5 Mins With… Matthew Chevallard
Matthew Chevallard is the creative force behind luxury footwear brand Del Toro. The brand has been known in the marketplace as a high tier quality company with model offerings such as slippers, boat shoes, espadrilles, wingtips and more. With recently coming off a collaboration with Street Etiquette, Chevallard and the brand provide some insight of what’s to come for later this year in our latest “5 Mins With” feature.
SLAMXHYPE / Name?
Matthew Chevallard / Matthew Chevallard. Owner/CEO/Creative Director of Del Toro Shoes.
SLAMXHYPE / Location?
MC / Miami, Florida
SLAMXHYPE / What’s behind the name Del Toro?
MC / It represents myself and where I come from and what the brand stands for. Del Toro means a fan of Torino Calcio which is the soccer team my father and I have cheered for ever since I was a child. It represents my hometown of Torino and our heritage as a brand, Made in Italy yet infused with American Prep and Sneakerhead culture.
SLAMXHYPE / You were pretty young when you started the company. What was your overall vision and what problems have you run into during the journey to now?
MC / I founded it with two friends but took it over three years ago from them and changed the vision significantly. Our original business model was bespoke velvet slippers and it has evolved enormously ever since. To think we had one style shoe and color to start and now close to 50 different products of shoes and belts is still shocking to me but shows where and how we are evolving. My vision now is developing Del Toro as a full fledged luxury lifestyle brand.
SLAMXHYPE / What’s been one of the most defining moments since the brand’s inception?
MC / Just all the overall positive momentum we are riding on now. It is such a great feeling to always have meetings that result in positive things and move us in the right direction. It especially feels good considering the amount of doors that would slam in my face before and the ridiculing I faced when people dubbed my shoe as a Hugh Hefner want-to-be shoe with zero place in the marketplace. But really seeing the brand in public and just hearing people recognize the brand is unbelievably rewarding.
SLAMXHYPE / What are you influenced by?
MC / I am influenced by my upbringing and what I have experienced in life in being born and growing up in Italy, living in Palm Beach, going to boarding school outside of Boston and Princeton and going to college in Athens, Georgia and Miami, Florida. I characterize my influence as striving to be unique, yet classic and timeless at the same time. All art forms are inspiring but above all else individuality is a driving force.
SLAMXHYPE / Talk about some of the silhouettes available.
MC / In striving to become a lifestyle brand I want to offer every imaginable scenario of footwear for the modern, stylish gentleman and woman. That ranges from our velvet slipper to our driving shoe to our espadrille to our sneakers and wingtips. It’s casual wear made with thorough attention to detail and high craftsmanship all the while maintaining it as accessible.
SLAMXHYPE / Take us through the custom process and how are you able to keep the custom process so affordable?
MC / Our bespoke program allows individuals to realize their style to the furthest way possible. The Prince Albert Slipper silhouette is an amazing shoe that functions as a canvas for anybody to express themselves through an extensive color palette or their family crest and or their favorite motif or monogram. Our whole intent is to keep Bespoke hand made in Italy shoes and offer them to the people. We always intend to offer this as a value add to our current offerings but definitely prefer for people to order our current collections since patience is key, shoe making is an art and a lot of people do not appreciate it enough.
SLAMXHYPE / What’s next for the Del Toro brand in 2012?
MC / Adding more and more silhouettes and products to our stable to allow people to live the Del Toro lifestyle head to toe. Growing our women’s offerings and releasing our children collection too. Also allowing people to feel and see the products in real life is a strong objective so increasing our distribution in a very selective fashion.
SLAMXHYPE / Last words?
MC / Viva Del Toro, the sole suppliers.