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New Generation: Catarina Teixeira Pinto

Catarina Teixeira Pinto, Haggua

Lawyer, with an academic background in Law, and journalist (in Radio, TV and newspaper) with expertise in Politics. It was her decision to leave journalism to go into the business world, where she coordinated the Marketing and Communications Department. Catarina Teixeira Pinto curriculum is long, from law to communication. Catarina recently created a footwear brand that combines elegance and comfort. Let’s get to know more about Haggua.

Why did you start this project? Was the footwear sector a natural choice?
Was a natural choice as it came from a great passion for footwear. I felt this was the moment to fulfill my will of creating an innovative brand with a unique concept in the world. A concept that combined footwear and jewelry, two fields of reference in Portugal with an increasing potential. From the specialized factories to the skilled workforce, Portugal has great potential. It was a combination of great will and determination with a professional experience that got me the ability of managing the whole project (not only the brand but the company behind it).

How does Haggua distinguish itself?
Haggua is a luxury brand with a legally protected and unique concept worldwide, that brings together footwear and jewelry through a magnetic component developed and tested by the brand. The concept is the investment in timeless models, in which the differentiation are the details of our ornaments’ collection.
A compromise between timeless and contemporary, elegance and boldness.
We don’t want to be the greatest, we want to be the best.
Haggua represents a different concept, not only at the production level but also on the delivery aspect of it. We also wanted to innovate in packaging. The shoes arrive to the customers in a box lined with black velvet and a metallic support to secure and display the ornaments – just like a jewelry box.
Haggua is not just a brand, not even just a concept. It is ultimately a sophisticated experience from the combination of the two fascinating sectors of footwear and jewelry.

Why the connection between jewelry (the ornaments) and footwear?
I wanted to bring together both worlds, always with the proposition of creating a different concept. However, just combining these two fields wouldn’t be enough to start this project. We worked to get to a more sophisticated form than the existing ones, in which the ornaments are glued, sewed or even have clips.
The biggest challenged demanded several researches on worldwide data bases to get to a magnetic component developed by the brand, which is invisible and is not felt, therefore doesn’t affect the shoes’ comfort. This way, it’s possible to change the ornaments and invest nor only in the versatility of each model but also in sustainability, since it’s possible to create numerous distinct combinations with only one pair of shoes, therefore reducing the consumption on behalf of a safe investment in quality and versatility. The ornaments are limited and can transform the shoes according to each occasion. Right now, we have 17 ornaments for 12 models.
We invested in timeless footwear models that go well in every occasion, every season, for both day and night. The ornaments make the difference and adapt themselves to the occasions. The brand also provides the option of purchasing the ornaments separately, as accessories.
One essence, multiple combinations. We don’t want to just make footwear with jewelry, we want to make footwear like we make jewelry.

What changes do you believe will happen in the footwear industry in the coming years?
Precisely 25 years ago, Michael Porter, a reference in Management and Professor at Harvard, drafted a model of the competitive advantages of the Portuguese economy. He came to a conclusion of a selection of clusters in which Portugal should invest to establish itself in the international markets. Among those, the footwear occupied a prominent position.
25 years later, the transformation within the footwear sector is undeniable, namely through the supply differentiation and the search for new market niches, the sharp increase of brands with their own design or concept, the increase of quality and skilled workforce.
For the success in the ever-changing international markets there are some critical aspects, such as product’s innovation, a strong connection with technological advances and the establishment of added value partnerships. Besides, there are also, of course, the attention to new distribution circuits, such as the digital channels.
I believe the most relevant change will maybe be the shift of focus from the product to the client, which involves the creations of new concepts and new trends that will become fashionable.

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