After constant requests from private labels keen to showcase variety, individuality and a hand-made quality, John Stevens of Cotton Willow Group launched several footwear labels that embody all three.
The result is Xti, a stunning range of hand-crafted leather footwear made out of the renowned Sandra Stylo factory in Spain, and his own label KAJOcollections crafted in Brazil.
“From my side I just feel that Spain and Brazil have great leather products,” says John. “Anyone can get some made from a factory in China but then they just become a number. “I want to be different and so do my clients, to compete against the big boys in town and to give women the opportunity to buy great product and to be different. “How often do you see people wearing the same shoes? How boring is that!
“I for one don’t want to be a number or clone of everyone else.“
Sandra Stylo has manufactured John’s new range of shoes which will be on show at the Australian Shoe Fair from August 28 – 30 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. This is the Cotton Willow Group’s third show offering fashion and styles form different parts of the world, mainly South America and Europe and he hopes to encourage other manufacturers, designers and retailers to choose diversity over duplicates.
Proof of this return in fashion to the hand made craft is the outstanding success at last year’s Shoe Fair where they sold out in days and had to order more stock.
“As the company continues to grow and develop we want to be able to present manufacturers from around the world and to give designers and manufacturer’s the sales and marketing skills that we have developed over the many years in sales across many different areas of technology and fashion,” he says. “Our intention this time is to offer other young designers wishing to launch their own label with the chance to be made in Spain. “We also want to promote markets for manufacturers in many different parts of the world, to help in some small way to ensure trade and manufacturing continue in different cultures.
“It is all about building a future. It is about fun and excitement and caring most importantly about our world.”