AC Studio, one of the major design studios for footwear in the Montebelluna region of Italy, has launched its own brand of lifestyle shoes, Teak3, featuring innovative designs and materials selected for their minimal environmental impact. Armando Cietto, who runs the studio, says his brand is also a philosophy, as three euros from the purchase of each pair of shoes will be donated to a charity or a research institute.

Insisting on the “made in Italy” label, the production of the first line has just started in Montebelluna. It will soon be available for purchase on the internet from Teak3's website, where customers will be able to constantly monitor where the money from their donations is going to go.

A basic price of €150 per pair has been set for the shoes due to be offered online, many of which are being individually hand-painted by local artists such as Davide Martinazzo, who held a personal exhibition of the shoes in an art gallery in Miami, Florida, from July 21 to Aug. 7.

Meanwhile, Cietto and his son Andrea, who is running the Teak3 project, are about to finalize distribution agreements for the line in France, Spain, Japan and South Korea. The first one to be implemented is likely to be the contract for the Spanish market, starting in January, which should also foresee the opening of a dedicated store in Valencia.

Cietto says that he is not doing this for the money, but rather to give back to disadvantaged people around the world, where he has found a lot of deprivation in the course of his frequent travels, which are inspiring his designs. With a team of 12 people working for many clients in various countries, his studio is running very well, much better than the shoe industry in general.