A Talent for Shoe 2023
In the ever-inspiring setting of Villa Torlonia, the 23rd international competition 'A Talent for the Shoe' was held. An international competition dedicated to all young fashion designers interested in pursuing a career in the world of footwear
“A Talent for the Shoe 2023 | An opportunity to remember Sergio Rossi and look to the future of the ‘happiness district’ October 27, 2023
In the ever-inspiring setting of Villa Torlonia, the 23rd international competition ‘A Talent for the Shoe’ was held. An international competition dedicated to all young fashion designers interested in pursuing a career in the world of footwear promoted by Sammauroindustria Associazione Culturale.
The annual event takes place each year in San Mauro Pascoli, home to leading footwear brands including Giuseppe Zanotti, Pollini S.p.A – Aeffe Group, Sergio Rossi, who are also a part of Sammauroindustria and the voting board.
The theme of this edition was ‘The Invention of Form – Dedicated to Sergio Rossi.’ Three years after the passing of one of the founding fathers of the San Mauro Pascoli shoe district, the event was a moment to talk about both the great entrepreneur and stylist and the future of high-level footwear art.
San Mauro Pascoli has been and continues to be a place of competition and cooperation, but as emphasized in the different speeches that took place throughout the insightful afternoon, training in the ‘workshop’ is a fundamental step in passing on knowledge and maintaining the beauty of Made in Italy.
As highlighted in other recent events, including the recent ‘Stati Generali della Pelletteria Italiana,’ the world of leather goods and footwear struggles to attract new talents. In his speech, Luca Piscaglia, founder of the project ”il Distretto Felice” born to revisit the work-life balance in the district and create a happy employee, showed how work-family reconciliation policies, if integrated with municipal interventions, can make a difference. It starts with simple changes in working hours and extends to school and daycare hours. Formulas that can be replicated in other productive districts in Italy.
Thanks to Vittorio Pollini’s anecdotes during the roundtable, the attendees of the event relived the early years of Sergio Rossi’s debut and the birth of the district, with anecdotes and moments seasoned with dialectal expressions that often required ‘translation’ or interpretation. For Vittorio Pollini, healthy competition allowed San Mauro Pascoli to quickly improve quality and surpass the shoemakers of Bologna. Looking to the future, Vittorio Pollini is somewhat pessimistic, seeing greater security for companies working for brands that offer the ‘Total Look.’ Less pessimistic is Gianvito Rossi, Sergio’s son, who sees room in the competition among high-end products. Jenny Zanotti, CEO of Giuseppe Zanotti, expressed the increasing difficulty in understanding the market trajectory. Giuseppe Zanotti believed in e-commerce from the early 2000s and now finds himself in an advantageous position. But the vortex of changes is increasing.”
This change and the current obstacles it is placing on the artisanal footwear and leather industries but the importance of overcoming them in order to maintain the beauty and quality of Made in Italy were some of the key themes.