Karl Schlecht
Thierry Rabotin Factory by Parabiago Collezioni

Karl Schlecht represents the “international soul” of Parabiago Collezioni, an Italian footwear manufacturer company based in Milan area.
He has an extensive experience in the process of industrialisation of footwear, working in close contact with designers from the very beginning of the creative process.

He spent his life selling and buying footwear in Austria, his beloved country.
After meeting Giovanna Ceolini and Thierry Rabotin, in 1999 when Parabiago Collezioni was founded, he became the “product man” of the company, representing their high-quality products.

Ubaldo Malvestiti
Search N Design

Ubaldo Malvestiti is the Head of Product and Principal Design Director at SearchnDesign that is a full-service design studio based in central Italy (Civitanova Marche) made-up of designers and product managers, specialised in the study and development of ground-breaking footwear and accessories’ projects on behalf of premium global brands.

With more than 40 years’ experience in the footwear sector, he works with brands to better develop their identity, their concepts and their values.

Clara Garcovich
Clara Garcovich Events and Public Relations

Clara Garcovich’s entrepreneurial career began with Igp – Innovative Golf Projects, an agency founded in 1997 with the aim of combining her work as an event organiser with her passion for golf. In 2002 she founded Clara Garcovich Events and Public Relations, also opening up to the public relations and press office sector.

Today, in addition to traditional activity, the agency has a structured staff dedicated to Digital Public Relation activities.


Category 1:

Design a footwear product

It was a difficult job we asked our jury this year! They had to select only six projects within 23 received and they were all very interesting ideas on how our footwears can be more sustainable for our planet without neglecting the aesthetics and losing the cultural heritage. We really can’t wait to know better our finalist teams and discuss with them their ideas during the final awarding event that will take place physically on the 23rd of September during MICAM fair. Here below you may have a first hint of them. Stay tuned on our Instagram profile!


Category 2:

Create a branding/ awareness campaign to communicate the footwear sector to young people

Collecting new ideas to make the footwear sector more attractive, dynamic modern and creative through a communication campaign. This was the objective of the second category of our contest. We received very good quality projects and within 17 proposals the jury selected six finalist teams. Also, we can’t wait to meet them and discuss their ideas during the final awarding event that  will take place in Milan on the 23rd of September during the MICAM fair. Here below you may have a first hint of them. Stay tuned on our Instagram profile!  

Team: Cláudia Patrícia da Cunha Azevedo, Inês Filipa Dias Soares
Supervisor: Teresa Adegas
School: Academia Design e Calcado – CFPIC
Country: Portugal

With our proposal we intended to create a concept that combined the freedom, that allows us to be who we want to be without being restricted by stereotypes; with a genderless principle and maintaining our focus on improving our impact on the planet, by reducing it, through reusing materials. More specifically we wanted our design to reflect the decoding that has been taking place, which has allowed everyone to interpret themselves freely without the barrier that their sexual organ imposes as a gender or its role as a man or woman. We intended to lead our concept with a genderless principle, where colors, lines and design are all in tune, and none of them will be an obstacle for any of us to use it, whether male, female or non-binary. We took transparency as our inspiration; the kind of transparency that allows us to stop hiding the bits we like most about ourselves and also allows us to stop hiding who we really are/want to be without fear of judgements, we combine this freedom through transparency, with a minimalist design.

Team: Anari Västrik, Eva-Lotta Tarn, Carmen Sibbul
Supervisor: Kelian Luisk
School: Estonian Academy of Arts, Accessory Design 
Country: Estonia

The concept of footwear is changing. Change in norms of behavior and faith in design that considers people’s needs and the ground they walk on. The aim of our project is to change the common, unsustainable way of thinking and make people more aware of environmental problems. We set ourselves the goal of analyzing common materials, so we were able to make conclusions based on our experience. Our key point was to emphasize the closest environment to us, focusing on local materials and people’s needs in this specific climate. Project results in a shoe with a simple construction that doesn’t harm the environment as much and allows the user to modify it according to available materials.

Team: Andrii Vershkov, Miranda Smyrniou 
Supervisor: Despina Malli
School: Askardamykti School
Country: Greece

“Believing that nature is the future. We decided to make a project that aimed at stopping the pollution of the environment and at the same time to give a new life to our planet. And there is a solution to this. “SEED” is a biodegradable shoe all the materials used are biodegradable, inside there are adapted pine seeds. And now all we have to do is choose when it is time to throw away our shoes and pollute the environment. We will not do it. Right?
We choose to bury them in our cupboard or in the park. As a result we managed to reduce the pollution of the environment and increase the tree planting. Together we can solve the problems of our planet!”

Team:Shivani Netalkar, Ansh Kohli
Supervisor: Eleonora Piacentini
School: Arsutoria School
Country:  Italy

E.W.A Immortal Shoe is inspired from the 3 main elements of nature that we want to save: Earth, Water & Air. The design takes its inspiration from the beautiful pattern of Water waves, the importance of breathability by air and the majestic Earth’s soil patterns. Designed to be multifunctional, it can be used in two different ways: sneaker and sandal with the use of one special component- the In-sock. Place the sock inside the upper, it becomes a sneaker. Remove the sock from the upper and viola, it becomes a sandal. Simple and accessible design where you can just change the sock colours and get a whole new different look rather than buying a whole new sneaker, making it versatile to be used beyond any season. Made with materials sourced from the best suppliers around the world, right from upper leather to the adhesives and toe-puff counters are sustainable and eco-friendly in their own ways. With customers being our top priority, we also designed a platform called Sustainable Daily Hacks, which not only educates and promotes them for everyday easy to follow sustainable practices but also brings them closer to one of its kind sustainable marketplace.

