Creating a shoe brand in Milan - A group of individuals brainstorming and discussing the design and concept of a new shoe brand in Milan, Italy

How to Start a Shoe Brand | The Babú Milano Story

“Everybody loves them, we should sell them!” – Davide, co-founder of Babú, was talking about the traditional Moroccan babouche, a must-wear for guests stepping in his apartment. Over a casual dinner chat, we decided that it was worth our while to establish a shoe business in our home town, Milan.

Original Moroccan Babouche

The original Moroccan Babouche

Then, like every good Milanese would do, we got busy contemplating what outfit and occasions would suit the Moroccan loafer. One thing led to another and a couple hours later we had completely re-designed the shoe. It would have a v-neck shape, a more structured sole with a small heel, a smoother point, and it would be made of premium Italian leathers. We named it Babú. A handmade slip-on loafer, stylish, comfortable and durable.

We started by having the original babouche wooden last shipped from Marrakech to Milan. From that we built a paper model and then a canvas prototype, stitched together with an old sewing machine. We were off showing the improvised slipper to shoe-repair shops asking if they could turn it into a real shoe. The result, not surprisingly, was vastly different from what we had in mind. Nonetheless, we had something to show to a shoe maker and hopefully convince him/her to build us a real prototype.

shoe prototypes, loafer prototypes in canvas and cardboard  

Cardboard and Canvas Prototype

After 250 emails and 50 zoom calls we finally found someone crazy enough to listen to us, Dario. Dario owns a factory of children shoes in the historic footwear district of Vigevano, nearby Milan. A seasoned entrepreneur himself, he was willing to invest his time and experience to help us start our own endeavor. After six months and 22 prototypes, he delivered the final version of the Babú. A slip-on loafer, handmade by his artisans, utilizing premium Italian materials, comfortable, elegant and made to last.

Red leather slip-on loafer. Red nappa babu' mule

Our First Babú: Red Nappa Leather
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Good information, keep sharing good work.


Impressive and enchanting!

Maria Aldera

Che bella storia di successo di supporto ai produttori italiani!

Roberto Aldera

Wow !! Beautiful !!


Grandi ragazzi! Super progetto!

Stafano Bottini

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