Friday, May 24, 2024
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Home » Arianna Casadei on Family Brand’s Push in Asia, Bridal

Arianna Casadei on Family Brand’s Push in Asia, Bridal

by station3
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Italian footwear brand Casadei is making a push eastward.

On Monday, the label launched on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion in an aim to connect with the digital-savvy Chinese market and further strengthen its presence in Asia.

The move was possible through a collaboration with Triboo Shanghai, which will facilitate the venture by managing the digital flagship and overseeing Casadei’s engagement across the main local social media platforms.

The family-run brand’s chief executive officer Arianna Casadei said “Chinese buyers are the most important supporters of the luxury global market,” and that the partnership with Tmall “will give us the opportunity to enter the Chinese market with an authorized and customized e-commerce experience.”

Janet Wang, general manager of Tmall Luxury Pavilion, said the company “will continue to support the brand’s digital transformation and localization of communication and operations in China, looking forward to future multidimensional cultural interactions.”

The launch on the platform marks a return for the company in the market. It previously had three stores in China, which shut down during the pandemic.

Casadei noted how the digital strategy will enable the brand to keep its customer-centric approach while enabling more straightforward and rapid feedback from customers. This is key also in building collections and planning product launches locally. “You have a series of insights that empower a product-centric company like ours in getting an additional value while building the collections. So I work side-by-side my father also to target dedicated moments, such as Chinese New Year,” said Casadei. 

At the same time, the company will launch a program of itinerant pop-up stores across Japan, starting on April 24 in Osaka. The activation will rotate to the cities of Tamagawa and Nihonbashi in May — before landing in Tokyo on June 12 through June 25.

Casadei's SuperBlade style.
Casadei’s SuperBlade style.

Representing the third generation of the shoe dynasty, Arianna Casadei has been pivotal in accelerating the company’s digitalization and online business.

The daughter of creative director Cesare Casadei and the granddaughter of founders Quinto and Flora Casadei, she developed her skills in a variety of departments within the company before being promoted to her current role last year.

These included the communication and marketing department, which she joined in 2012, becoming the first to be in charge of the brand’s e-commerce platform and social media. Casadei has also been in charge of special projects and relations with wholesale clients, before being promoted to director of communication and marketing in 2017.

For example, in 2022 she masterminded a project that saw the brand release a limited run of 1,000 wearable NFTs developed with Web3 firm Another1 in the shape of a cyborg-inspired Blade shoe — Casadei’s perennial bestseller.

Created by the CEO’s father and launched after seven months of test-and-try, the Blade design stands out for its recognizable, slightly curved steel heel, which contributed to put stilettos back in fashion at a time when platforms were more on vogue. Ever since, the seductive style has been reworked in countless iterations, including patent leather, suede and silk stilettos, strappy sandals and more.

The Blade heel is central to the brand’s bridal offer, too, which Casadei said “is becoming increasingly well-defined” and strategic business-wise. As the overall bridal industry is booming, footwear taps into women’s increasing habit of changing their look during the wedding, therefore doubling demand for dedicated shoes. Plus, Casadei noted the collection also targets bridesmaids and mothers of the bride since it includes a wide selection of designs in different shades, materials and heights. 

The Geraldine Helen sandal from the Casadei bridal line.
The Geraldine Helen sandal from the Casadei bridal line.

Models encompass the Geraldine Helen sandal with a wide base, spool heel and satin bow; the towering Flora platform with a staggeringly high heel in milky-hued glitter and a fine strap; and the Emily slingback with a large, sculptural golden heel, to name a few.

“Within this range, there are many facets that reflect the changing habits in the world of footwear at large,” said Casadei, nodding to how collections expanded to cover women’s multiple demands from day to night. “In the same way, brides today are no longer bound to wear a white pump for their wedding but pick shoes that really mirror and express their personality. And our role is to offer them the opportunity to dream while staying true to themselves and to their comfort. You know when they say you have to walk in someone else’s shoes? That metaphor doesn’t work for that day: there’s no need to play dress-up, you have to be yourself.”

The Elsa sandal from the Casadei bridal line.
The Elsa sandal from the Casadei bridal line.

As for her own choice for her big day two years ago, Casadei said she was oblivious until the morning of the wedding, as she gave carte blanche to her father for the shoes. “I didn’t know anything, I wanted to be a surprise,” she recalled. “He completely panicked and told me: ‘What if I do something you don’t like?’ and I replied that wasn’t possible, he had been creating shoes for thousands of women for years.”

The result? A pair of pristine white sandals with French lace details matching her strapless gown. These were hand-embroidered by an artisan who has been in the company since the ‘60s and saw Casadei growing up.

Source: WWD

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