We're stepping up

We have gone from being followers to being trendsetters

Text by Eliana Macedo - PFM Team
Insights Think Piece
March 02, 2016 18:55

New creative generations are outlining a path of success for Portuguese footwear. Following the investment of millions in internationalisation campaigns and brands, made in Portugal’ is establishing itself and conquering new markets.

With growing exports for 6 years in a row now, in 2015 we have hit a new historical record – we have exported 79 million pairs of shoes, which correspond to 1865 million euros.

Renowned for the know-how of experienced shoemakers, Portugal is no longer seen as just a footwear manufacturer.


 © Guava and Friendly Fire


Alongside the growing production for international private labels, more than 300 new brands have been created in Portugal since 2009. Brands such as Sr Prudêncio, Lemon Jelly, Exceed, Xperimental Shoes, Guava and Friendly Fire - always tuned in to the  behaviour and lifestyle of the international consumer - are creating new opportunities in the area.  

Together with the growing investment in new brands, the mark up on ex-works sales prices is now over 50%. This means that, more than it being about the increase in the number of pairs of shoes produced, the rise in the export values is explained by the significant rise in the price of the shoes leaving our factories.

Today, Portuguese shoes are the second most expensive in the world, surpassed only by Italian shoes.


© Xperimental Shoes and Sr Prudêncio


Re-energising the Portuguese shoe industry image has been key to its international growth. Aiming at making Portuguese footwear the ‘main world reference based on own production’ APICCAPS has strengthened bonds with the industry and has redefined a common strategy.

In little more than a decade, the Portuguese footwear industry has undergone significant changes. We have been bold, innovative, disruptive. We have gone from being followers to being trendsetters.

We have created a strong brand and we have set challenges to a global scale.  


Portuguese Soul Magazine © Frederico Martins


With the international market absorbing 95% of the shoes coming out of our factories, the shoe industry has contributed to tipping the Portuguese commercial scales positively more than any other. ‘Portuguese Shoes’ back-to-back promotional campaigns have won us international awards and the status of ‘sexiest industry in Europe’.

With know-how, flexibility and attention to detail as built-in values, can the triumph of ‘made in Portugal’ footwear set the example for other creative industries?