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Under the flag #strongertogether, MICAM and other Milan fashion fairs attracted over 16 thousand buyers to Milan, giving a clear signal of the desire to restart in a key sector of Made in Italy

It was anything but a sure thing: the 16,000 buyers who decided to visit MICAM and the other fashion fairs held in Milano Rho from 20 to 25 September under the flag #strongertogether, wanted to believe in the relaunching of the fashion industry, one of the most strategic segments of Made in Italy. With their presence they rewarded the courage of all the exhibiting companies that chose to participate in MICAM, the international footwear trade fair; MIPEL, the international event dedicated to leather goods and accessories; TheOneMilano Special featured by MICAM, the women’s haut-à-porter show; A New Point Of View, the special format by Lineapelle, with its leathers and materials for the fashion industry; and HOMI Fashion&Jewels Exhibition. In other words, there is strength in numbers: during a moment that is still dominated by pandemic winds, the resulting numbers send a positive and clear signal of the market’s intention to react with conviction and determination. It was also no coincidence that there was an important presence of foreign buyers, around 4000, making up 25% of the total, and coming mainly from nearby Switzerland, Germany, and France: an encouraging result. Orders were also not lacking at the fair, even if the downtrend – which is understandable – was related to the difficulties of the moment. However, from here on out, it is possible to look forward.

“This edition of MICAM was held in a historical, unprecedented moment. – commented MICAM Chair, Siro Badon – We received thanks from operators for our courage and tenacity in proposing it. It undoubtedly represented a moment for the relaunching of business and has been the driving force for other events with which synergies have been built. The pandemic, which is constantly changing form, has created problems for our production sector, difficulties that we have experienced first-hand at MICAM. But we are hopeful for the future, first in line to create opportunities for companies in the supply chain and to support them on a daily basis. Because one can only get out of such a situation by working as a team, all rowing in the same direction. The entire fashion manufacturing industry is paying for the effects of this crisis, with a significant decline in turnover, especially in exports. It is clear that to overcome this phase, external help is also needed, I am referring, in particular, to the institutions that must concretely support these events. Companies must be supported through economic incentives and tax relief. Trade fairs such as MICAM are not only an irreplaceable moment in which to do business but are also a vehicle to give international visibility to the excellence of ‘Made in Italy’ that is represented by companies in our sector”.

The MICAM selection was extremely high-end, as usual, with SS2021 collections rich in creative highlights and innovation. Great emphasis was given over to the Emerging Designer area dedicated to creative talents in footwear and to MICAM X, the space dedicated to materials, sustainability, retail, and heritage & innovation, which also hosted animated talks and workshops. 

With the physical fairs now over, the events will continue to keep the market open digitally through applications, smart catalogues, and business portals: MICAM Digital Show will overcome restrictions on international travel by bringing exhibitors and buyers into contact with one another on the platform that has been developed in partnership with NuORDER, which already has a community of 500 thousand buyers to its name.

Emerging Designers

TIMOTHÉE PARIS (France)

The brand was founded in 2017 by Japanese designer Masamitsu Hata and French manager Pierre Rivière. The brand’s new collection is both classic and comfortable and features unisex running-inspired sneakers with clean lines.

MAIORANO (Italy)

True artist is Matteo Maiorano, designer and founder of the brand, aimes at finding the perfect balance between the shoe and sculpture universes. The minimalist models strictly made in Italy feature very refined details, like the shoes inspired by the metaphoric Japanese practice of kintsugi, which uses liquid gold and silver to repair broken pottery. A game of aesthetic perception and retro references played by the designer to create a fresh and contemporary final product.

YATAY (Italy)

As Umberto De Marco told us, the brand’s philosophy is founded on sustainability at 360 degrees: 80% of the shoes are biodegradable thanks to the materials used, which come from corn and cereals or are, in any case, recycled or recyclable. The production process uses highly efficient methods in terms of energy consumption and raw materials. The production and procurement of materials and the manufacturing process are carried out in full respect of the environment and workers. In addition, for each pair of shoe sold, Yatay will plant a tree that can be located by a code imprinted on the heel. The packaging is also “green” and reusable: in fact, the cover can double as a backgammon board (checkers and dice are included with the shoes).

LES JEUX DU MARQUIS (Italy)

Designer Emanuele Coppari imagines a world of "hot" couture. The shoes are striking for their fine craftsmanship and elegance but also for sensual details such as the ankle band that once unhooked turns into a pair of handcuffs, the accessory that transforms into a mask or the tails/whips that can be positioned on the back of the pump. Prized nappa leather, soft suede, calfskin and patent leather of the highest quality, laminated mirrored python and lace are worked and shaped to create unique and unmistakable products. Every single piece is handmade by the best craftspeople of the Marche region, with components that can be interchanged playfully to take on a new look.

DOTZ (Brazil)

Designer Emanuele Coppari imagines a world of "hot" couture. The shoes are striking for their fine craftsmanship and elegance but also for sensual details such as the ankle band that once unhooked turns into a pair of handcuffs, the accessory that transforms into a mask or the tails/whips that can be positioned on the back of the pump. Prized nappa leather, soft suede, calfskin and patent leather of the highest quality, laminated mirrored python and lace are worked and shaped to create unique and unmistakable products. Every single piece is handmade by the best craftspeople of the Marche region, with components that can be interchanged playfully to take on a new look.

PIJAKBUMI (Indonesia)

The brand’s commitment is to produce high-quality footwear made to high standards of sustainability. Designer Rowland Asfales creates shoes that he defines as “eco-aestetic”, including sneakers hand-painted in Indonesia and other models in natural fabrics and coconut fibre details. The brand’s storytelling and environmental campaign #forbetterearth, promotes awareness of the need to consume less energy and to conserve natural resources.