Team: Adrian Baroja, Carmen Pérez-Medrano, Adriana Vicente
Supervisor: Ana Isabel Jimeno
School: IES Virgen del Vico
Country: Spain

When we stopped to think about the large amount of waste in the textile industry that we generate worldwide, we were clear that our project would have to be sustainable and ecological, following current trends. “Ecoacra” is born from around our mountains, vineyards, our river… From our beautiful city and everything around us. And this is where our project “EcoAcra” makes sense. A project in which we combine sustainability with the most innovative materials and the latest technologies to create a model that is 100% biodegradable and compostable, and that once the useful life of the shoe is over serves as fertilizer for the ground, generating zero waste for the planet. A product that leaves the ground and once it reaches the end of life returns to the ground. 

Team: Giulia Iannaccone, Matteo Sorgato
Supervisor: Eleonora Piacentini
School: Arsutoria Shool
Country: Italy

This project was born to ideally sponsor an initiative taking place in Indonesia in the last years named “Ecosia”, in effort to support SOS (the Sumatran Orangutan Society) a non-profit organisation with aim to protect the habitat of wild orangutans. For each pair of shoes which gets sold, a tree will be planted in one of the greatest “virgin” forests of Southeast Asia, nonetheless one of the major orangutan habitats: the Gu-nung Leuser eco system in Sumatra. Orango Sneakers was created from the necessity of creating an iconic piece for our times, but which reminds in an active, effective and determined the “call to action” against the progressive destruction of our planet’s eco system. Fashion is a highly polluting industry which leads to the consumption and hypertrophic waste of resources. Orango Sneakers is a brand that belongs to the fashion industry but not to its current systems: it is a fashion piece of great design, with a light chunky style; majorly streetwear but created with natural bres or recycled materials, which confers a light and comfortable fee- ling for those who wear it, along with a feeling of respect for our environment. Wearing these sneakers will bring along a feeling of love and respect for the individual as well as for the world we inhabit, and towards which we have to feel responsable, grateful and in everlasting debt.

Team: Lucrezia Del Mecio, Karina Sotnik 
Supervisor: Francesca Pierucci
School: Polimoda
Country: Italy

The idea of the “Put Yourself in Your Shoes” project originates by the desire to offer a valid career opportunity to those students who are uncertain about their post-school future. To accomplish this, we want to create an emotional bond with them by leveraging the students’ insecurity at a crucial moment in their life, to transmit certainties and stability to them. We want to encourage teenagers to be their true selves and “Put themselves in their shoes”, without feeling the pressure of a canonical career that they may not like. Hence our intent to raise awareness among students and inform about what lies behind the finished product, of which only a few, get to see the background.

Team: Beatrice Pacini, Melissa Patriarchi
Supervisor: Francesca Pierucci
School: Polimoda
Country: Italy

“Be your own maker” is a compilation of four clips that tells the stories of people brought up from nothing that achieved great distance because of the footwear sector. The idea is to allow young artisans to do what they do best, to become dreams’ material executors and to enlighten the business they love. From the first moment we started working on “Shake the future of the footwear sector” project what we wanted to do was to exhort our generation to join the footwear sector today, not tomorrow. With our strategy we want to excite teenagers’ dreams, desires and goals. We want to outline the sector as smart. We want to tell real stories of personal success. 

To grow up we need strong feelings, feelings that allow us to build up our dreams. For us the reach for success is the key for a good set of goals in life. The young generation needs to know that, thanks to the footwear sector, it can achieve a satisfying working position and that its future is created by what you do today.

Team: Elisabetta Boldrini, Belinda Burberi
Supervisor: Francesca Pierucci
School: Polimoda
Country: Italy

The project we designed for the contest focuses on the value of Made in Italy. The latter places the quality and craftsmanship of the craft as its main objective. Our focus is the sole of the shoe, an accessory common to all but with great features both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. The central idea is to create short videos that highlight the made in Italy of the sole by telling its functionality and features. They will be clear, essential but with attention to detail. We will make them youthful and fun with the use of colors and shapes.

Team: Sara Collini, Chiara Masetti, Sofia Neri
Supervisor: Francesca Pierucci
School: Polimoda
Country: Italy

Our communication strategy is based on two goals: to make the target audience curious about the footwear industry and to send the message that “craftsmanship is synonymous of creativity”, talking to creative young people who know how to tell stories using their own hands, used to manual work and eager to express themselves. The creative idea of our strategy can be summarized in “Shape your vision”. We want to tell the creative process that leads to the realization of the footwear product. For this, we will show the projects of three Polimoda students attending the undergraduate course in Footwear & Accessories Design. To each student will be dedicated three posts: a video, a photo of the product and an iconic graphic image that expresses the concept of the collection, in order to allow the user to embark on a journey not only to discover the handmade product but also to visualize the intimate creative process that underlies it.

Team: Sara Baradaran, Irene Vezzosi
Supervisor: Francesca Pierucci
School: Polimoda
Country: Italy

“Rockthepassion” involves young people with an attractive language for them, in order to fully attract them into the working world of the footwear industry and encourage them to believe in their professional future. A twenty-four-hour opportunity for shoeheads to experience the stages of the footwear production process. The experience will be created to encourage and stimulate the shoeheads to believe more in their passions. The aim of this initiative will be to challenge one’s own passions, which could lead to unexpected revelations for one’s own future.

Team: Ilaria Collodi, Vittoria Fagni
Supervisor: Francesca Pierucci
School: Polimoda
Country: Italy

Introductory video: Instagram box, a question, four answers.
The game will guess the correct answer. You will have to click on the option that is right for you, then a video will start, in which shoe boxes slide on a conveyor, inside them, there will be tickets with the same question and the same four answers. Through a Zoom of the ticket we will show you the right answer, then a second clip will start that will tell and explain the various tasks.

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