The shoe: the bloggers’ point of viewMothers and bloggers, with the desire to present the world of children through the filter of fashion, and that’s not […]

Dec 01, 2017
Posted in: , Interviews , News , Uncategorized

Mothers and bloggers, with the desire to present the world of children through the filter of fashion, and that’s not all. On the web, they speak of apparel and brands, but also of the special rapport they have with their children, the demanding life of a mother, and a lifestyle that focuses on well-being, beauty, and the pleasures of dining well… They are Simona Mazzei from Fiammisday, Valentini Piccini from Mammeaspillo, and Flavia De Filippis from Tenditrendy: special guests of the i-kids area at the last edition of the Micam, who are now ready to have their say on shoes. This is what they told us.

Simona Mazzei from Fiammisday.com

simona-mazzei

MICAM: what do you think of the i-kids area and the collections presented by the exhibitors?

This year was my first time at the Micam, and I was very impressed with the organization, level of involvement, and the organizational methodology. I found the kids area to be in expansion, with the possibility of definitely involving more brands and more realities that believe in and invest in quality footwear that is suitable for wearing all day long.

The collections were in any case rich, distinct, and full of personality. From Naturino to Romagnoli, and from Missouri to A.s.s.o., there was a quality offering, with attention to details, and a desire to create exquisite products that are in harmony with our children.

Which were your favourite shoes as a child? And which are those preferred by your children?

My favourite shoes as a little girl were classic girls’ shoes with an eyelet design. Are you familiar with them? The ones with little openings on the front of the shoe (which are, in fact, called eyelets). And I’ll tell you a little secret, but keep it to yourself. Ok? When they used to buy them for me, even at the age of three, I would constantly raise my feet up when walking, in order to see them up closer with each step taken. I should have understood this years ago, instead of becoming an accountant… 😉

My daughter, instead, adores comfortable shoes and those that can be slipped on quickly. No laces, no superfluous ornamentation. Better if they are wide with para rubber and without a lot of frills.

Based on your experience and the feedback received from your readers, what are the characteristics that mothers look for in children’s footwear? And the demands of children themselves? Is there any common ground between the two?

Mothers always look at and prioritise the quality, but to tell the truth, also the price. Often it seems like these two elements take two separate roads, and to my way of thinking, it makes sense.

For this reason, I recommend to mothers reading my blog to purchase “good” shoes for school or for long days, while trying to save on other kinds, and to enjoy themselves when it’s a matter of going out for a few hours or bringing their children to a party. On these occasions, we can also go with something that is more fashionable, less expensive, but also less suited to the feet of little ones.

For children, instead, it is impossible to generalize. My daughter prefers comfort and basic lines, while some of her friends are interested only in the look and beg their mothers to go wild in their purchases. Others, instead, allow their decisions to be dictated by what they see on TV. Boys, on the other hand, seem completely uninterested. Or almost… and those who are not, want a “manly” shape and style.

How much do brand and price count today?

Brands are often as important to children as they are to adults. They are also bombarded by ads, prompts to purchase, and the desire to imitate their more fashionable friends.

Personally, my recommendation is to always look at the quality first. Especially if the child is younger than three years old. The foot, spinal column, and their posture are worth more than a passing fancy or a false savings.

If you do not have the possibility to always purchase quality shoes, there is always Christmas or another holiday to justify purchasing something that is genuinely useful, instead of the umpteenth toy.

What do you think of the e-commerce sites dedicated to children’s footwear? 

For me, they are a constant source of inspiration. Rapid, fast, full of ideas. Unfortunately, I believe that online sales is where the true future lies, while also representing the great revolution that will overtake the world of commerce and children’s fashion. I know that trying on a new pair of shoes, enjoying their new smell, and admiring the shape first hand is a completely different story, but making an online purchase at midnight, when you are on break and all the stores are closed, is a bona fide privilege of this century. A century in which time is one of the greatest and most precious gifts.

What should be the future aims of children’s footwear retail? 

The future is all about immediate and complete satisfaction of the need, at the exact moment in time when that need makes itself known. Afterwards, it’s already too late. Just think about it.

Valentina Piccini from Mammeaspillo.it

valentina-piccini-mammeaspillo

MICAM: what do you think of the i-kids area and the collections presented by the exhibitors?

To tell you the truth, this is my fourth edition, but the first ever in which I completely dedicated myself to the children’s area. I think Italian brands do an incredible job in merging “adult” trends with the characteristics that must be present in children’s footwear (with comfort and breathability coming in at first place).

Which were your favourite shoes as a child? And which are those preferred by your children?

