The Micam shoe show continued to support start-ups during its 88th edition, held in Milan on Sept. 15-18. In addition to a fully-fledged exhibition in another part of the fair as in previous seasons, some of them were given a small dedicated space strategically located in the Micam Fashion Square in Hall 1, simply showcasing some of their creations. The designers were picked through a collaboration with Suitex, a well-known Italian headhunter in the fashion sector.

Le Scarpe di Marta, a new line created by Marta Guerci, a podiatrist, and Tommaso Bellisario, a rocket scientist, has an interesting story to tell. Guerci, seeking shoes that were both feminine and comfortable, devoted herself to the study of footwear after completing her studies in podiatry.

Meanwhile, Bellisario, who after working between France and the Italian regions of Apulia and Emilia Romagna, started to cultivate the idea of creating a line of shoes. They both attended Cercal, a footwear academy in the Marche region. After working for a while in the region, they launched Le Scarpe di Marta in April 2017. Wholly made in Italy, the shoes have a minimalist but colorful style with a “French touch and an Italian soul.”

The exhibition included the creations of Max Moore, a designer born in Los Angeles in 1993 who soon moved to his mother's native Apulia, a southern region of Italy where he grew up with his family. He graduated from the European Institute of Design in Milan, and after collaborated with Roveda, the big shoe manufacturer in Parabiago that works for Chanel, for his university thesis. He then created his own label of women's shoes, Max Moore Milano.

Federica Fasoli Milano was another brand on display, showcasing a nice and elegant pump with Swarowski crystals. The label was created in 2018 by a designer with the same name who has been working for Roveda for eight years. Fasoli says her project started in March as a hobby in combination with a jeweler. Together, they are trying to draw attention to the brand on Instagram with the help of a well-known Italian fashion model.

The designers Alice and Stephanie presented the label Samboue, meaning “successful woman” in the African language Teke. The two women are university friends, and they both graduated in science, Alice in biotechnology and Stephanie in pharmacology. Stephanie's mother, Marie Helene Samboue, inspired the brand name, while her father contributed with his love of art, including Kuba fabrics. So, returning from a trip to Congo, Stephanie brought back her family's collection of Kuba textiles, the central element of the Samboue project.

Kuba fabrics are made from raffia created from palm leaves, woven by the men and embroidered by the women, and colored with plant-based and mineral dyes. The brand's key model is Le manoka, ballerinas with classic lines, entirely handmade by Italian artisans using fine skins, leather soles and soft calf-leather inside, while the outer is covered with Kuba fabric.

The brand's social commitment is to promote the art of weaving and improving the Kuba people's quality of life as well as support the charity Dynafet, which teaches literacy to women in the Kasai territory in Congo.

The small exhibition also included the Italian brand Ambleme. The brand name derives from the word “amble,” which means to walk at leisurely relaxed pace. The shoes are made by hand just outside Milan. Behind the label is Stefanie Fusi, a Swiss-born, Milan-raised former marketing manager for some top luxury fashion houses and a contributor to famous magazines.

Thomas Flaim, born on Oct. 4, 1984, in Bolzano, Italy, to a German mother and an Italian father, presented his brand Thomas Neuman. Flaim started in the world of fashion as a model, a job that allowed him to finance his studies in economics. After graduating, he began a commercial career for important fashion brands, working between Milan, Paris, New York and Asia. He started with clothing and then discovered his true passion by specializing in accessories and particularly footwear. This led to the creation of Thomas Neuman, a line of luxury-chic footwear that combines a rock soul and elegant femininity. The shoes are produced in the Marche region.

Another new brand was Levius, from the Latin word for lightness. The label was born in Venice and all models are designed with techniques used to make sports shoes light and comfortable. The shoes are produced on the mainland near Venice.

Another rather technical and lightweight item on display was Naglev, a new brand of urban outdoor shoes. Its first and only model, Unico, was originally sold directly to customers exclusively on the internet, and was only recently made available to distributors and retailers. It was launched in Montebelluna by a former owner of Garmont, Achille Morlin, and his daughter Elettra, The shoe uses a wool sock and other natural materials with no seams inside. The coconut fiber sole has an outer shell made of Kevlar. Naglev claims that it is the only outdoor company in the world to have signed a license with DuPont to use the Kevlar by DuPont label.

P448, a premium brand of sneakers created in 2014 by Marco Samorè and Andrea Curti, was also on display. Their company offers four collections a year of Italian-made shoes for men, women and children, two for the spring/summer season and two for the fall/winter season.