Whenever Juliette de Vries visits the Italian factory where her creations – the Feraggio pumps – are made, she’s welcomed like a long-lost friend. The local craftsmen are proudly manufacturing her Feraggio shoes; they’re handmade with the highest-quality suede.

“It’s a small factory with eight workstations and real old-school craftsmen who’ve been making shoes all their lives. I’m not their biggest customer – far from it – but they’re so enthusiastic when they see me!”

“Normally, the leather is cut by laser but for our shoes they do everything by hand as they want to inspect every single piece. All the other brands, including the very expensive ones, have glued insoles. Our shoes have insoles that are neatly stitched on a base layer of suede. These men really love making our product.”

Pump made of suede

The Feraggio is a shoe that took two years of research to produce. Juliette de Vries had a mission: developing an elegant pump that enabled women to walk and stand much longer without any pain. Such a shoe didn’t exist. She knew this from her own experience and from talking to hundreds of women who worked for her previous company, promotion and hostess agency Promotion Partners.

Juliette: “When we were developing the perfect pump, comfort was priority number one. That was the starting point for building an elegant and sexy shoe. We needed to solve the most important issue: the pain women experience when walking on heels. This pain is caused by bad blood circulation due to pressure on the ball of the foot. That’s why our insoles are fitted with memory foam: it springs back into position and makes the blood flow again.”

Size 35 to 42

The long research period and brainstorm sessions with famous Dutch shoe designer Jan Jansen eventually resulted in the Feraggio shoe: a timeless suede pump in one model with two different heel heights (3 and 4 inches), available in EU size 35 to 42 (US: 4 to 9, UK: 3 to 8), including all half sizes. They come in 24 colours with great names like Tangerine Orange, Blue Jeans Blue and Lemon Yellow and less prominent hues like Deep Black, Wet Sand, Midnight Blue and (brides-to-be, take note!) Whisper White.

‘I’ve got quite a few designer high heels but I usually reach for my Feraggios’

Perfecte pump Feraggio

The perfect pump. PHOTO: ROB KUYPER

“I could mention a truckload of advantages our design offers but the proof of the pudding is in the eating: you need to put them on. We love it when women visiting our showroom are totally surprised when they try on a Feraggio: ‘Wow! These shoes are so comfortable!’”

Smart details

Lawyer Petra Willems is someone who needs to look representative for work. She bought her first pair of Feraggios at Pauw, a shoe store that’s the only point of sale (apart from the Feraggio web shop and showroom). When she tried to peel off the price sticker the beautiful black box got damaged. She decided to write a short email.

Petra: “In no time I received a reply and they sent me a new box. That’s what I call service! At first I was drawn to the Feraggio because of its timeless design. It covers your foot a little bit more and the point of the shoe is a tad longer, making your feet look better. Plus, these shoes retain their beauty. They’ve got a few smart details such as a metal tip under the point of the outer sole preventing damage. I think they’re definitely worth their 365 euro price tag. The pumps are delivered in a handy box with a complete care kit including brushes, sprays, and spare tips and heels.”

‘We still dream of Queen Máxima wearing our shoes’

“I’ve got quite a few designer high heels but I usually reach for my Feraggios. High or low, depending on how much I’ll need to walk that day. Maybe I’m a sucker for design but I would’ve never bought five pairs if the fit wasn’t absolutely perfect! I’ve got them in black, taupe, grey, green and pink. The Army Green is still on my wish list!”

Special editions: leopard and crushed velvet

Apart from customers in the business world Juliette also has fans among well-known Dutch TV personalities. Juliette: “The stylists love us because of all those colours we offer! Pretty soon we’ll have special editions in leopard, crushed velvet and pony hair with a cow print. And for this summer I’ll probably come up with a canvas-like pump in a BB checked print and Breton stripes. We get quite a bit of exposure in the media but we still dream of Queen Máxima wearing our shoes. Such an elegant lady walking around in shoes that hurt all day during Koningsdag, isn’t that a bloody shame? After all, it’s not for nothing that I came up with shoes in two different hues of orange!”

A trip to royal residence Villa Eikenhorst is not yet on the cards but the Feraggio team visits companies for special fitting events. “We create a nice atmosphere with food and drinks. We bring all different sizes in black and a display with the available colours. Everyone can take their time to try them on. We guarantee that the orders they place will be delivered the next day. Personal contact with our customers, a small team and short lines, that’s typical Feraggio style!”

Feraggio pumps are available via www.feraggio.com and in all Pauw shoe stores. 

The warehouse at Amstelkade 17 in Amstelveen / Ouderkerk aan de Amstel is open for fittings on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am till noon. Do you want Feraggio to visit your company? Send an email to juliette@feraggio.com to make an appointment.