The brand’s name is Romanian for “little shoes”. And it tells you more about the brand than you realize. It shows the core of the company, which has been and will always be revolving around shoes. Papucei is a word you would use when you care for a pair of shoes dearly and you can’t just name them “shoes”. Also, it’s a regional word, used mostly in the north-east of Romania, a region known for its long tradition in shoe manufacturing and the place where Papucei was established.
Right after the Revolution and marked by new beginnings, 1990 was the year our designer set the foundation of the shoe factory Angela. That fall, Dan and Angela Vasiliu, still in their 20’s, got excited and opened their own little factory. They started working together with their 3 employees, side by side. Unknown, but with products of good quality and new design, the company started selling Angela shoes all over the country, soon becoming a well-established producer in the Romanian market.
Years passed, and in 2006 the company opened an online store. It was probably the first online shoe store in Romania, it was unexpectedly successful and its name was Papucei.ro. That’s the year Angela International became Papucei. Same time period, but an older desire was coming to life. The company started presenting its collections outside the country borders, first in Milan and soon after in Paris, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam and many other international fairs. Nowadays, Papucei can be found in the wardrobe of women all over the world, from Italy to Japan, from Canada to Australia.
Counting 60 skilled workers, 3 ingenious engineers and 1 gifted designer, you will get the Papucei factory, located in Iasi, Romania. Iasi is a well-known city in the shoes industry. Here you will find the only University in the country preparing students for leather goods manufacturing, ever since 1934. It wasn’t too hard for us to find some of the best specialists in the country and have them working at Papucei. Good quality materials are key, so each season we search to find the best suppliers. We take the materials and use them in unconventional ways, we transform and refine them, and we end up with products that are hard to believe.
A lifetime dedicated to manufacturing and inimitable design. Angela Vasiliu graduated from the Technical Faculty of Textile and Leather Goods, the only Romanian faculty in the field, right in her hometown, Iasi. She spent a few years working in two state factories as an engineer and designer, but after the Revolution, she slowly started laying the foundation of her own company. It took will and skill, but soon she managed to get the mechanism working. All her designs were one of a kind, different both in shape, colour combinations and leathers used. Her creative ideas continue to amaze us in Papucei’s current collections which are full of them.