Part Two: Why “The Micam” Is The Leading International Footwear Fair?

15/10/2017
Part Two: Why “The Micam” Is The Leading International Footwear Fair?

Photography : The MICAM

I was up bright and early on the second day of the MICAM with a hungry appetite to meet more designers. I managed to settle my hunger pangs, for a while, with a lovely cappuccino, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit for breakfast. The first day was highly productive and well-organised thanks to The Italian Trade Agency and the Association of Italian Footwear Manufacturers, who made the trip possible. I felt a sense of accomplishment as I scrolled through my photo gallery of shoe brands I discovered on the first day of the MICAM. I was one of the 35 international delegates of journalists and buyers selected from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Japan, and the USA, to name but a few, to visit the MICAM. We were free to roam around the hall with the option to attend a footwear trend and marketing presentation each day. I set myself a goal to find twelve emerging luxury footwear brands to write about following on from a previous trip with the ITA that provided a similar opportunity to increase brand awareness for twelve unknown designers from Southern Italy.

The MICAM

Day Two

I continued my quest for brands whose products demonstrated unique craftsmanship, attention to detail, and high-quality fabrics. Most of the brands I came across at the MICAM were of high quality and made in Italy, despite the surge in taxation, which makes it difficult for some companies to manufacture goods in their home country. For example, Le Marche is the home of Italian cutting edge handbags and shoes. Family-run factories and artisans in the region of Le Marche have a reputation for producing statement pieces for such brands as Tod’s, Armani, and Prada. Emerging brands may struggle with increased overheads more than the established fashion giants. Ultimately, Italian brands are renowned for their leather manufacturers, so it would be damaging to their pride to compromise with brand authenticity for the sake of cutting back on production costs.

The MICAM

I headed to the MICAM square to attend a fashion presentation on SS18 Fashion, and Footwear Macro Trends followed by one on marketing trends. Look out for plush velvet, snakeskin, and waxy leather next season. The VIP club at the MICAM offered a lovely buffet for lunch each day.

The MICAM – VIP Club Lunch

The MICAM – VIP Club Lunch

The MICAM – Trend Presentation

 The MICAM – VIP Club Lunch

The tantalising desserts and bottomless prosecco were my guilty pleasures but worth it after a productive morning. I was full of energy after lunch which led to the discovery of:

Ponggou

Based in London, Ponggou is an emerging brand in the luxury footwear market. Ponggou is known for its distinctive designs with a robust, private client-base. Inspired by nature and birds, the spring-summer 2018 is eye-catching. What is unique about the Ponggou collection is that the tip of the closed-toe shoes points downwards to resemble a bird’s peak. According to the designers, “we have named each shoe after a bird. The purpose of our design is to help release pressure, making the shoe more comfortable to wear.” All shoes are hand-made in London, but all materials and components are sourced in Italy. The retail price of Ponggou starts from €680.

The MICAM – Ponggou

The MICAM – Ponggou

The MICAM – Ponggou

Ponggou is available on www.ponggou.com

Theresa Ebagua

Inspired by her African heritage and known for the success of Chelsea Paris shoes (named after her two daughters), Theresa Ebagua introduced CP by Chelsea Paris. Her new collection appeals to a younger market as they are colourful, youthful, and contemporary in style. It was a pleasure to talk to Theresa, who said that one of her primary goals was to incorporate “European craftsmanship within her design concept.” Theresa felt that originality gives a brand a unique identity as opposed to copying other designers. Theresa Ebagua has taken critical pieces from Chelsea Paris and expanded them to fit a younger audience. Prices start from £90.

The MICAM – CP By Chelsea Paris

The MICAM – CP By Chelsea Paris

The MICAM – CP By Chelsea Paris

CP By Chelsea Paris is available on www.chelseaparis.com

A+ Zero

Cool, calm, and collected—these words sprung to mind when I noticed two stylishly dressed guys manning the A+ Zero stand. Chic sneakers were on display, which caught my eye instantaneously. The collection oozed sports luxe with a clean finish. I appreciated the design concept, which allows for comfortability combined with classic style. A+ Zero has been established for three years. According to the brand ambassadors, “Our brand prides itself on being super comfortable and stylish in one. We use materials from high heel shoes to make our sneakers look presentable. The leather and sole are handcrafted in Italy while the manufacturing of A+ Zero sneakers takes place in Turkey.” The retail price ranges from €50-€80.

