DIS, the custom-made shoe designed by you
The DIS brand, standing for Design Italian Shoes, allows its wearers to fully customize their own shoes. With their 3D configurator, people are able to decide every aspect of the shoes, from the color to the material, creating over 50 million different possible combinations. Founded by the two Italian brothers Andrea and Francesco Carpineti and Michele Luconi, the brand is already selling in Italy, the US, Russia, Japan and China. Here to speak about the success behind DIS as well as their exciting plans for further innovation (such as launching a mobile app to scan feet), is an interview with the founders of DIS.
Who is a typical DIS wearer?
The DIS customer is a matured man or very well still in his thirties, involved in finance, trading & business or a successful entrepreneur. Educated, wealthy, sophisticated – chic or more casual he is ambitious, follows his own unique path, seeks inspiration, searches a look that sets him apart. He has confidence and knows what he wants - he is a charismatic leader and has an inspiration for others. He is a fast mover - travels the world for business as well as leisure. He operates with high standards, has a distinctive personal style and therefore appreciates craftsmanship and uniqueness. Having an eye for detail and appreciating the Made in Italy mark for unmistakable quality, exquisite fabrics and craftsmanship.
Where are most of your customers based?
DIS is well known in Italy, growing fast in Germany and United Stated and also getting distributed in several premium shops across China, Russia and Japan.
How did the idea come about to create a fully customizable shoe?
DIS was founded in 2013 by Andrea e Francesco Carpineti brothers and Michele Luconi: they realised that were 3 main problems in the footwear industry. The first: every year the retail value for unsold shoes was about 50bn$. The second: there was a lack of tailored footwear shops. The third: 27% customers would have paid more for custom shoes. So they decided to create DIS as the expression of their wish to boost the Italian craftsmanship and to renovate the retail sector through innovative digital solutions. DIS boosts the antique manufacturing process by the use of computer science in order to meet directly all the consumers’ needs: thanks to its state-of-the-art 3D configurator, the customer becomes the real protagonist of the artisanal production process, which is enhanced by the digital personalization. Through the photorealistic renderings developed by the software, the customer can choose his favorite shoe style, customize it in a few clicks and have it handcrafted in Italy, in only 10 days. It’s a real creative process that allows to play with 50 millions combinations of materials, colors, eyelets, laces, lining and sole, even the inscriptions, in order to create the perfect shoes, unique and certified, as unrepeatable as the identity of the person who designed it.
Are there plans to expand into customizing different clothing pieces?
Yes, DIS already offers the chance to customise belts and it’s going to launch the women pump collection soon- stay tuned!
Can you only order shoes that you personalize or are there also ready-to-wear shoes available?
Through the e-commerce website DIS sells products that are fully customisable and made to order in just 10 days. However, DIS also offers ready-to-wear shoes through its affiliate retail stores across Europe and Asia.
As the shoes are completely personalized, is it possible to return them?
As the DIS shoes are fully customizable, DIS only accepts returns in cases of products bearing obvious manufacturing defects. However, it is very rare to encounter these because all products are handcrafted in Italy using premium leathers and materials. In addition, DIS thoroughly inspects each product and only ships items that meet their quality standards. Our products also get carefully packed to ensure they arrive in a perfect shape.
How is it to work together with 3 founders? Is it sometimes difficult to all agree on something?
Each of the 3 founders bring a very specific expertise to the team so it’s very inspiring to work together. Andrea is the one taking care of business strategy, HR and investor relations. Michele brings his tech skills and innovative thinking. Francesco is the product development guru and brings the commercial expertise to deal successfully in markets like Russia, China and Japan.
What has been the biggest struggle in the DIS journey so far?
The main struggle has been to face all logistic and manufacturing challenges in order to deliver to customers top quality customisable products in just 10 days from the date of the order.
What helps you find inspiration for your designs?
DIS believes that the styles of yesterday are shaping those of today. Therefore DIS seeks inspiration in the classic shoe styles by adding a different twist to them: different colors, unconventional patters, fresh prints and new materials for the sartorially inclined modern gentleman.
What can we expect from the DIS brand in the next five years?
On the roadmap we have the launch of the women pump collection, as well as the expansion of the man collection with new styles, the launch of a mobile app to scan feet, the opening of a multichannel and tech-powered retail experience