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Progress report on 2013 Annual Awards winners

Diego Vanassibara

The Annual Awards money assisted the brand in the development of the most comprehensive collections to date, which were shown in London Collections: Men, Paris and Tokyo fashion weeks.

From January 2015 the company is adding stores in Dover Street Market (London), Isetan Department Store (Tokyo), La Rinascentre Department Store (Milan) and LA Celebrity Boutique H. Lorenzo to their list of retail partners.

The development of the AW15 collection is underway and will be unveiled in their dedicated space in LC:M Victoria House in January 2015.

Special gratitude goes to our mentor Tim Cooper who has been assisting me with my strategy in many aspects of my brand.

Suffolk Shoes

The year of 2014 began with meeting Tim Cooper of Oliver Sweeney Shoes and developing a style which I had presented as a sketch during the Footwear Friends interview in 2013. From my initial prototype, I have worked with Tim and his colleagues at Oliver Sweeney to develop the shoe to a high standard, and have learned some tricks of the trade to apply to my production from their experience in the industry.

The money from the Micro-Pak award has helped develop areas of the production to improve the overall quality and finish of my products. Specifically, I was able to service stitching machinery specific to my production, have a new cutter made for the paring machine, buy a pneumatic glue dispensing machine which has helped to economise cementing operations, and a grinding machine to help in shoe finishing. I also bought new lasts to make a sandal style, and the remainder of the money was spent on grading my new patterns for both the sandal and the shoe for Oliver Sweeney.

Joe Meltzer Travel Awards

During 2014 Save your Sole secured 18 new accounts and wholesales account revenue is now equal to online sales. Their revenue has increased over 100% during the last 12 months. The company has now employed a Sales Director in New York to assist with US market growth. An office in Meatpacking in New York was opened to facilitate US sales and provide a base for the business.

The company sponsored the Great British Oscar Party in LA at the home of the British Consulate with Sole stickers on the shoes of nominees walking the red carpet at the event. They have worked with 5 designers exclusively for New York Fashion week as “The Sole of NYFW”l – Oscar de la Renta, Opening Ceremony, Harare, Park Choon Moo & Cloe Sevigny for OC.

A working relationship with Manolo Blahnik in London and New York was confirmed and I am working with a range of new designers including Robert Cavalli, Opening Ceremony and retail stores (Jeffery in NYC) and online sites (Avenue 32).

An exclusive distributor agreement has been signed with China with a commitment for 1,000 + products per month.

Save your Sole participated in FN Platform and Sole Commerce with BFA in February and September 2014 and featured in FN News/WWD, Shoeholics and a range of other PR mentions.

New product development includes Sole Stickers form Men, scented moisturising leather cream, scented protective spray, scented candle, shoe travel bags and polish cloths.

The brand has also been nominated for a footwear industry award.

Winning the 2013 Footwear Friends Joe Meltzer Award has greatly benefitted Save Your Sole. Our assigned mentor Tim Cooper of Oliver Sweeney, has assisted over the past year with introductions, advice and expertise on the growth of the business from an online business to wholesale and retail. The prize also funded our travel to New York to attend the Sole Commerce show at the Javits Center where we met a distributor from Shanghai who we now have an exclusive agreement with and has enabled our incredible growth throughout China which we could only do with a local partner.