This new Portuguese brand of fashion shoes for young women has already managed to sell some 200,000 pairs for its first collection, developed for spring/summer 2010, and to book pre-orders for 165,000 pairs for the fall/winter season. The brand has been picked by more than 400 retailers who run 1,000 stores in many countries all over Europe, with the notable exception of Germany, and about 150 others more have been won over for the fall/winter 2010-11 line.

The instant success of Red Hot can be partly attributed to the beauty of the line, created by four young designers, and by the reasonable prices and the interesting margins and conditions offered to retailers. They can place minimum orders of only €1,000 per season.

It is also certainly the result of considerable investments in marketing and merchandising made to establish the brand, especially in Portugal, through advertisements in the local edition of Vogue and through ?Red Hot parties? staged in discos throughout the country this past summer.

Another important factor has been the support of Planitoi, a Portuguese company that has marketed the famous Beppi brand of casual and sports shoes for 19 years, targeting mainly babies, kids and young people between the ages of 15 and 24. It has been selling more than 5 million pairs of Beppi shoes per year, partly through its own and partner stores and shop-in-shops in about 30 different countries including Spain, France, China and the Middle East.

Red Hot is the creation of Nuno Maia, a cosmopolitan 38-year-old executive who has worked at Planitoi for 10 years. He is the son of Jorge Maia, who founded Planitoi in 1981, initially to manufacture toys.

While Beppi is a Portuguese brand, 90 percent of the production takes place in Asia. Some of the styles in the more fashionable Red Hot collection are made in Portugal, at factories outside the group, but others are made in India or China.

One-quarter of the Red Hot collection shown at the Micam fair in Milan last March consisted of leather shoes, 15 percent was synthetic and the balance was made with other materials.