At the feet of success

“At the feet of success”


With contributions of:
Umberto Vattani, President of ICE – Italian Institute for Foreign Trade
Carlo Sangalli, President of Confcommercio (Italian Conferderation of Trade) and Unione Milano
Peter Mangione, President of FDRA, Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America
Mario Moretti Polegato, President of Geox

Italy – the motherland of saints, poets, sailors and finally, shoemakers; a country internationally renowned for the design and quality of the shows produced within its borders. Italy, the famous “boot-shaped” country, boasts an incredible number of shoe-making industrial clusters, where ideas and products to walk on are generated. A place of small and not-so-small, innovative, investing and award-winning firms, sometimes almost unknown abroad.
Massimo Donda has a long-lasting family background in the shoemaking industry. Indeed, the foundation of “Calzaturificio Donda” in Trieste dates back to 1887, when the town was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, led by Emperor Franz Joseph.
Giuseppe Donda, followed by Romeo and Fabio (Massimo’s great-grandfather, grandfather and father, respectively) was the leading force of the family tradition, launched 120 years ago.
Today, Massimo Donda is President of Federcalzature (National Association of Footwear Wholesale, Retail and Import-Export Tradesmen), past President of CEDDEC (European Federation of Footwear Distributors) and National Councilor of Confcommercio.
In cooperation with Andrea Guolo, journalist and expert of the sector, sixteen case histories of Italian leading firm of the shoemaking industry have benn collected.
Four high rank firms: Fratelli Rossetti, Renè Caovilla, Casadei, Moreschi. One specialized in comfort footwear: Melluso. Two casual brands: Lumberjack, Frau/Logan. Three sportswear companies: Fila, Diadora, Superga. Three volume production firms. Olip, Manas, De Fonseca. A fashionable brand: Fornari. Two children brands: Primigi, Siport/Barbie.
The book provides an overview of the most significant issues in the shoe-making industry not only seen through sixteen success stories, but also into account the consumer viewpoint and, maybe a novelty within the existing literature on the subject, that of the show retail sector.
Starting from the collection of statistical data and the analysis of cases studies, the book wishes to describe the major trends which proved to be the key to success in the past, and may as well be employed as models of best practices for the future.
The book aims at passing on the readers the passion of “shoe experts” for their creations and entrepreneurial choices, leading to a “feet-to-top” success.
The book is filled with new contents and trivia, and is addressed to expert of the sector: shoe shop owners, manager and sales persons, agents, executive officers, shoe industry owners, designers.
Despite its informative approach, the book also wishes to provide a broad overview of the field to fashion students, as well as fashion victims and knowledgeable female consumers, all of them.
We hope that the book will prove to be an easy and delightful reading, full of anecdotes and curiosities, able to surprise readers and stimulate their interest.
The book also gives helpful hints for firms looking for change and innovation; it provides practical examples of successful experiences and cases of excellence, which may become reference models for all enterprises.

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