What’s the story behind Duca del Cosma?
The brand was established in 2007 by a German lady called Antje Elle and an Italian man called Baldovino Mattiazzo.
They both loved playing golf and had always dreamt of establishing a golf footwear brand that could be worn on and off the golf course.
They won 14 design and innovation awards within the first three or four years of trading. Their designs were just so different to everything else on the market.
Unfortunately, they had some financial difficulties and they went out of business in 2016.
That’s when Frank Van Wezel, the man behind Hi-Tec, offered to buy the brand. He had always admired Duca from afar.
What makes the shoes so different?
I think the main things are the designs and the colours we use.
There doesn’t seem to be another brand on the market that makes their shoes so wearable on and off the course or that uses leathers in the way that we do.
The reaction from the retailers has been fantastic, they are saying it’s almost like a breath of fresh air.
You tend to get lots of blacks and whites in golf shoes but not so many other colours like you do in ours.
We have two collections. The Golf Active is our more technical range, and the Lifestyle is more suitable for when you are going out to bars or restaurants.
The leathers are very soft to touch, while the high quality ensures they don’t wear to quickly.
Are they aimed at the fashion-conscious golfer?
They are definitely aimed at people who are interested in looking good on the course. They are for that person who wants to stand out from the crowd.
But they are also extremely comfortable, which is key when you are playing 9, 18 or 27 holes.
It depends what the rules are at your club, but the idea is that they can be worn after a round with a pair of jeans or a skirt, but they will also go with your golf clothes.
Our target audience are probably 30-50 years old. The shoes retail at £180 upwards, so the quality makes them a bit more on the expensive side but the bright designs makes them a bit more youthful.
Is it true that the owner has included his email in every shoe box?
Yes it is! There is a note on the inside which includes Frank’s email address and a personal message that explains his passion for golf and sport. That genuinely is his email address, it’s the same one that I have for him and I think it’s a very nice touch.
Even though he is in his 70s now he still plays golf and tennis and travels a lot around the world. He puts a lot of passion into the brand.
What are the brand’s core values?
Fun, exciting and competitive, which if you know Frank, is a key part of his personality.
Even though the shoes are great to look at they still perform brilliantly. If you get Frank on the course or the tennis court he will do anything to stop you from winning!
What or who inspires the designs?
The designs are still led by Baldovino, who is a really outgoing Italian guy. When he walks into a room you really know he’s there.
But Frank has made sure that his own DNA is incorporated into the brand as well.
We brief in ideas from different countries, then Baldovino will go to factories and see how those ideas can be made practically.
His whole thought process revolves around how his shoes that can be worn on and off the course.
Which colours and trends in this collection?
For the ladies, we have used a lot of creams, golds and silvers. There is one shoe called the Olba that is 100 per cent gold and that has caused a bit of a stir. They do look good and certainly add a bit of bling to the golf course. It’s one of the designs that has sold the best.
Where can our readers buy your shoes?
Predominantly pro shops but also resorts. We trialled the AW17 collection in three pro shops, then for SS18 we have gone into 50. We have only been operating for about a year so it’s still very early days.
People have got into the spirit of things though. When they got their products through at Cotswold Hills they were playing Italian music and serving their members Italian antipasti, it was hilarious. My agent just phoned me up and said ‘listen to this!’
Why did you decide to support our This Girl Golfs campaign?
We are really pleased to be involved with it.
We have a large ladies offering that is quite different and we thought that the This Girl Golfs campaign matches up with what we are trying to do.
What are your plans going forward?
We will continue to do two collections a year. AW18 is being presold into retailers at the moment.
For this we have winterised the shoes, used dark colours and included some boots as well. For AW17 we launched some golf boots and as you don’t see too many of those on the market it attracted quite a lot of attention.
From the Midlands upwards people will buy golf boots but if you go south from there nobody has ever worn any in their life!
Or more information visit www.ducadelcosma.com
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