by Stephen Garner

Italian footwear brand Velasca Milano has opened its first shop in New York City.

Located at 250 Elizabeth Street in NoLIta, the store’s purpose is to become a neighborhood point of reference for customers as the digitally native brand branches out into physical retail.

Inside the shop, customers will find unique pieces of Italian production history, as well as some of the shoe mockups made by hand at the beginning of the Velasca brand’s journey. All Velasca’s shoes are in fact born in small artisan workshops in the hills of the Marche region, called Montegranaro. There, shoe-making is a family tradition that is handed down from generation to generation, and that is replicated with the same love and meticulous attention of the past. The result is a unique product, that shares all the history and the beauty of the place. They are not simply produced but created.

“The New York Bottega sets a very important milestone in our entrepreneurial challenge focused on the production and trade of high-quality handmade shoes,” said Jacopo Sebastio, co-founder and CEO of Velasca. “We are proud today to finally have a place where New Yorkers can experience the timeless style, focused on refinement and elegance, that Italian craftsmanship has to offer.”

The location in New York City is the 12th physical Velasca store, following openings in Milan, Rome, Florence, Turin, Bologna, Palermo, London, and Paris.

Velasca’s collection is composed by both formal and casual shoes, all made with the same artisanal majesty that makes them both comfortable and made to last. At the start of Velasca’s business, more than 70 percent of its sales came from the formal segment. Today, also due to the evolution toward remote working, the vast majority of sales comes from the casual models, like Mocassinis, Espadrilles and Dockers.