In many countries across the globe the brand Saphir is immediately recognised for high quality shoe care and associated with the professional usage when it comes to shoe shining.
Still certain parts of the world don’t make this association automatically and Saphir, despite being an established brand for over a century, is still a new brand to discover for many.
That was the case until recently in Chile.
AN OPEN FIELD FULL OF OPPORTUNITIES
Chile is famous for many things like wine, beautiful landscapes or the copper industry among many others. Still so far shoe care and leather care are nothing that comes to mind automatically when thinking of Chile.
Even in shoe stores shoe care is not greatly advertised or explained and shoe and leather care are not an integral part of Chilean culture.
Today the members of Taller Sartorial, Saphir's official distributor in Chile, are carrying out the first steps to succeed in educating their people regarding the care of leather and footwear. With this objective in mind, they organised the first "Chilean National Shoe Shining Championship", held on Sunday, December 4th 2022, within the framework of the "La Guingette" fair.
"La Guingette" was a family-oriented fair organised by French people living in Chile who had (and continue to have) the concern to promote French culture in Chile, and with Saphir being a brand that is not only French, but represents an important aspect of French culture, it made sense that Taller Sartorial took part with a stand and a shoe shine competition.
CHILEAN SHOE SHINE CHAMPIONSHIP
The first phase of the tournament was an online pre-qualification where the contestants had to send in images of their best polish and mirror shines. From all the e-mails received, only 3 finalists were selected, Claudio Villegas Macias, Fabrizio Alvarez and David Diaz.
The polishing had to be a complete and functional care, complete in the sense that the participants had to start the preparation of the shoe with a pommadier cream, and functional since mirror shine would not be accepted outside the toe and heel of the shoe. On the other hand, both shoes had to have the same colour shade, and with a similar shine.
The competition began on Sunday, December 4th at 6 p.m., with more than 80 spectators, including French and Chileans. The competitors had 30 minutes to polish a pair of shoes, for which they would have Saphir Médaille d’Or products, provided by Taller Sartorial. The finalists would have available, a Pommadier Cream 1925, a Pate de Luxe, a Mirror Gloss, a Polishing Cloth and a Horsehair Brush. In addition they could choose both for the Pommadier Cream and for the Pate de Luxe between 3 colours, light brown, medium brown and cognac.
The course of the competition was commentated by Javier Perez, an employee of Taller Sartorial, who explained to the audience the use of the products, how to achieve a mirror shine, the steps to be followed, and on the other hand, made the competitors participate with the microphone, asking them where they were in the process.
At the end of the intense competition, Taller Sartorial partners Manuel Rogers, Tomás Rogers and Félix Ruiz, took the role of judges, crowning Claudio Villegas Macías as the champion of the first version of this competition in Chile.
To conclude we can point out that, in no case is it a weakness for this type of industry that in Chile there is not a deep-rooted culture of leather and footwear care, but on the contrary, this shows that in Chile there is fertile ground to expand it. Being something new, everything that is done in this field is something disruptive and interesting, and these characteristics are attractive to Chileans, which is why the "National Shoe Shine Championship" was so well received by the audience that attended, and why "Saphir", with the help of Taller Sartorial, has had a prosperous start, Chile is a field ready to plant a vineyard.