The MICAM – A+ Zero

The MICAM – A+ Zero

The MICAM – A+ Zero

A+ Zero is available on www.apluszero.com

Francesco Lanzoni 

When I came across this brand, I felt like a kid in a candy shop, mesmerised by an array of colours. Francesco Lanzoni is a family business handed down from one generation to the next. The brand concept pays homage to creative innovation that depicts sophisticated glamour. The spring-summer 2018 is stunning and showcases luxury footwear that is dynamic in essence. All products are handmade in the region of Bologna. Francesco Lanzoni retails from approximately €250-€300.

The MICAM – Francesco Lanzoni

The MICAM – Francesco Lanzoni

Francesco Lanzoni is available on www.lanzonishoes.com

Kate Maconie

I have always been an avid fan of Kat Maconie, my go-to brand for potential celebrity endorsements. I finally got to meet the designer herself at the MICAM—such a surprise. Her latest collection, “Dessert Blue,” is inspired by African tribal prints. There are prominent references to tropical birds in the current collection, hence the vivid details. Kat Maconie’s iconic block heels have remained at the core of her brand. The price point is affordable as it starts from £150–£300.

The MICAM – Kat Maconie

The MICAM – Kat Maconie

The MICAM – Kat Maconie

Kat Maconie is available on www.katmaconie.com

Philipp Plein

The Philipp Plein brand has grown rapidly since I saw his fashion show for the first time in Milan many years ago. I remember Rita Ora’s steamy performance and Naomi Campbell strutting her stuff on the runway. Since then, I have become a huge fan of Philipp Plein. His fashion shows are “off the scale”: spectacular to watch including dazzling fashion ensembles and performances by world-famous artists. Although Philipp Plein did not schedule a spring-summer 2018 ready-to-wear show in Milan this season, the Plein group presented its SS18 footwear collections at the MICAM. The Philipp Plein sneakers embody a classic style with an eclectic twist. Silver studs appear on high-top calfskin and leather sneakers. Colours range from shades of blue and grey to more vivid colours including yellow and orange. Billionaire and Plein Sport are also part of the Plein group. Billionaire’s signature piece remains the Slip-on. To the contrary, Plein Sport is more casual, having presented its footwear line for the first time at the MICAM.

The MICAM – Philipp Plein

The MICAM – Philipp Plein

Philipp Plein is available on www.philipp-plein.com

Day two of the MICAM turned out to be another fruitful day. I had another event to attend that evening, so the fun was not quite over. I got to meet renowned photographer Giovanni Gastel at a special photographic exhibition “SIMILITUDINI,” after which I was driven back to Hotel Cusani for dinner and two more nights of sleep before Milan Fashion Week.

The MICAM – “SIMILITUDINI” Expo

My last day of the MICAM was a relaxing one; less running around and a chance to revert to some of the designers I interviewed for further information. My trip was well structured which made it easier for me to manage my activities. I can not wait to do this all over again next season. The highlights of my final day at the MICAM were attending a fashion show and the 18th edition of a student award ceremony, which celebrated the work of aspiring footwear designers. Asian culture was the theme initially presented to the students as a source of creative inspiration. On that note, there is nothing more rewarding than doing what you love. Begin with a dream then make it happen.

The MICAM – Fashion Show

The MICAM – Student Ceremony – 18th Edition

The MICAM – Student Ceremony – 18th Edition

The MICAM – Style Icon Nat at Student Ceremony – 18th Edition

Written by @StyleIconNat | Photography My Own and The MICAM | Thank you to the Italian Trade Agency – ITA and ASSOCALZATURIFICI the Association of Italian Footwear Manufacturers and organiser of The MICAM Exhibition.

NATALIE ROBINSON

Celebrity Stylist, Style Critic & Blogger, Natalie Robinson is based in London. Her creative platform The Lifestyle Collective Blog is to inspire, educate and motivate diverse minds.

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