Look in your shoe closet. There's a very good chance a pair of Aldo Shoes sits in them. Or you might have a pair of shoes from one of Aldo Group's brands: Little Burgundy, Call It Spring or GLOBO. I recently visited the head office of the Aldo Group in Montreal, getting a sneak peek into just where the "shoe magic" happens.
Waiting at reception, the office space is gorgeous. It's creative and inspiring, art work and sculptures are scattered throughout the building. Number of staff? 1,300.
First stop, lunch at their full-service cafeteria where we spotted the Mr. Aldo -- the man who founded the brand Aldo Bensadoun. Next to the cafeteria, a Starbucks (dangerous), a convenience store full of snacks and magazines (even more dangerous). Might I add, the staff at Aldo are one fashionable group. I could've snapped countless Girl of the Week's during the lunch hour rush alone.
They're celebrating 40 years at Aldo. Their first best-seller? A pair of clogs. And did you know that Aldo started as a footwear concession inside Le Chateau. I got a sneak peek of a shoe that will be coming out to celebrate the 40 years -- sadly I couldn't take pictures (it's top secret). All I can say is they're sparkly and most definitely a party/celebratory shoe.
The lovely Aldo PR team who gave me a lowdown on the history of the brand and toured me around the office. Thank you Michael, Emma, Gen and Sophie.
Emma showed me her vintage Aldo boots from the early 90's. They're beauties.
Do you remember this 2005 Aldo and YouthAIDS campaign? It's a cause that the brand is particularly passionate about. Aldo has raised over $10 million dollar for AIDS awareness.
Meeting rooms should be inspiring right? Check out one of Sophie's favourite meeting rooms.
This is one of their showrooms, each brand is represented in their own little area. It looks just like an Aldo store.
Here's a sneak preview. These leopard heeled booties will be in Aldo stores in October. Something to look forward to.
Shoes being organized and getting ready to go to stylists and editors in the showroom. Throughout the office were visual presentation rooms for each brand. This is where merchandisers work on the visual presentation you see in stores. I also got a peek at where the design teams work, once again, each brand has its own dedicated space with enormous mood boards propped up against the walls, inspiring them for their next collections SS13.
A look at the design department that works on the website and ad campaigns. We had some interesting conversations around the campaigns around the world. For example, in Dubai, campaigns can't have people in them. So this department comes up with the concepts and adapts them to make sure the campaigns work for each country.
Next up for Aldo? In addition to celebrating its 40-year anniversary, the brand is also working with Madonna on her upcoming "Truth or Dare" collection. A line of flats, heels and boots that will be launched in August at Macy's, Nordstroms, Selfridges, ASOS, The Bay, Little Burgundy and Capezio.