Del Toro Shoes Relaunch With Campaign Shot In East Hampton; An Interview With CEO Andrew Roberts

Del Toro Shoes — a renowned luxury footwear brand inspired by the rich heritage and timeless style of the Italian velvet slipper — relaunched in January.

With the return of its original logo and a focus on its core designs, Del Toro has launched its first new collection in over two years with new styles that are all handmade in Italy.

To launch the new collection, under the new leadership of New York City based entrepreneur Andrew Roberts, Del Toro revealed a new campaign shot in East Hampton featuring Ettienne Percy. The backdrop is a design-focused, art-filled Hamptons farmhouse staged by interior designer Dan Scotti.

Del Toro revealed a new campaign shot in East Hampton featuring Ettienne Percy.

The space includes a mix of vintage mid-century and contemporary design with pieces by Isamu Noguchi, Ico Parisi, Audoux Minet, and Charlotte Perriand, along with an eclectic curation of artwork that includes Edward Burtynsky, Andy Warhol, Zanelle Muholi, and Mark Diamond.

We caught up with Roberts to learn more about the inspiration behind the campaign and what’s next for the brand.

Tell us a little about Del Toro Shoes:

Del Toro is a luxury footwear brand, launched in 2005, that is inspired by the rich heritage and timeless style of the Italian velvet slipper. All of our products are handmade in Italy, in either Naples or Milan. The name Del Toro comes from the Torino Football Club’s loyal fan base and nods to our commitment to and admiration of Italian culture. In 2019, I came on as CEO and relaunched the brand with our first new collection in more than two years.

What inspired the Del Toro Shoes relaunch?

Our goal with the relaunch is to revisit the original qualities that contributed to Del Toro’s rise to popularity, and lean into those same qualities even further. I admire the Del Toro brand that existed when I bought my first pair many years ago.

We’re bringing the focus back to Del Toro’s core products and introducing new personalization capabilities. Del Toro shoes remain a special product for our customers, and perfect for a gift or special occasion. We’ll also be introducing new weddings offerings in the near future and will have some news on that front soon. We’re always looking for ways to innovate without sacrificing craftsmanship and style.

You returned to the original logo, tell us a little about the meaning behind that decision:

The return to the original logo is symbolic in that we are returning to our roots and back to the qualities that customers most admire about Del Toro shoes. We want to elevate the basics and create a shoe that can be worn everyday, while still retaining the luxury quality that sets it apart from other shoes on the market.

Tell us a little about your background and what brought you to this point:

I first learned about Del Toro when I was living in Miami, working in the Wynwood neighborhood just a block away from the Del Toro flagship store. I fell in love with the brand for its unmatched quality and timeless design. The Del Toro Velvet Slippers I bought many years ago are still my most complimented pairs of shoes.

My background was never strictly in fashion, but when I had the opportunity to come on as CEO, it was a dream come true. I never thought I’d go from customer to CEO, but I think it’s given me a special perspective on the company. Everything I’m doing is from a customer-first mindset, from the products we launch, to customer support, to packaging.

Talk a bit about the new campaign shot in East Hampton featuring Ettienne Percy:

In designing our latest lines, we took classic silhouettes and added our own modern twists, including new accents on the shoes and a lightweight, non-toxic sole. The new collection is perfect for the current moment we’re in where we’re building capsule wardrobes consisting of easy-to-wear, understated luxury pieces. These new styles can all also be customized and monogrammed.

We wanted the campaign to represent those same understated yet luxurious qualities of the shoe, and East Hampton seemed like the perfect location for that — effortless elegance! Ettienne did a fantastic job of exuding the vibe we hope this new collection portrays.

The campaign space was created by interior designer Dan Scotti, and features a variety of specialty designed pieces and eclectic artwork.

How do you plan to align your brand with the art and design community?

On May 1, we’re launching the first of what we hope will be many more artist collaborations. We partnered with Chinese American, Los Angeles-based artist Alli Conrad. For the collaboration, Conrad is painting her iconic Groovy Baby Navy Blue design — composed of whimsical lines — onto Del Toro’s White Leather Chukka. Each pair is made-to-order and will be hand-painted individually by Conrad in her studio in Los Angeles, serving as a collectible piece of wearable art for the buyer. No two shoes are exactly alike, and each pair features Alli’s signature.

How have you had to pivot with the relaunch of Del Toro Shoes during the time of Covid-19?

While the pandemic has presented obvious constraints and challenges with logistics, supply chain, etc., it has also given us an opportunity to connect with our customers in new ways. While working from home, I have also taken on the lead role in our Customer Service department, speaking with our customers on a day-to-day basis and really learning what it is they want from our brand. It’s helped me learn more about who the Del Toro customer is. Some of our conversations with customers have even turned into potential partnerships, and we hope to continue and strengthen these relationships with our customers moving forward!

What’s next for you and Del Toro Shoes?

You’ll see Del Toro continue its legacy of partnerships and exclusive collaborations with like-minded brands. That’s a big priority for us in 2021 and beyond because I think it’s so amazing when two brands can come together and make something special.

We’ll also be launching a new women’s collection this Summer, as well as a new formal line to expand our weddings and special events offerings.

Jessica Mackin-Cipro


Jessica Mackin-Cipro is an editor and writer from the East End of Long Island. She has won numerous NYPA and PCLI awards for journalism and social media. She was previously the Executive Editor of The Independent Newspaper.

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