In Romanian, Papucei means "Little Shoes", an endearing name for the brand's core product. Founded and established in Romania, Papuei represents the independent spirit. The styles embody originality, extravagance and comfort.
The brand's history and that of Romania's is deeply intertwined. Founded shortly after the communist revolution, Angela Vasiliu, the brands designer, and her husband opened their small shoe factory in Lasi, North Romania. With only 3 employees they began producing high quality shoes with an edgy new design. The brand took off, selling shoes throughout the country. In 2006 they founded an online store, one of the first local Romanian brands with e-commerce in the Romanian Market. Papucei continues to grow at an exponential rate throughout Romania and since it's founding and has expanded to a team of over 60. Their distribution has expanded to Italy, Japan, Canada, The US and Australia.
The town of Lasi where Papucei is based is a small town, populated primarily by the brand's factory and the University of Romania, focused on the design and manufacturing of small leather goods. The designer collaborates often with the University, educating students, teaching classes and leading seminars, bringing focus and real world experience to the students and giving back to the community.
Unusual structured leathers and embellishments characterize Angela's designs, using materials in unconventional ways to transform and refine them. Her designs are often inspired by classical Romanian architecture, primarily their painted churches. The styles are finished with a hand painted accent, adding a breath of individuality and art to each shoe.