Simply Put: I Love Italian Shoes
The Italian Footwear Manufacturers' Association, ANCI, hosted, in collaboration with the Italian Trade Commission of New York, the summer edition of “I Love Italian Shoes,” during the summer FFANY (Fashion Footwear Association of New York) trade show. The Spring/Summer 2012 collections were introduced in a special Italian footwear showcase at the Flatotel so that manufacturers and exhibitors could connect with importers and retailers to more efficiently buy and sell and develop business relationships.
“We are proud to represent some of Italy's finest shoemakers and craftsmen at FFANY. Italian attention to quality and detail is a rarity in the global economy,” Diego Rossetti, US vice president of ANCI said, “the brand variety presented here fulfills the needs of the American footwear market.”
ANCI presented 15 of its nearly 1.000 associated companies. They were: Calpierre, Calzoleria Rivolta dal 1883, Capezzani, Eddy Daniele by Vitulli, Fratelli Vanni, Gardenia, Gienna Mielani, Manas, Marino Fabiani, Marino Orlandi, Massimo Santini, Mitica Venezia, Mugnai, Roberto Guerrini and Valentino Orlandi.
“The selected brands include men's and women's lines, coming in medium-to-high price ranges,” Trade Commissioner and Executive Director of the ITC for the United States Aniello Musella said, “Italian shoes signify tradition and style, symbolizing excellence on the international stage. Italy produces brand name shoes and lesser known names, but quality is excellent for both. Many lesser known manufacturers offer the service of private label for renown international houses all over the world. A first name that comes to mind is Manolo Blahnik.”
Trade Commissioner Musella continued to explain that the Italian footwear industry, which has been a fundamentally important sector in the country's economy for over 100 years is respected and that can be seen by the numbers, indeed there is an import in the US of 1 million dollars a year.
Italian shoes are the expression of tradition and style, symbolizing excellence on the international stage. Italian footwear manufacturers are known for their creativity, technological innovation, and expert craftsmanship. In recent years, the Italian footwear sector has experienced significant growth, which has added value to the traditional Italian leather craftsmanship. Italian shoes have been elevated in importance from a simple consumer good, to a symbol of style and elegance.
“Footwear production is the result of both tangible and intangible components and factors that all come together in a business project. Originality and creativity are mixed together with technical standards; organization; strategy; scientific, medical and ecological expertise and applications; management; marketing and more,” Fabio Aromatici, general manager of ANCI said.
“Italian footwear is not a prerogative for a mere few, but rather is everyone's right. Originality, creativity and quality are therefore elements to be found in all price ranges within the spending power of each consumer. The aim to achieve excellence is not hindered by creativity, nor by the need to respect human and environmental well-being. Consumers hold a central and fundamental role for Italian footwear manufacturers because they receive and at the same time provide each other with a stimulus,” Vito Artioli, chairman of ANCI added.
ANCI works to ensure that the characteristics of the “Made in Italy” trademark will signify “excellence.” ANCI was founded in 1945, and it is an alliance of approximately 1000 footwear manufacturers who are responsible for approximately 70% of the overall Italian footwear production. The purpose of ANCI is to promote projects of economic, technical and scientific relevance to the shoe industry and to represent it at all institutional levels. ANCI believes that FFANY is an ideal way to launch the brands into the American market.
“We have a showroom in NY and we are here to increase our presence on the American market,” one of the exhibitors, Emiliano Baccarini of Manas explained, “We have three lines: Manas Lea Foscati, for the elegant and sophisticated woman, Manas Design looks for to functionality and and comfort, while Manas Uomo is a diverse collection for both the informal and the professional man. Manas transformed itself from a small artisan workshop to a global player in the footwear industry. Attention to quality, creativity and ethical business practices are some of Manas' distinctive features, all of which have made a significant contribution to its expansion and success. Part of the company's mission is to constantly innovate, thus offering customers products that are representative of the tradition of the 'Made in Italy' label.”
And it is the combination of quality, originality, creativity and innovation what makes 'Made in Italy' footwear so loved around the world that is envied and copied but without ever achieving the high levels of qualitative and aesthetic maturity that set it apart from the rest.