Canvas shoe with a rubber sole used in summer. This is how the Royal Spanish Academy of Language defines sneakers, also known as beach shoes or playeras. Although, many consumers know this type of footwear as Victoria, the name of the century-old Spanish shoe brand. Few companies manage to turn their name into a generic word to designate a type of product. Just as it is not usual to remain generation after generation for more than ten decades in a sector with so much competition.
It began with a love story in a small village in La Rioja. In 1915, Gregorio, a visionary craftsman, had the idea of creating a shoe which he named after his first love, his wife Victoria. It was already in the 1950s when the couple decided to use the recently invented vulcanised method, improving the durability of the union between sole and upper, to make slippers made of 100% cotton canvas – nowadays 100% organic cotton grown in Spain – and natural rubber.
This is how the English model, for which the brand is known, was born. During the 70s and 80s, the Inglesa became the symbol of an entire generation, increasing its sales by 400%, managing to impregnate itself in the popular imagination as a staple of the summer season.
In 2018 they relaunched their iconic English model, reclaiming artisan manufacturing, simple silhouettes and classic materials. Even Barbie herself stepped out of her vertiginous heels to put on a pair of Victoria platform shoes, with which they have gained the loyalty of young women between 15 and 25 years old, expanding their army of fervent followers.
Victoria is committed to recycled materials, with which they began more than 40 years ago, when the scarcity of raw materials meant that they had to make do with rubber from used tyres. The 2021 summer collection has 43 models made from recycled materials such as suede, rubber or cotton.
In addition, since 2017, and thanks to an R+D project, 70% of the soles are made with vegetable oil compounds from soya, instead of minerals, thus making them more biodegradable. In addition, since the beginning of 2020, all packaging has been made from recycled materials. Thus, all the boxes are made from 100% recycled cardboard and are not plasticised to make them more easily recyclable, while the online shipping bags are 70% recycled and reusable.
A successful philosophy born out of a love affair that several firms have wanted to take advantage of with fruitful collaborations, such as those carried out with Calzedonia, Ion Fiz, Dolores Cortés or Leandro Cano, among others.