions. We also provide quick and easy shoe designer business templates here that help you get started quickly.

Are you able to suggest a producer also for bags?

Yes, our design studio creates for shoe and bag producers.

Are you able to suggest a workshop or shoe manufacturer in Italy or the EU?

As much as we’d love to, we cannot get back to all the emails we receive and advice on factories in Italy. If you want to produce shoes in Italy you either have to speak Italian or work with people in the industry. It is not as easy as you think to send you a name of a factory and off you go! Generally, small family-run factories do not speak English. They also do not communicate much via email. Large factories that are used to communicate via email and in English often require high minimums (1000+). Our design studio is extremly well connected in the San Mauro Pascoli and Marche area and can set you up with the right shoe or bag factory. However to do this they need to understand your business and product well which requires discussing your project in detail (if interested, contact us to obtain a quote).

Our design studio only speaks Italian as well. It is a family run studio that has decades of experience in luxury and economic shoemaking and bag prototype design.With 20+ years of consulting experience, the studio has been providing services to customers from all over the world, from New York to Australia.

To allow the studio to assist small labels like yours that do not speak Italian, we have offered our support to project manage in English and work hand in hand with them, based in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy.

That said, we have partnered with our design studio in Italy to provide the following professional services:

(if interested, contact us to obtain a quote).

1) protoyping

2) sourcing materials

3) connect to suitable producer

4) samples

5) monitoring of production locally

6) packaging

8) product & production photography / film

9) webshop design, set up & SEO

Can you create shoe designs with crystals, jewellery-like embellishments and other interesting components?

Yes the design studio is very experienced in embellishments for bags, shoes and sandals for luxury shoes and also has clients that produce a very economical product.

Do you have advice on where I can find someone I can work with in Italy?

Please refer to our recent feature on how to produce shoes in Italy 

I want to create women’s sandals and I want to create less than 100 pairs, is this possible in Italy?

Yes you can work with small family-run Italian factories in Italy. They can produce this kind of quantity but you cost per shoe/sandal will be higher than if you were to produce 500 or 1000 pairs of shoes.

I am looking for up to 80 euros per pair with small quantities, is it possible? 

Yes you can work with small family-run Italian factories in Italy. They can produce this kind of quantity but you cost per shoe/sandal will be higher than if you were to produce 500 or 1000 pairs of shoes.

I would like to use vegan leathers, exotic leather or embossed leathers, is it possible in Italy? 

Yes you can create your designs with all of these. It’s just a matter of finding the right tanneries and supplier partners for you. Our design studio has very good contacts in the industry.

What about the quality level of shoes made in Italy?

The studio can assist you to produce high quality or economic pricing (which then will be produced at higher quantities).

How much is the cost for a prototype?

It depends on the complexity of your shoe design but we estimate somewhere between €500-1000 per design.

I have a shoe store need good tips on reliable and quality shoemanufacturers in Italy.

Congratulations on running a shoe business!Please refer to our recent feature on how to produce shoes in Italy 

If you speak Italian we can set you up with our design studio. If you’d like to work with them, contact us. Alternatively we offer project management services in English in collaboration with the studio. (if interested, contact us to obtain a quote).

How many designs/colors should I start with? How much will it cost?

Essentially no one can tell you if that is too many or not enough for a launch. People have successfully launched a label with only 1 design in several colourways or 2-3 designs in several colours.

It depends on your budget as well. You have to plan for prototyping cost and sample making cost for all of these. Samples you will need if you are planning to sell wholesale and for PR purposes. Or if you plan to produce and sell direct-to-consumer via your webshop or store you can produce a small sample collection of one each for shootings and PR and then produce your collection yourself without taking orders.

If you are thinking colours, probably 2-4 colours are common per style. If you are thinking 6-7 designs then each of them requires a prototype design which does have a cost attached to it. If you budget is limited you might consider launching with 3-4 designs in 2-3 colours each.

We specialise in exclusive, luxury footwear for women. Can you suggest a manufacturer in Italy who would be able to fulfil my request?

As much as we’d love to, we cannot get back to all the emails we receive and advice on factories in Italy. If you want to produce shoes in Italy you either have to speak Italian or work with people in the industry. It is not as easy as you think to send you a name of a factory and off you go! Generally, small family-run factories do not speak English. They also do not communicate much via email. Large factories that are used to communicate via email and in English often require high minimums (1000+). Our design studio is extremly well connected in the San Mauro Pascoli and Marche area and can set you up with the right shoe or bag factory. However to do this they need to understand your business and product well which requires discussing your project in detail. That said, the studio does work with Italian factories and footwear producers that produce luxury quality. (if interested, contact us to obtain a quote).

How do I go about designing packaging? 

You will you have a graphic designer work with you to finalize packaging or would you like us to propose ideas for you? 

There are of course ‚off the shelf‘ packaging options (like a simple black box with logo) or you can have a custom made high quality packaging. It depends also if you get your packaging done in Italy or overseas such as China, both is possible. Cost will vary depending on qty you order and customization – between 2€-10€ per piece

How does the prototyping process work and sample production? 

Prototyping and sample production are two separate stages. Generally it will take several rounds of prototypes until you get your shoes and the result right. This is normal even with simple designs.

Samples – Once you have your prototypes, you can do samples which you’ll use for selling your product to stores and department stores or provide them to sales agents and for PR purposes.

How much do I need to pay for samples? 

The price for samples can only be determined after prototypes have been done, because materials etc. need to be confirmed.

Do I need to produce a last?

No. If you are happy to use a last that already exists from other brands then last suppliers have a huge selection of lasts that you can choose from. 

How does the process with the design studio work? 

The design studio takes any design ideas etc you have, sketches, different types of shoes from photos of other shoe brands you like that you want to use different elements of and puts them into one design for you. Once you are happy with the shape and style sketched on paper then it goes into prototype stage which takes about 3 – 6 months depending on complexity and how many rounds of changes there are, generally it might be between 2 – 5 rounds until someone is happy with a design outcome. 

Do you provide research work and consulting? 

With regards to costs you generally pay for each prototype design once, then an hourly rate for other work, research etc. 

On average what is the timeline generally/how many hours are required from start to finish of a shoe line?

This is difficult to say as it depends how many different designs and colours you do. It also depends how many rounds of prototyping you need until you are happy with the outcome and then you would want to do samples. For a small range of 10, prototyping will be between 3 – 6 months, depending on complexity of product always and what kind of last you use, if embellishment or not. Generally new range development takes between 6 – 12 months, depending on complexity.