Fancy a closet of beautiful shoes and accessories? Be swept off your feet with David Oh, chief executive officer of Milagros.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF IVAN LOH|
David Oh, chief executive officer of Milagros, believes his company is one that is focused on delivering exquisite designs and a showcase of “meticulous handiwork” in their niche product offering of footwear, bags and accessories. This has certainly given him and his team the confidence to flex their market muscle and launch into the competitive European market since 2006.
Amidst strong market competition, Oh has managed to break into the region with a traditionally strong shoe culture, a strategically positioned Milagros and its in-house shoe label, Foxtrot, to fit into a segment of the market where buyers are looking for value for money yet “not necessarily looking for made-in-Europe products.” This, coupled with good design and a strong branding, has been a winning combination.
Asked how Milagros first started, Oh deadpans, “When I went shopping with my wife for shoes.” After several unfruitful visits to a number of shops and department stores, an idea attuned to the moment of need was born. Oh knew there was “a market demand for comfortable, fashionable shoes that were easy on the pocket at the same time.” Besides, with a penchant for quality men’s shoes, it was natural for him to take the leap and venture into the shoe trade.
From an inexperienced entrepreneur and a rookie in the shoe trade, Oh has overcome many odds since the initial launch. He recalls the humble beginnings when he “had to make cold calls to factories and wade through unfamiliar territory and even flood waters” before finding the right business partners. Having established his business contacts, he had to learn the ropes on the art of shoe-making. Picking up useful tips in determining ladies shoe sizes, managing an inventory, “designing, pattern making, shipping, tax procedures” amongst others, were all in a day‘s work. Consulting senior shoemakers in resolving technical problems also served to improve the quality of each pair of shoes made. For Oh and his partners, such painstaking efforts simply translated to better aesthetics and overall comfort for shoe wearers.
Today, Oh has successfully marketed his label and distributed it to Europe, Japan and Singapore. Besides the repertoire of shoes that are fitted to fill glamor pages, he has also recently launched his company’s first leather bag collection to complement the shoe line. Looking at his business retrospectively, he says, “I can’t say we have overcome all of the problems we faced initially, but things are a lot more stable now that we have a system in place.” Evidently, there are new challenges with new ventures and as they make waves in Europe, every step is a learning experience.
Taking a peek into the creative minds and working process of Milagros’ in-house design team reveals that there is certainly plenty to learn about the art of shoemaking. A step into the niche shows how trendy materials and accessories inspire designs. As a complement to the design process, the team keeps tabs on upcoming colors and fashion trends and makes necessary improvisations with considerations from works of major designers to bring consumers an exclusive and desirable range of products.
Currently, the 35-year-old entrepreneur is in the midst of entering the Japanese and Korean market where he believes his products will start to develop a strong following for their sleek combination of style and design aesthetics. For starters, Milagros will be launching a collection of bags, sexy stilettoes and towering platforms as well as glamorous evening shoes in light of the upcoming festive season. On his company’s future plans, Oh is confident to grow his business “into an international brand with a presence in global cities.”
As the legendary Marilyn Monroe once said, “I don’t know who invented high heels but all women owe him a lot.” Women, especially fans of style icon, Carrie Bradshaw, a character played by Sarah Jessica Parker in the Sex And The City franchise, could not agree more. From stilettoes, platforms, to ballet flats, Foxtrot of Milagros Private Limited is set to wow with their range of exuberantly sophisticated footwear, bags and accessories in the Spring/Summer 2011 collection.
Check out Milagros www.milagros.com.sg and for further information and stockist details, please log on to www.foxtrotshoes.com