Our Crowd

Q&A: Matthew Chevallard of Del Toro Shoes

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Del Toro Shoes was conceived out of a garage by three boarding school buds: A humble beginning for seriously lavish footwear. Unsatisfied by what was on the market, Matthew Chevallard and two friends conjured up the chic slipper line, Del Toro. Matthew, co-founder and President has experienced tremendous success with the line. A young perspective and design on what traditionally is a more ‘mature’ style of shoe and a lower price-point compared to other major competitor is to fault for the fast success of Del Toro.  Matthew adds “Our accessibility and our focus on designing extremely high quality handmade product is a factor to our success. We then mix and match relevant fabrics and details in our styles to make our product truly unique.”

AVENUEInsider digs deeper into Del Toro with a Q&A with Chevallard to find out the scoop on this un-fussy fancy footwear…

How was Del Toro Shoes conceived?

Del toro shoes was conceived essentially out of a garage by me and two friends out of high school. Given this, we need there should be a more attractive alternative so we began to search to find that and five years later today here we are not only offering slippers but a variety of shoe models which collectively represent the Del Toro lifestyle.

How has the company changed since you’ve first opened?

The company changed enormously. We started out focusing on custom slippers and I was running it with my two co-founders. Now it is just myself running it and designing and I have evolved it to more of a lifestyle brand offering not only our classic slippers but also driving shoes, espadrilles, and brogues. Much more is also coming….

How would you describe the Del Toro customer?

The beauty of my line and offerings is that they truly appeal to an incredibly wide demographic. Principally speaking though our shoes are for style conscious, comfort seeking, and one striving to be unique in their sense of style. Its one who grabs life by the horns and wears what they feel like helps express their identity.

What factors do you contribute to the fast success of your company?

I’d say our accessibility and our focus on designing extremely high quality handmade product is a factor to our success. We then mix and match relevant fabrics and details in our styles to make our product truly unique.

What other styles do you plan to add to future collections?

We are working on offering many more versions of our classic slipper silhouette especially for women. We will be issuing a series of limited edition products soon. We are also rapidly expanding our women’s line so keep an eye out for jazz shoes, ballet flats, and more. We are working on sneakers for men and women and offering more of our male models for women (drivers, brogues, etc..) Needless to say we have a lot of product which is soon to be released.

How do you outreach/market your product without the ‘advertising muscle’?

We have grown strictly through organic guerilla marketing efforts. We work with a lot of bloggers and stylists to convey our brand as a lifestyle. We then keep our product very limited and always try to exceed demand over supply so we keep saturation low for our product. Key is being unique and allowing our consumers to feel proud they are wearing such an amazing shoe that not everyone can get. We are trying to establish ourselves as tastemakers and want those trendsetters to enjoy the satisfaction of our shoes first.

Has there been a point/moment where you’ve realized your own success?

I think as a business owner and designer you never feel at any point that you have made it or are successful until you have seen your vision come fully into fruition. That being us becoming a household name and a lifestyle which people strive to uphold. Until that point I view myself as on my way but nowhere near success.

You’ve worked with Scoop in the past, do you have any future collaborations on the horizon?

Yes, I am a huge sneaker-head at heart so I absolutely love the whole concept of collaborations. We also like to have unique special product in each of our retail points so I try to collaborate. We have a lot of collaborations on deck though so stay tuned.


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