Duca del Cosma, the luxury lifestyle and golf footwear brand revived by Hi-Tec SA owner Frank van Wezel, has established its golfing credentials by becoming one of the official sponsors of the KLM Open for three years, starting in 2018.

As part of the sponsorship, Duca del Cosma will provide apparel and footwear to the more than 1 500 staff members who work at the tournament. The brand’s founder and creative director, Baldovino Mattiazzo, will also design a special KLM Open collection. Renowned for its innovative Italian design, the brand wants to increase the awareness of the brand and rejuvenate the golf sport, says Adolf Stoffberg, CEO of Duca del Cosma, Africa.

Adolf Stoffberg, CEO of Duca del Cosma, Africa. Photo Carin Hardisty.

Dating from 1972, the KLM Open is one of the oldest golf tournaments in Europe.

“Our alignment with the KLM Open is the perfect fit,” says Stoffberg, who is introducing the new Duca del Cosma ranges to South African retailers. “This partnership opens many doors in helping to make the brand’s dream come true: aspiring and inspiring in golf fashion.”

The acquisition and resurrection of this footwear brand by Hi-Tec founder Frank van Wezel is one of the feel-good industry stories of the last couple of years. After selling Hi-Tec international in 2016 – but retaining ownership of Hi-Tec SA – Van Wezel read that Duca del Cosma was being liquidated. Always an admirer of the shoes, which he describes as “real Italian beauties” with their fine attention to detail and combination of textures, he bought the brand in September 2016. He re-engaged the talented designers, Italian born Mattiazzo and German born Antje Elle, and relaunched the brand.

The La Spezia golf shoe from Duca del Cosma. Photo supplied.

“I have admired this brand for many years and feel in Duca the refined culture and Italian design which enables me to serve a new target audience in the higher end of the market,” he says.

Instead of finding something small to keep him busy because he felt he was too young to retire at 75, Van Wezel and his wife Caroline has been kept busy opening offices for subsidiaries and appointing distributors as demand for the shoes that combine top golfing technology with elegant design detail, grow across the world. “This new challenge gives me a lot of energy,” says Van Wezel.

The new lifestyle and golf ranges are now also being introduced into South Africa.

Read more about it in the Q4 issue of Sports Trader.