A LUXURY shoe brand that has for many years focused on a more mature market, A. Testoni is now turning towards younger customers. 'Our shoes were previously for men over 40 but we are on the way to diversifying our products to reach more young customers,' said Teresa To, the product manager. In addition to its main line of classic styles, A. Testoni has a line called Alessandro Fini, which is targeted towards men of 30 and above. And, since last year, it has had a more European-style collection. 'We developed this line because our customers are getting younger and this is the trend we are going to focus on,' Ms To said. It is characterised by more youthful and simple designs, which are less sophisticated than the Classic line. There is a stronger presence of lace-ups in this line and the company has also started to add accessories such as buckles with the A. Testoni logo for a more interesting look. 'They are not big or prominent and we try to use them on the shoes in a subtle way,' Ms To said. Cognac and burgundy are dominant colours. 'Younger people now prefer lighter colours rather than just black,' Ms To said. 'We price this line between $3,500 and $4,000 to make it more attractive to younger customers.' She said buyers would enjoy the same quality and workmanship that typified the Classic range. All the shoes were handmade in 168 stages, compared to about 20 steps that were involved in making most other shoes. A. Testoni's trademark is a traditional Italian method of shoe construction called a sacchetto. 'This originated in 13th-century Italy and A. Testoni is the only shoe manufacturer to use it,' Ms To said. In the latest spring/summer collection, most of the shoes are crafted from calfskin, with ostrich or crocodile skin in the Classic line and patent leather for evening wear. Sometimes other materials, such as caribou or nubuck, are used in small touches to enhance the design. 'One important reason why the shoes are worth between $4,000 and $5,000 is the craftsmanship. We use detailed finishing with different mixes of leather for each pair of shoes,' Ms To said. Apart from the smooth, natural finish, an antique look is available. 'With a natural finish, the colour is cognac. It is quite light and fresh but, with its antique finishing, the look will be more brushed,' Ms To said. The textured effect makes it look more sturdy and masculine. Fashion trends this season are dictating a move towards more relaxed and casual shoes for daily use. To cater to this need, A. Testoni has its Dinamico range for leisure wear. 'We have quite a lot of summer colours, such as white, beige and light blue, so it really is a seasonal collection,' Ms To said. Slip-on styles predominate with most of the shoes in this range made of caribou skin. Some are of calfskin. 'Because this is more a fashion collection, we use a little bit of nubuck material just as a highlight for the season,' Ms To said. A. Testoni's brand of nubuck is termed silk calf, which has a softer and smoother surface than nubuck. Soles in the Dinamico range are made of rubelite, a natural raw material said to be seven times stronger and three times lighter than rubber. Prices for shoes in this line are cheaper, at about $2,000 to $3,000. The A. Testoni label also graces a variety of other accessories, such as bags and luggage. 'We have briefcases, travel bags and attache cases in brighter colours for the summer season,' Ms To said. The latest colour scheme is a two-tone combination of light green and coffee-coloured caribou that is designed to match the colours in the Dinamico range. 'But if you match this group of bags with our dressy shoes, it will still look good,' Ms To said. She said ties were updated and younger looking this season, in line with A. Testoni's new marketing strategy. 'The patterns are more lively and graphic than traditional patterns. For example, we have a motif of small mushrooms and another featuring yachts,' Ms To said. Leather jackets and cardigans complete the line up from A. Testoni.