Luxury at Your Feet
Camilo Ferreira founded the Camilo Martins & Filhos factory in 1941, creating hand-made shoes with the support of a tiny team. Even though those were times of contention and adversity – Europe was living through the Second World War – that man’s stubbornness helped to build one of the most important companies in national footwear, with international projection, owner of the renowned brand Centenário.
Centenário embodies tradition, dedication, commitment, and perseverance. Camilo Ferreira was a man who did not allow himself to be discouraged by the difficult times that Portugal and Europe faced in the 40s. With a small team, he assembled a humble factory, with expertise in the production of male shoes, having a blatantly evident seal of quality. Time went by and the business kept growing with the help of new generations. Headquartered in Oliveira de Azeméis, one of the key areas of the national footwear industry, it exports 90% of its production, targeting particularly the European market. “We have inherited the high-standards. The Centenário brand, focused on the male segment, which already has models conceived for the female target, is the personification of the work we do in our factory, finding the best materials, having a perfect way and creating the right model. As a result, there is beauty and quality,” explains Pedro Ferreira of Centenário, and the third generation working in the factory.
The international success of the Portuguese footwear is materialized by brands and factories such as Centenário and Camilo Martins & Filhos, respectively. The work done throughout the decades is reflected in the demand for the products they manufacture, prompted by markets as important as the Italian. “Doing the golf line ended up catching the attention of the Italian National Golf Team. When we are picked by customers who have at their disposal one of the best in the world, that means we are doing something right,” Pedro Ferreira emphasizes. Each shoe of this brand reflects a dream, reflects beauty, but, above all, reflects the best that there is out there, where one does not need to be an expert in shoemaking to understand what they are seeing. From the touch to the comfort, the brand’s models are the best showcase available.
The consumer is more demanding, the footwear industry is aware of that and tries to address those high standards, in Portugal there is still a strong lack of knowledge about the best that is being done in this context, given that many brands like Centenário are not available on the domestic market. “The strategy was focused on exporting as much as possible. We are a very tiny market and there is no business expression. We are aware that things are changing,” which led the brand to create the site which includes a virtual store.