Monday, January 20, 2014

The Traveling Diaries No.2

"Eat. Pray. Sole Search"
By Angelic Roman

I must have been something like a starry-eyed 18 year old when I beheld the too popular words of Elizabeth Gilbert, dreaming of the day I too would travel to Italy for a three month escapade of soul searching- except in my case it would have to be sole searching.

At the very beginning of my trip I had broken ground by reaching out to the people behind Expo Riva Schuh, a massive, international shoe fair held in Northern Italy. Imagine my delight when I was given permission to attend on the account of being a fashion student. I was elated to have the opportunity to attend, learn about the shoe industry, and make connections.

  " Expo Riva Schuh is today’s leading international exhibition for volume production footwear at a mid-range price point. It is Europe’s most important event for this market segment.
Expo Riva Schuh is a meeting place for international business: an event where companies and buyers from around the world meet and interact. "

(Expo Riva Schuh)

So first thing was first, I had to manage to connect with people in Italian. Yes, this was going to be as easy as conversing with a cat. Still, I managed to actually get to the trade show and then speak to the producers of Gloria Dal Porto. What I learned was that the shoes are made using Tuscan leather ( the buttery soft models on display reassured this) in a town just east of Florence, Italy. 

Next I spoke to the producers of Tino Bellini, a brand with a group of designers behind it. These shoes were actually from Taiwan and very on track with footwear trends. The metallic ones were my particular favorite.

Overall, the shoe fair was a wonderful experience which gave me insight into the way buyers place orders with producers and bring the shoes to markets all over the world. I managed to meet people with factories India, Brazil, Taiwan, and of course Italy.

To find out more about Expo Riva Schuh, click here

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