Up-and-coming designer, Mónica Amaral designs sophisticated footwear for determined women. Named after the Portuguese city of Braga, formerly known as Bracara Augusta, these beautiful pieces are handcrafted locally in Portugal – designed to stand the test of time and to be cherished for generations to come.
How did the idea for Augustha come about?
The idea came from the immense passion that I have for footwear. I have several dozen pairs of shoes and I find myself unable to throw any out, even though some of them are far too old. I see shoes as masterpieces and so after two years of thinking about it, I finally decided to create my own footwear brand.
When was the brand launched?
Augustha is a very new brand, only being on the market since early September 2018. It was launched through a feature in one of the most renowned fashion magazines, Vogue Portugal. The printed magazine has an illustrative image of the brand on a full page spread. There is also an article on the Vogue Portugal website talking about the brand.
How did you come up with the name Augustha for the brand?
I graduated in Economics and got my Master’s degree in Marketing and Strategy, both from The University of Minho, in Braga. I come from Viana do Castelo, which is relatively far from Braga, so I moved to the city whilst I was studying there.
The city of Braga is wonderful, and I found myself becoming enchanted by it. I was determined to never lose that connection to Braga even after I finished my studies. So, I combined my long-time fascination with shoes, my dream to start a business related to footwear, and my love for the city of Braga whose previous name was Bracara Augusta. Hence, the name Augustha emerged. The name is delicate and reminds me of something belonging to royalty.
Where are the shoes manufactured?
The shoes are produced in a small factory in Oliveira de Azeméis. They are handmade with the best raw materials used throughout the whole manufacturing process.
What materials are the shoes made from?
The shoes are all made of leather, including the sole. The Augustha logo is crafted into the sole using metal and then gold-plated.
How much does a pair of Augustha shoes cost?
Prices vary between 475 and 595 euros.
Do you have any plans to add more pieces to your current catalogue?
Our main goal at the moment is to gain some notoriety and solidity as a brand. Once we have achieved this, then we’ll begin adding more pieces to our catalogue.
Are you thinking of expanding to other products, or are you going to stay with footwear?
At the moment, our main focus is footwear. However, in the future, we would love to extend the collection to include bags and accessories. This will only happen once the brand is consolidated and has a good level of recognition from our target market. We want to maintain an aura of glamour, youthfulness and irreverence.
What is your most requested piece?
As it’s still early days, we can’t yet tell which piece will be the best seller. However, when I worked with influencers to promote the products, the piece that was requested the most was the Marilyn Pump.
Who is your customer demographic?
Augustha's target market are women between the ages of 20 and 40 who are elegant, urban and determined. We are aiming to reach countries where the purchasing power is greatest, since we are working in the luxury sector.
What is Augustha’s marketing strategy?
Over the next 3 to 6 months, I would like to start appearing on luxury e-commerce platforms such as Mytheresa and Net-a-Porter. Being present on these platforms would be great as it would place Augustha alongside other global luxury brands. I believe we will get there once we start working on our digital presence. At the moment, our presence on social media platforms is weak, so by doing the work there and utilising SEO-optimised content, it will be easier to spark the interest of these larger platforms.
Along with having a presence on luxury online platforms, it is also important for us to try to enter the physical luxury fashion stores, such as Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. We think it is extremely important to follow in the footsteps of the world's biggest brands. Appearing next to these brands will be like a seal of approval for Augustha.
What are your future plans for Augustha, and do you plan to sell Augustha in physical stores?
Augustha has an online store but our short-term goal is to have our products featured and sold on other major online luxury fashion platforms.
As a long-term goal we hope to have our products stocked in several physical stores worldwide.