For the first time in Italy, from 3 to 5 April at the Teatrino di Corte in the Royal Palace (in Piazza del Plebiscito, 1), Naples will host the 6th edition of the World Footwear Congress, the global event dedicated to the footwear manufacturing industry, which was conceived by the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC).
The event was presented 22 March at the headquarters of the Unione Industriali Napoli, by the Organising Committee of the event, and in particular by:
- Carlo Casillo, President of the Unione Industriali Napoli Fashion System Section (coordinator of the Committee);
- Pasquale Della Pia, Assocalzaturifici National Councillor;
- Michele Lettieri, President of the Accademia della Moda in Naples;
- Cleto Sagripanti, President of the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC);
- Marcello Tortora, CEO of MEDIAS Srl.
The World Footwear Congress will be the occasion for discussing the on-going challenges and opportunities that the footwear manufacturing industry has been facing since the start of globalisation. The aim is to promote a free and fair global market with equal chances for all, while increasing international collaboration in support of competitiveness and growth in the sector.
The 2019 edition of the WFC will focus on the topic “Digitalisation for a sustainable footwear industry”, bringing together high-level international speakers and experts to discuss digitalisation and sustainability, two of the most powerful factors at play in the industry today, along with the future of the footwear sector for consumers, producers, and retailers.
“After five successful editions – comments Cleto Sagripanti, President of the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC) – we are happy to bring the 2019 edition of the World Footwear Congress to Europe and especially to Naples in Italy. The Congress is an enormous opportunity for professionals in the footwear manufacturing industry. A vast range of stakeholders in the industry will have the possibility to meet up with each other, and exchange experiences, ideas, and the best practices implemented on two fundamental themes for the sector: digitalisation and sustainability. These issues are an intrinsic part of the global market companies do business in and they must be aware of the challenges and future opportunities awaiting them”.
“The choice of Italy and Campania – explains Assocalzaturifici National Councillor Pasquale Della Pia – is not casual. Our productive and manufacturing fabric is an excellence recognised on an international level and the Italian footwear manufacturing industry contributes in a key way to the growth of the national economy. The Campania textile, clothing, and footwear industry represents almost 9% of the sector nationally and 50% if only the South is taken into consideration. The World Footwear Congress will also be the opportunity for turning the spotlights on this incredible heritage”.
Italy, in fact, with its 4,708 producers of footwear, is the top-ranking country for footwear manufacturers in Europe, with Campania representing one of the nine regions in Europe with the highest number of employees involved in the production of footwear and leather products.
This Region, with its 390 shoe manufacturers and producers of custom-made and handmade shoes, comes in fourth nationally for its number of businesses and fifth for its employment numbers that arrive at 6,461 workers (2017 data. Source: Infocamere-Movimprese, analysis by the Confindustria Moda Research Centre).
The total number of Campania businesses in this sector increase to 1,543, if also producers of footwear parts and components are considered (2018 data. Source: Infocamere-Movimprese, analysis by the Confindustria Moda Research Centre). With its 1,000 businesses, Naples is the province that registers the highest number of companies, followed by 406 firms in Caserta, 74 in Salerno, 35 in Irpinia, and 28 in Benevento. Instead, 60% of employees work in Naples, 30.5% in Caserta, 4.7% in Salerno, 2.4% in Avellino, and 2.4% in Benevento.
“It is an honour to coordinate the Organising Committee of this event – adds Carlo Casillo, President of the Unione Industriali Napoli Fashion System Section – This sector and our fashion system are appreciated around the world: as President of the Fashion Section and member of the Board of Governors of the Unione Industriali, I am proud to host in our city this important occasion that allows sector professionals and leaders to learn about new opportunities and on-going changes, while visiting some of the businesses par excellence. In particular, we will focus our attention not only on digitalisation, but also on sustainability in the footwear industry, an issue of increasing importance to international public opinion”.
“Naples is the expression of creativity in the fashion and accessories segment that continues to have a strong artisanal tradition – comments Michele Lettieri, President of the Accademia della Moda in Naples – We’re speaking of a sector that makes a strong contribution to the economy, as the second most important in Italy right after tourism. This is where some of the most important and renowned Made in Italy brands around the world were founded. The true secret is to produce quality, and the Accademia della Moda proposes itself as a point of reference for youths who want to try their hand at a highly specialised trade. Over the next few months, we will increasingly qualify ourselves in this regard, reinforcing the ad hoc educational programme for the footwear segment”.
“My company and I did our best to contribute to the organisation of the World Footwear Congress, creating a ‘system of communication’ that might transform the event into a bona fide experience – concludes Marcello Tortora, CEO of MEDIAS Srl – Over these two days of congress, the international vocation of the event will find Naples to be the ideal setting for reinforcing ideas, experiences, and insights. We are ready to tackle this challenge with enthusiasm and passion”.