ALOHAS SANDALS (Spain)

A brand founded in Honolulu in 2015 by CEO Alejandro Porras and designer Ines Martín-Borregon, it went back to its roots to put a spin on the traditional espadrille, and then continued along a complex stylistic path towards the search for beauty and, above all, sustainability. The models can be pre-ordered for a limited period of time and only when enough orders have been collected will production began. This makes it possible not only to reduce overproduction and waste, but also to understand consumer tastes quickly and accurately.

MAISON DÉPLACÉ (Italy)

Maison Déplacé is an independent footwear and accessories brand that was born from a unique convergence of personalities and passion of designers Marco Contigiani, Aldo and Leonardo D’Autilio’s for tattoos, architecture, and electronic music. The three young entrepreneurs express their very personal way of looking at urban and outdoor world with an a-seasonal collection of “urban trekking” sneakers and colourful pool slides.

DYAN (Hungary)

The brand created by designer Diána Polgár plays with symmetry and asymmetry, combining elegance and minimalist looks in extremely comfortable products. Made strictly by hand in Hungary with the finest materials, the shoes have a unique look with a contemporary silhouettes and sober, elegant colours combined with Japanese-inspired cuts and geometric shapes.

CONTRE-ALLÉE (Morocco)

The leitmotif of the French brand produced in Morocco is the use of raffia, which comes from a kind of palm tree found in Madagascar, and used by expert Moroccan craftspeople to create classic models such as the double buckle moccasin, loafer and slipper. The colour and decorations of the handcrafted models can be customised according to the client’s requests and the special characteristics of raffia, such as softness and freshness, with continuous use are able to wrap the foot like a glove.

ME.LAND (France)

The young French shoe brand launched in 2018 aspires to offering a comfortable, elegant, responsible, sustainable and community-based sneaker. Since its launch, ME.LAND offered a universe created and supported by a community of artists, singers, street artists, illustrators, photographers, actors. The latest collaboration is with Süyer, a young multidisciplinary artist inspired by Edvard Munch, Salvador Dalì and Gérard Garouste. Süyer uses craft tattoo inks to paint each shoe with a brush, reviving the handcrafted technique of 'patina' and finishing it with natural wax. The result is a unique work of art, numbered and signed by the artist.

Thierry Rabotin, the comfort of design

We met with Giovanna Ceolini, CEO of Thierry Rabotin in a break between meetings during the last day of September’s Micam, which marked the restart and of the importance of "being present”.

“We are here at the fair because of our desire to be part of a group. This is the most important footwear exhibition in the world, and we are very satisfied with the way it has gone. For this Micam, we enlarged and “opened up” our booth to allow visitors easier access and visibility to the new collection, of which we are very proud. We are also present at the MICAM Digital show platform, powered by NuOrder.”

We must always look forward, and never backwards

With Salina Ferretti, CEO of Falc and Vice President of Assocalzaturifici, we take stock of the market situation, the resumption of trade fairs and the prospects for the coming months.

I believe that participating in this edition of Micam was important for everyone. It was important for the event, which is, and remains, the most important footwear manufacturing venue in the world, as well as the only fair of a certain dimension with a complete product offering to enjoy a high level of participation. At the same time, participating was important for the entire footwear manufacturing industry, because it wanted to send a clear signal of reaction to this difficult situation, a tangible sign of the desire to accomplish, meet buyers, exchange information and reinforce partnerships and business.

Micam: a fair to which I have given a lot and to which I owe much

We asked to Annarita Pilotti, CEO of Loriblu, why it was important to be present at this edition of Micam

Micam is a historic event that continues today to be the most important rendezvous for footwear worldwide, a fair to which I have given a lot and to which I owe much. This is why we decided to be present like always, even if the show dates were the same as the presentation of our collection in the Milan showroom, and even if we were aware that the numbers were different from other editions, with 500 exhibitors and a business strongly impacted by fears connected to the medical emergency, along with restrictions on international travel.

Read the complete MICAM90 report for free only on af.mag#18

I am always looking for the right combination of elements that works for every single brand

Opinion Leaders

Jennifer Leppla

Logos, the Milan based agency that launches niche brands

American from Arizona, but raised in California, Jennifer Leppla has a past as a model. She has walked the runways in Paris, London and Milan where, finally, she chose to settle down. It was Italy that gave her the opportunity to stay in the fashion world. In fact, when the opportunity arose to promote some brands, Jennifer decided to give it a try by opening her own PR agency: “I was only 25 years old ”. Photographic advertising services, fashion presentations, showroom appointments with stylists and publishers, and trade fairs were the agency’s main activities at the time. Since then Jennifer has worked hard and passionately to push creativity, harmonising it with other right ingredients: strategy and promotion.

Unisa and the fusion of comfort and fashion

Teresa Bernat - Mónica Romero

Unisa’s main commitment is to favour comfort. Unisa thinks of a modern and professional woman, who pays attention to her appearance but who wants a shoe for the whole day: a shoe to walk down the street, attend a meeting, go on the subway and end the day at a party or on a romantic date.
Teresa Bernat graduated in industrial design with a specialisation in textile product development and a master’s degree in footwear and accessories design. A smiling 29-year-old Valencian woman now responsible for materials within the Unisa design team. Her sensitivity, her great taste and preference for colours enrich every season’s collections, giving them surprisingly trendy touches. Mónica Romero, instead, has a long experience in the world of footwear. Originally from Elda, Mónica was born into a family of shoemakers. She has been immersed in the world of footwear since childhood. A passion that became a career that she was able to combine with her life as a mother. An avid trend hunter, not only is she at the forefront of the fashion world, but she demonstrates every day to have a great practical vision which is very valuable to the Unisa team.