That’s the grand vision of Andrea Cruz, fashion designer and self-confessed shoe addict who with a group of fellow savvy businesswomen and fashionistas, is franchising Shanghai’s popular boutique Hotwind to the Phillipines. Although Hotwind in Shanghai stocks a wide range of clothes and accessories, Cruz and her business partners are focusing on the footwear range — perhaps because of Filipinas’ renowned predilection for shoes. Cruz made this curious statement in the Manila Times: “The shoes are of high quality because it’s from Shanghai, yet the prices are far more affordable than signature brands.” (Italics added by Shanghaiist, of course.) Oddly enough, Shanghaiist’s mother, a Beijing native, also frequently comments upon the superiority of Shanghainese products over those originating from elsewhere in the world. And yes, she has been to Xiangyang Market.
Cruz’s coup was not easily attained — Hotwind was content focusing on its existing 12 stores in Shanghai and others scattered throughout mainland China — and a typically challenging Chinese negotiation process ensued, complete with language obstructions and frequent flights to Shanghai. But her dedication and passion for shoes paid off — the first shipment of Hotwind shoes last month started selling out from the first day. Chinese customs laws have made orders difficult, but Cruz is confident that her new shoe empire will blossom. After all, that perfect pair of stiletto pumps may walk you to the career of your dreams.
Photo of Imelda Marcos by The Age.