Old School Ilica

Cipele Zlatko
Ilica 21

Shoemaking, Reparations and Sales

Bruno Budiselić - owner
+385 (0)1 4833777; +385 (0)98 487399

Working hours: 09:00 – 20:00

"For two types of men: those who know exactly what they want and those who do not."

Oaza: Who taught you, where did you learn your trade?
Zlatko Budiselić: I learned my trade from a Zagreb master where I spent the first two years learning how to make and mold the top parts of a shoe and then another three years learning to make the bottom parts in order to become a shoemaker. Afterwards I finished a 6-month molding course and after my military service I enrolled at the Faculty of Textile Technology majoring in leather-chemistry to become a footwear industry engineer.

O: How did Cipele Zlatko start?
ZB: I took over the business in 1979 from Mr. Marinkov who worked here for 40 years and I have been at it for 35 years myself. My son Bruno and my granddaughter help me. I have been making shoes for 60 years.

O: Who are your customers? What is their attitude towards the quality of your products?
ZB: We have customers who know what real shoes are. There are a lot of old customers. Recently we had a man come in from America who had shoes made by Marinkov 50 years ago and we managed to find his measurements. We have all the models going back 30 years.

O: How do you get your materials today?
ZB: Everything is from Italy: the leather, the lining leather, the soles… We used to have to smuggle it to avoid double taxation but today it is simpler. Italian leather is the best in the world, except for the German super-quality from the 60's and 70's.

O: How long does it take to make a pair of shoes?
ZB: One day, but there is a model we do not make anymore. That used to take even a week but it is not profitable anymore.

O: What is your promotion plan?
ZB: People come here, browse and buy. Some Austrians came and bought something, then after a year ordered more, and then came the Germans and the Dutch. We export a lot.

O: How much work is there today as opposed to before?
ZB: There is much less work today. In 1985 there were 15 people working here. I managed to run all of that with my wife from 8 AM till 12 AM and on the weekends, but every year we went on a month-long vacation on the coast.

O: What sets you apart from other shoemakers in Zagreb?
ZB: No other shoemaker can make a shoe on his own from start to finish (molding, upper, bottom part…). There is one other shoemaker in Zagreb who knows how to make molds but he does not know how to do the bottom part. That is the most expensive part of the process. In Italy you just get a paper and a piece of material stretched over the mold and it costs 1500 EUR.

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