The Vizali Handmade brand is actually a small family-run company. Its name is the combination of its founders names, who are a married couple, Viktor and Zalina. Five years ago they founded a company that focused on at-home slippers, and later on, according Zalina’s words, thanks to trend of the pajama style, these home shoes exploded and started appearing on the city streets!
This experiment went very well; now these shoes that were once used as home slippers are very popular between ukranian fashionistas and celebrities. Some of them are editors of fashion magazines like Ana Varava and Lina Khrystoforova, model Alla Grygorieva and TV-hostess Katya Varnava.
We make all the details on our own, except for the shoe-trees, the best shoe-trees are made in Italy, so we import them from there. We never use services of private shoe-manufactures, every phase of the working process is under our supervision. It’s very convenient, the only problem about that is self-sufficiency, we are only able to produce as much as we have on hand to work with. We are of course trying to make our range of possibilities wider, but still, buying all the necessary equipment takes some time.
The brand was born from the idea of shoes that are extremely cozy at home, we need to take care of our comfort. When developing each and every new model we may take a step back in terms of our design issues, but no compromises are made in the comfort department. Our brands top priority is making the shoes feel comfortable and cozy!
Is that the reason behind the absence of heels and high platforms in your collection?
We do make items like that, but usually they are for individual orders. As I already mentioned, our production capabilities are still developing, that’s why we aren’t producing batches of sophisticated shoes yet. For single pieces we’ve develop pads that are risen by hand by a shoemaker, heels are shipped from Italy and made by professionals.
What kind of materials do you use? Any specific furs?
High-quality and expensive ones,including leather, fur, stones or crystals only of very high quality. All the glamour is always in the details. Fur is mostly mink, chinchilla and arctic fox.
And what’s your attitude toward the rising eco-friendly trend? Do you work with eco-friendly materials?
No. Items from artificial materials simply will not be accepted by our target audience. Easily pretentious and somewhat exaggerated glamour are our main features, that is why our clientele chooses us.
Is your brand only being sold in Kiev, or have you been slowly conquering the world market?
Mostly in Ukraine, apart from Kiev, where we’re represented in a number of stores, including Helen Marlen Villa Gross, our shoes can be bought in boutiques of Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk and Kharkov. We actively cooperate with networks in Chechnya and Kazakhstan. In these countries the culture of home suits is a prominent feature, so we have developed a separate line of very elegant home shoes, with different types of fur, stones and embroidery specifically for that market.
VIZALI HANDMADE has no official website, but there is an Instagram! Do you sell on it or it is just an online showcase?
We discovered Instagram as a sales platform only a year ago, and definitely underestimated its potential! Before IG we mostly focused on working with retailers, we weren’t thinking of getting straight to the end user. With the start of the profile, we received an ton of questions: “how much it costs”, “where to buy”, “do we deliver in other cities” and other things too … That’s how we, unexpectedly to ourselves, began to work directly with the client! It’s great, because now we can display statistics, which models and sizes are driving not to “freeze” the money in the unpopular ones.
Now Instagram for us is as active of a trading marketplace as an off-line counter.
Moreover, it’s very interesting to track the main type of our women customers with the help of Instagram! Generally, girls who ask a lot of questions like “- What to wear with? Is it winter or summer shoes? Is it home or street wear?” do not dare to buy such extravagant things. The girls with bright, bold, personal profiles ask something rarely, order without saying a word! They already know everything, and can tell us even more! 🙂
Has IG helped you expand your sales globally?
Definitely! We’ve sent parcels to New York, Dubai, London, and the most unexpected orders were from Qatar and New Zealand!
What are your plans for the future development? If you would be able to choose where to sell your shoes, including the most prestigious shops all over the world, which ones would you choose?
None of them! I’d choose to have my own network of single-brand boutiques. This is actually the basic plan for the nearest future. Also my husband and I have a dream – to create a factory which would produce impeccable quality shoes and pass it to our children!