TOOCHE, the future of Russian valenki

by Alisa Voitika , 13 April 2017

In our Brand Profile Series, we take a close look at surging brands across the world. From Art Nouveau architecture to colourful graffiti, Riga’s artistic vibe is striking by its diversity. It only makes sense for a brand like TOOCHE to grow in the heart of this city.

Founded in 2015, TOOCHE has recently celebrated its first birthday, but the word of it spreads like wildfire: Africa, Dubai, the orders are coming from all over the world. The wool felt goods have already been noticed by Russian and Latvian celebrities: Sergey Shnurov, leader of the Russian band “Leningrad”, and popular actresses Maria Shumakova and Zarina Tadjibajeva  were seen wearing those practical yet fashionable shoes.

Intrigued yet? Let’s take a closer look at what is taking this young brand to the top.


Put on your dancing shoes

In a world crazed about heritage and authenticity, TOOCHE is a rising star. Their woolen bags and shoes handcrafted by Latvian shoemakers are made according to the traditions of making Valenki – Russian wintertime shoes made of felt. Combined with innovative technology, they preserve and improve these traditions to keep your feet feeling good in any weather, from a fierce Russian winter to a relaxing mid summer heat.

Despite the traditional process of shoemaking, these wool felt pieces are anything but conservative. Each TOOCHE model is treated like an art piece. The web store offers ready-to-wear shoes and practical bags that have personalities of their own, such as Black Dot, as classic as a little black dress, or Lavender Fog bag and shoes combo capturing the spirit of femininity.


Step into designer’s shoes

Customization is the best thing since sliced bread, and TOOCHE knows it. The brand wisely adapted to match the needs of this one of the largest groups of consumers – the millennials – catering to this generation consumer’s desire to showcase individuality and need of convenience. A customer is welcomed to fill in the shoes of a designer, picking everything from colour, shape and style to the size of each element of the each shoe. Yes, the shoes do not even have to match!

A strength of this young brand: a personalized service for each buyer. An online order goes straight to the founders of TOOCHE, adding a personal touch to the purchasing process. From the second you click on the button of their online shop to the moment you receive a new pair at your doorstep, the whole process is closely supervised by the founders themselves.

Considering the heated interest in the brand’s products, the future looks bright for TOOCHE. Soon, the lovers of this colourful wool felt material will be able to purchase the items of a new line TOOCHE HOME, consisting of home decor items made in collaboration with various designers.


If the shoe fits...

The name of the brand came from the French word “toucher” – the touch. In the words of one of the brand’s loyalists: “one touch, and you’re in love”. However, the genius is in the simple idea of the logo: the overlapping Os symbolize the crossover of function and design, an ideal that TOOCHE strives for in the process of making their valenki-inspired pieces. A perfect motto for the shoes that claim to be as comfortable as they are fashionable!

tooche logo

To each their own shoe

TOOCHE’s Instagram feel is filled with colourful pictures that channel inspiration for each model of the shoes. The brand doesn’t overlook the advantages of attracting the customer’s attention through Instagram stories, online sales and occasional Facebook giveaways, and sticks to the regularity of 2-4 posts a week. With this pace, the brand’s following is growing slower than it potentially could if the brand would offer a more varied content with fresh perspectives on the brand. Among pictures of flowers and attractive wool felt goods, it would be nice to see more variety, such as shared pictures of the looks built around the products and more meaningful visual content that would better reflect the brand’s story and values.


Pea in the shoe

Love, people, pop culture, flowers and the streets of Riga: this brand seems to have an army of themes and no ring to unite them all. In order for the brand to grow, the uniting message has to be more unique and less cheesy.

TOOCHE might be digging in a wrong place: with an undoubtful advantage of authenticity, the brand could embrace it and tone down other values scattered around their undefined story.

A growing brand would have to eventually face a challenge of sustaining the quality of personalized experience which they are only able to provide on such high level due to the not yet overwhelming number of orders that the founders of TOOCHE can process first hand. While the demand for the wool felt goods rises, it might be worth to reconsider the strategy.

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This article was contributed to Brand Profile Series by Alisa Voitika. If you have any questions or would like to share your opinion, contact Alisa at

Brand Design, Consumer goods