Pressing Questions

The Gilt MAN Q&A: Matthew Chevallard of Del Toro

In which we get the lowdown on the young Miami footwear brand and the inspiration behind its signature velvet slippers

A while ago, the velvet slipper was pretty much a fashion anachronism. Now it’s turned into a #menswear must-have, with bloggers drooling over the elegant footwear. The fine folks at Del Toro are partly to thank for that, fueling the lusting with re-blog-worthy Prince Albert slippers in various fabrics, patterns, and customizable options. We reached out to Matthew Chevallard, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Del Toro, to get a bit more insight into the brand, his signature slippers, and the future of the upstart Miami-based company.

Tell us about the inspiration for Del Toro as a brand.
My upbringing plays a huge role in my inspiration for the Del Toro brand. I was born in Italy, grew up in Palm Beach, and attended boarding school in the Northeast. These experiences inspire all of my designs; I fuse together classic Italian elegance with American prep and Japanese/New York streetwear to create a fresh take on the classic silhouettes.

What was the catalyst behind starting with Prince Albert slippers as your flagship product?
It came about through a void and need. I felt there weren’t enough high-end, unique, exclusive shoes for men. There’s also a high price barrier for handmade products, especially in the realm of velvet slippers.

What goes into the creative process when looking to design new iterations of the slipper?
I always look for unique materials to apply to the classic silhouettes. For instance, our 3M (reflective material) and Sunbrella (water repellant material) series. You’ll see a lot of texture, prints, and color for Spring 2013.

Besides the general notion of quality that comes from “Made in Italy”, what sets the Italian materials apart from others?
Italy is known for having luxurious materials and craftsmanship. I take pride in my Italian heritage and producing products that are handmade in Italy from the finest Italian materials. Del Toro has already been expanding their footwear options [because of that].

Where do you see the brand going in 2013?
Del Toro is excited to announce the opening of our first boutique located in The Wynwood Building here in Miami. In 2013, the brand will continue to grow and expand our offerings. We just released our first line of leather goods and will continue to expand in the accessories department. Del Toro is an evolving lifestyle brand and 2013 will be a huge year for us.

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