As days of the week go, Monday has a pretty bad reputation, but customers of Italian footwear company M.Gemi have at least one reason to look forward to it: At 10 a.m. ET each Monday, the luxury shoe brand releases something new.
On Monday, Feb. 11, for example, M.Gemi released its sixth style of 2019, Curvo.
In a nod to Valentine’s Day, the description reads: “Break some hearts in our new Curvo collection, which puts a decidedly romantic twist on the iconic Italian scroll.”
The handmade shoes aren’t cheap—Curvo ranges in price from $348 to $398—but it is more accessible than some high-end competitors. And M.Gemi says it is able to keep prices lower because it sells and ships direct to customers.
Founded in 2014, M.Gemi, which operates in both Boston and Florence, has partnerships with shoemakers in Italy that have been around for generations and produce “higher quality, better-fitting shoes that will last a lifetime.” Or, as the d-to-c shoe brand puts it, “Made the old way, sold the new way.”
M.Gemi doesn’t do the Monday drop just to keep customers engaged, although that’s certainly part of it.
“We chose Monday because we love starting out the week with something fun,” said president Cheryl Kaplan at the Brandweek: Challenger Brands event last week.
But the footwear company also wanted to put a modern spin on distribution instead of releasing seasonal collections as is custom. The newness keeps clients coming back, and it keeps the workshops busy year-round.
The tactic also provides data.
“By Monday afternoon, we have a reading of how the shoe will do—we have a unique supply chain, so we can go back to the workshop and have more in 30 days or, if it is not working as well, we can change it in the future,” Kaplan said. “We’re not taking as much risk as traditional brands. We don’t have to build out so far in the future.”
That’s thanks to M.Gemi co-founder and namesake Maria Gangemi, who grew up in Sicily and built out the supply chain based on her relationships in Italy’s luxury footwear industry.
But, Kaplan said, it isn’t enough to create a website and fulfill orders—brands also have to invest in building emotional connections, which, for M.Gemi, includes touches like having customer service reps try on each and every shoe and offering free delivery so in-store shoppers don’t have to schlep shoes home.
“A lot of people are seeing it as another high-end luxury touchpoint to not have to carry away boxes,” she said. “Even the box—when you receive a pair of shoes, it has your name on it because it was made for you.”