The Puerto Rican-born Castillo, who left Sergio Rossi in October, will bow his first collection for Santoni for fall/winter 2009-2010.
The company, based in Italy’s central Marche region, one of the main districts for the production of footwear, was founded in 1975 and was mostly known for its hand-made men’s shoes. Over the past three years, the brand has developed a women’s couture division, which now accounts for 20 percent of sales.
Tapping Castillo is in line with Santoni’s strategy to grow its women’s division to account for 50 percent of its business, according to Giuseppe Santoni, son of founder Andrea and now at the helm of the company.
Santoni has doubled its space dedicated to the production of the women’s collection to 32,400 square feet and a dedicated staff of 80.