A cool blend of contemporary & retro culture

Shoes Life: An interview with ‘Cammino’ shoe designer Katrina Verso

Melbourne Mum and shoe designer Katrina Verso has come up with the perfect name for her footwear: Cammino.

In Italian, the word means ‘to walk’, though these shoes are so comfy you might find yourself sleeping in them!

In the town of Fermo, Italy, a family of third generation shoemakers work to create 22 pairs of Camminos a day – each cut and sewn by hand. The brand’s emphasis is on slow and sustainable methods while producing in small quantities.

Oh and each pair of shoes is made from the finest of leathers and suedes, and come in a selection of bright colours and bold prints.

Cream chats with Katrina about the art of creating quality footwear, and just where a trusty pair of Camminos will take you throughout the day.

Hi Katrina. The word ‘Cammino’ means “to walk” in Italian. Do you have a little Italian heritage yourself?

I would love to say yes but it’s not the case. I’ve just spent a lot of time traveling in Europe – particularly in Italy – and have grown to love the quality of workmanship that comes from the country. I absolutely love their culture and passion for life.

What is it about the pairing of quality footwear and European styling that has stood the test of time? Your shoes are made in Le Marche, Italy. Why did you pick this region to manufacture your footwear?

When I started the global search for a manufacturer, it didn’t take long to narrow my sights on Europe. I recalled buying a couple of pairs of ballet flats from a cobbler in Rome during my honeymoon. I still have those shoes. Their quality was second-to-none. Before Cammino, that is. So, this memory lead me to research shoe-making in Italy and I discovered Le Marche. It’s the region in which modern shoe-making was practically invented. Also known as ‘The Shoe Valley’ it’s a hub of innovation but also boasts centuries of shoe-making tradition passed down. Basically, it’s the region where some of the world’s best shoe brands are made.

Who are some of your favourite shoe designers?

I have many but one that I really look up to is Tamara Mellon. Her story of starting Jimmy Choo was quite inspirational to me. Her shoes are also made in the same region.  Now I’m loving her new label, Tamara Mellon.

Cammino have a very comfy look and feel to them; especially the ballet style of shoe. Coming out of a long Covid lockdown, where we’ve gotten a little too cosy in our activewear, would you say Cammino shoes are an ideal asset for stepping out?

Absolutely, and for so many reasons. They are quick to slip on when you’re in a hurry to race out of the door. And they have the added bonus of being super-comfy and looking great! But if you’re in a corporate environment wishing to wear heels, they are also foldable to pop in your bag for that quick change during the day.

“I recalled buying a couple of pairs of ballet flats from a cobbler in Rome during my honeymoon. I still have those shoes. Their quality was second-to-none. Before Cammino, that is.”

Being a busy Mum, where does a pair of Cammino shoes take you in one day?

As I write this, Melbournians are back in Stage 3 restrictions and nearing Stage 4. Since we entered our lockdown, my day usually begins between 5 and 6am, answer some emails over a coffee and get my first social media posts up. My gorgeous munchkins keep me busy and super active. We try to get out in the morning to do some riding and walking. And I sometimes take them to a football oval where we chase balls and each other. I’m really firm on keeping fit – mainly so I can keep up with the kids – so I squeeze in a live HIIT class via Zoom every day. So, a lot of activity.

Cammino also make luxury sneakers, which I believe you had a Kickstarter campaign raise funds for – over $18,000 at last count. Will the end result look like the prototype design in the campaign?

Absolutely. We’re just waiting for funds to be cleared by Kickstarter and then our factory will launch into production of the shoes showcased. We have five gorgeous designs to launch with, all made by hand from a selection of gorgeous soft leather and suedes. Think bright bold colours, glitters and prints. Shoes that can be the statement piece of an outfit.

One final question: if you were to change the lyrics in the classic Nancy Sinatra song, what would your last line read?

“These shoes are made for walking, and that’s just what they do, one of these days these shoes… will spark endless joy for you.”

For stockists and information visit www.cammino.com.au or their Facebook page and Instagram.

WIN A COMFY PAIR OF CAMMINO BALLET FLATS!

Cream has two pairs of Cammino ballet flats to give away. To try winning a pair, email your name and the subject heading ‘Cammino’ to cream@pobox.com no later than 5pm AWST, Wednesday 19th August. To be in the running to win, please be sure you’ve Like Cammino’s Facebook page here.

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