I loved classic blue shoes with eyelets and I have also bought many pairs for my kids! My three children, however, have well-defined tastes of their own by now that are also very different from mine. Elena Sofia, who is 9 years old, loves boots and combat boots, and the more chains and studs there are, the better it is. Giulia, 8 years old, loves technical-looking sneakers (so this will be her year!) and would willing wear sandals all year long. Instead, Eva Maria, who is 5 years old, will not take her flats off, even if it is raining or snowing, and this year she is crazy about velvet ones. If there are pompoms and bows, even better.

My son is only one and a half years old, but he loves shoes, especially if they have bright colours.

Based on the feedback received from your readers, what are the characteristics that mothers look for in children’s footwear? And the demands of children themselves? Is there any common ground between the two?

 Without a doubt, mothers today are extremely careful when it comes to the technical characteristics of footwear, especially in the first steps range. We want them soft, flexible, and possibly made from genuine leather. Next, resistance is also very important: how many times do we buy shoes with decorative elements that do not even hold up even one day or which have their toes ruined after one week? It all comes down to us mothers looking for a good shoe at the right price: for a good Made in Italy shoe that manages to survive intact until the end of the season, while protecting the feet, we are willing to spend money, but the shoe must not “betray us”.

Children are definitely attracted by the look, and when they wear them they want to feel comfortable and like them, or you can be sure those shoes will remain in the closet.

How much do brand and price count today?

Like I said above, for children, quality counts a lot, but obviously, if it is combined with aesthetic value – like many Italian brands do – it is even better. Price is most certainly important, but a mother prefers to go without, when it comes to herself, so she can buy a good pair of shoes for her child!

What do you think of the e-commerce sites dedicated to children’s footwear? 

I make many online purchases, but not when it comes to shoes for my children. I want to try them on and see them on their feet, because I learned that for each child there are some brands more suitable than others.

Smallable, Melijoe, as well as many others, offer a nice range, but in the mid-to-high-end price range, and in general there is not a lot of Made in Italy. In the end, I am convinced that Italian shoes are the best 🙂

What should be the future aims of children’s footwear retail? 

Multibrands that work well are those that do not try to compete with large chains, because it would be impossible for any of them to have the same rate of turnover and available warehouse stock. Multibrands need to focus on Made in Italy and look for brands that do not have the means or interest in becoming a monobrand. Of course, a careful selection is important, but not impossible.

Flavia De Filippis from Tenditrendy.com

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

MICAM: what do you think of the i-kids area and the collections presented by the exhibitors?

It was my first time participating in the Micam and I found it to be a very interesting reality. I especially liked the area dedicated to children for all the collections presented and for the variety of the proposals showcased by the exhibiting brands.

Which were your favourite shoes as a child? And which are those preferred by your children?

I really found the Rossignoli proposal for girls’ footwear to be very attractive in both their prints and quality.

My children instead prefer sportier shoes, like sneakers or ankle boots, which obviously I also choose for them to use at school and in day-to-day activities.

Based on your experience and the feedback received from your readers, what are the characteristics that mothers look for in children’s footwear? And the demands of children themselves? Is there any common ground between the two?

My readers very much appreciated the proposals of the brands presented at the Micam, which they discovered in our magazine.

Mothers are on the lookout above all for good quality footwear that does not damage growing feet, and which has a suitable sole, with quality leathers used in its production.

Children, instead, prefer fashionable shoes. For them, of course, it is not essential for the shoe to be comfortable, but rather it must be similar to what their friends are wearing. For this very reason, all the Italian brands of footwear I saw at the last edition of the Micam brought the element of fashion closer to a quality proposal. In this sense, there is most definitely common ground between the two, because the proposals are structured and created for children and for their age group, without moving the issues of safety and comfort down to a secondary place of importance.

How much do brand and price count today?

I believe this also depends upon the specific region in Italy. Here, in the south, the brand may be favoured, more often than not, over the price. For children, a parent is certainly willing to spend more than in other categories or sectors. What I discovered at this last edition of the Micam is that footwear with a quality sole, meaning leather, should always be favoured over other kinds. This is more important than any other aspect, including the price.

What do you think of the e-commerce sites dedicated to children’s footwear?  

I think it is an excellent solution for discovering all the latest brand proposals and for having a wide range of choice, with the only problem being the identification of the correct size. The feet of children grow quickly, and so, often it is hard to tell what the exact size should be. Sites try to tackle this problem by proposing a table that allows for the calculation of the right size, however, on this and on the choice, I am a little weary because I am afraid to make a mistake. It is also true that these sites do try to meet you halfway by allowing for returns.

What should be the future aims of children’s footwear retail? 

It could try to create collaborations with famous brands of low-cost apparel, like big brands do, and try to promote Made in Italy this way.

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