For the first time in Italy, the World Footwear Congress chose Naples and its rich footwear-manufacturing district as the location for its sixth edition. Of international scope, the event hosted eight panel discussions with 35 keynote speakers coming from every part of the world and included the participation of the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities, Alberto Bonisoli, the President of Confindustria, Vincenzo Boccia, the Commissioner of Campania Region, Chiara Marciani, and the Mayor of Naples, Luigi De Magistris.
The public instead was made up by over three hundred participants coming from 15 different countries not only in Europe, but also from China, South Korea, South America, Canada, the USA and Russia.
The three leading themes of this edition – the connected and sophisticated global consumer, manufacturing towards a circular economy, and the next generation of merchants/retailers – allowed for a beneficial exchange of ideas and insight, while pointing towards the pathway of sustainability and digitalisation as the only option for those businesses interested in working with success in the present-day global scenario. A pathway that is not so much a burden, but rather a tool to be used in gaining a competitive edge and generating revenue.
The programme both preceding and following the talks was also rich in content: Wednesday 3 April included visits to the Italian Leather Research Institute, the Kiton Factory, and the Mario Valentino Showroom.
There were then opportunities for socialisation represented by the inaugural cocktail with typical Neapolitan music held at the Circolo Nautico Rari Nantes, while the Gala Dinner, held in the striking location of the Railway National Museum of Pietrarsa, allowed guests to taste classic Neapolitan cuisine.
Sponsored by the IUAD Accademia della Moda, the Organising Committee included Carlo Casillo, President of the Naples’ Industrial Union Fashion System, Pasquale Della Pia, Assocalzaturifici National Councillor, Michele Lettieri, President of the IUAD Accademia della Moda in Naples, Cleto Sagripanti, President of CEC, and Marcello Tortora, CEO of Medias. Just as important was the network of sponsors and supporters, which included MICAM, UNIC, Gore-tex, Mario Valentino, and Intesa San Paolo. Among them, Edizioni AF magazine was also present as media partner to the event.