Italian sneaker brand Rucoline is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and has recently entered the German, Austrian and Swiss markets. We talked to Rucoline founder Marco Santucci about the footwear market overall and his brand’s arrival in the DACH countries.
Rucoline celebrates its 30 anniversary this year–how do you see the development of the sneaker/footwear market in the last three decades?
The concept of the sneaker has been evolved in the last years. Today you can wear it with every look, from a sporty to an elegant one. For this reason the sneaker has a “golden status”: across it we can achieve comfort, fashion and glamour at the same time. The market has followed this natural evolution of the object.
How can "Made in Italy" sneaker brands such as Rucoline hold their ground against international sneaker giants such as Nike, Adidas or Puma?
Rucoline is positioned in a different segment of the market and it has been created for a target audience who is looking for products with a strong identity. At the same time our consumer pays attention to the high quality, the research of the details and additionally also to the versatility. Indeed, we offer a product that our client wants to wear all day long and which satisfies him in all his daily life experiences (work, social and free time). We have decided since the beginning to be always innovative and therefore especially attentive to all indicators that the market communicates to us. Thus the role of these huge companies that you mention is absolutely important regarding the trends and the consumption itself, but we have other “missions” even if they are sometimes compatible with those of the leading brands of the sector.
You just entered the German, Austrian and Swiss markets where you face a lot of competition, especially in Germany. What made you take this step anyway and what is your strategy in terms of distribution and marketing?
The idea to enter the DACH market is a step that is included in the general development plan, which we are driving currently. The internationalization of the brand is our final aim.
The purpose of the next seasons is the implementation of a distribution structure that includes a mix of department stores and well-chosen premium retailers. And we are looking forward to the realization of flagship stores in the most important cities of the area: Berlin, Munich, Vienna and Zurich. On the base of this strategy we have the distinguishability of the brand: the sneakers of Rucoline have enjoyed since the first days a well-defined style identity, which is able to satisfy the needs of every individual in every market.