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Italian golf fashion brand Duca del Cosma is introducing a limited-edition leather sneaker among its latest golf shoe range for women linked to the conservation of one of the world’s rarest animals - the highly distinctive King Cheetah.

With a population in the wild only just reaching double figures and around 50 living in a protected environment, the King Cheetah is the rarest cat on the African continent. With its special colours and markings, it was once thought to be a separate species. However, the King Cheetah is now recognised as the same animal as the more common cheetah – the fastest animal on the planet capable of speeds up to 120 kph/70 mph – but with a pronounced fur pattern mutation in its thicker coat.

Rare glimpses of the King Cheetah in the wild have been confirmed in Zimbabwe, Botswana and northern South Africa. Among a number in wildlife facilities are those at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) close to the Kruger Park in South Africa, founded by nature conservationist Lente Roode. Earlier this year, joint owner of Duca del Cosma and ‘Africa lover’ Caroline van Wezel visited the animal shelter and saw a King Cheetah for the first time.

“I was captivated and learned about the special breeding programme designed to preserve the King Cheetah,” said Caroline. “So, I decided to help by promoting a limited-edition ladies shoe in its striking markings and by adopting a cub – named DUCA – who hopefully will play a significant part in preserving the wonderful species herself.

“We hope that our retail partners will stock this special shoe in support of the HESC project and women golfers will love to be associated with such a worthwhile enterprise while wearing a fashionable shoe that will turn heads for all the right reasons,” she added.

Tribute design

Italian designer and founder of the Duca del Cosma brand Baldovino Mattiazzo has paid tribute to the rare King Cheetah with an exclusively designed sneaker. As with other animal print patterned shoes in the range, the King Cheetah style is waterproof and suitable for wearing both on and off the golf course. The Marquessa-style sole is reminiscent of the Cheetah’s foot pads in providing grip and stability, while the chic black lacquer leather and beige suede symbolise the animal’s striking appearance.

Made in Europe, Duca del Cosma premium golf and lifestyle shoes are sold in more than 30 countries around the world.

The King Cheetah sneaker is available from September at a RRP of £179.95 from selected retail outlets and the brand’s web shop at

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