Georgy Bidegain passed away on March 27. He was 85 years old. He was an uncle of Jean-Pierre Bidegain, the well-known journalist and publisher who recently retired. Together with his brother José Bidegain, he built up Babybotte, the well-known brand of shoes for toddlers between the ages of one and three, introducing an innovative technology. He learnt new manufacturing techniques in the U.S. and took the place of his brother at the head of the family company, Bidegain SA (BSA), which launched other footwear lines, and ran it for 30 years. He was the first shoemaker in the world to use automated water-jet leather cutting at his factory in the French town of Pau. He was the first French shoemaker to outsource part of his production to emerging markets like Morocco. He was also the founder and first president of UITIC, the international union of shoe manufacturing technicians.

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