Why This Premium Filipino Shoe Brand is Surprisingly Affordable
Leather shoes seem to be divided into two classes these days: top-quality leather shoes that are also quite expensive and affordable leather shoes that are easily damaged after a few months. Why can't there be something in between? That's exactly what Altina Baltazar thought of when she founded Balthazar.
Balthazar was conceived because of the need for premium leather shoes that are well-made, elegant, and, most of all, affordable. To make this happen, she had to work her business model very precisely to keep prices low.
By working directly with the factories and selling online, Balthazar is able to reduce fixed costs and save on rental fees that typical brick-and-mortar shops pass on to customers. Not maintaining a physical shop has been the key to maintaining competitive prices while producing premium products.
“We really don’t plan to open a physical shop, because that’s when expenses come in. We just choose to pass these savings to our customers by providing affordable, well-designed shoes, without compromising quality,” says Altina.
“At Balthazar, we put great value on long-term relationships with our customers, suppliers, and employees,” she says. Whenever someone makes a purchase, the company executives themselves try to call the customers a week later, just to make sure that they are happy. “So far, no one has complained about our products’ quality, they are all very happy,” she adds.
According to Altina, the company also takes extra care in working with factories that share the company’s values and high standards. “From designing and selecting colors and materials to testing our products, we always work closely with our partners in every stage of the process to ensure that the final product is commendable.”
Built for comfort and durability, Balthazar shoes are carefully crafted using imported full-grain calf leather. This is considered the highest grade of leather because it is extremely strong, breathable, and does not absorb moisture from persistent wear. As it ages, it also reveals a beautiful patina, which imparts character and personality to the shoe.
The shoes are also designed for functionality. When Balthazar’s designers were thinking of how to make dress shoes more functional, they remembered the most dapper gentleman in film history: James Bond. Among 007’s most important style essentials are his elegant yet functional pair of shoes. The studded rubber soles, which provide mobility and flexibility, in the Alexander Oxford shoes are similar to James Bond’s.
Balthazar Shoes Collection
Currently, Balthazar has 10 different styles, all of which are clean, elegant, and unfussy. Each pair is hand-cut and hand-stitched and have cushioned insoles for superior comfort. Here are some of them.