The Pinay Primadonna

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Just like many local shoe companies, the brand also traces its roots from Marikina City, the leading shoe capital of the Philippines

Just like many local shoe companies, the brand also traces its roots from Marikina City, the leading shoe capital of the Philippines

Top PH footwear brand thrives amid tough competition
With the abundance of international retail brands in the country, Filipinas have unlimited choices when it comes to wearing the latest shoe trends from all over the world.

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But despite multi-leveled stores of global brands luring the Pinoy fashionista towards their shoe racks, 30-year-old, Filipino company Primadonna remains committed in being the “leading lifestyle footwear brand” in the country, as reported by Primadonna managing director Denise Reyes.

“Primadonna has been very consistent in its positioning in the market. We want to be the leading lifestyle footwear with the latest trends and shoe categories, and so ensure that our brand imagery is strongly related to tasteful fashion that exudes style and confidence,” Reyes related in an exclusive interview with The Manila Times.

She, together with marketing director Valerie Tanchip-Lim, heralded the brand’s success on its 30th year with proof of a 60-strong chain of boutiques nationwide.

Marikina roots
Just like many local shoe companies, Primadonna also traces its roots from Marikina City, the leading shoe capital of the Philippines.

Primadonna’s everchanging and always on-trend styles

Primadonna’s everchanging and always on-trend styles

Reyes recalled, “My husband’s family has always been in the shoe-making industry of Marikina. My family, on the other hand, is into merchandising, specifically ladies shoes for department stores.”

The two families decided to venture together into a single business, giving birth the brand Primadonna in the 1980s.

“We were actually one of the very first tenants of SM North Edsa when it opened in 1985,” Reyes recalled.

Today, Primadonna remains wholly family-owned, what with the advantages entailed with such a business setup. Reyes explained, “As a family-owned business, we are all on top of everything. We see our growth first hand, which inspires us to improve on all aspects of our organization. Quality is of utmost importance to us because without it, no one would buy us.”

Latest trends
Besides quality, Primadonna is also very proud of its ever changing styles that ensure their collections are always on trend.

“Everybody follows the trend, so we make sure we’re the first one to carry them locallly. We are always ahead of the other local players and I think we’ve made a name in that regard,” Reyes stated.

The young executives are also very hands on when it comes to choosing the brand’s upcoming merchandise. For their latest pre-holiday collection, they took inspiration from Sports Luxe, a trend from fashion greats, the likes of Alexander Wang and Helmut Lang.

“We know that many Filipinas are online so they are aware of the global trends they monitor on the Internet. From there alone, we make sure to keep up with them and what they expect,” Reyes noted.

Managing director Denise Reyes and marketing director Valerie Tanchip-Lim

Managing director Denise Reyes and marketing director Valerie Tanchip-Lim

As a result, Primadonna offers Filipinas shoes that walk them with comfort while turning heads for style. Think slip-on sneakers with unique cat prints or comic characters, give that one-inch rubber sole for extra height. How about the same silhouette in plain black or grey faux leathers for the less adventurous fashionistas?

“We also have chunky sandals that can be worn from day to night just from using silver straps,” Reyes continues.

Other on trend and innovative looks are genuine leather pieces splashed with vibrant colors; sneakers are in solid pink, yellow and blue; while platform sandals with genuine leather straps combined with animal printed soles.

Overall, Primadonna’s latest collection imbibes a carefree spirit catering to the young, urban Filipina. It is also for this reason, according to its owners, that Primadonna tapped teen star Kathryn Bernardo to be their newest endorser.

Welcome competition
On its 30th year, Primadonna remains unfazed by the influx of international fashion brands, finding confidence in its product range.

Reyes explained, “We go always back to what we offer the market. We are confident of our selections, which is why we feel we can compete with imported brands. Ours is very comparable. Whatever you see inside their stores, we have it too; but what sets us apart is that our price points are always lower and we are more accessible.”

Asked what the company has planned for the next 30 years, Reyes confidently replied, “To go international with Pinoy pride.”

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