Assocalzaturifici, the powerful Italian shoe industry association, is studying the project of a match-making process for future editions of its Micam trade show, to foster better connections between Italian contract manufacturers and potential clients from all over the world. As it was last month, the fair will also continue as the world's largest platform for brands to display their latest collections.

Siro Badon, who was voted as the new president of Assocalzaturifici until June 2023 by a large majority of its 700-odd members, noted in an interview that more than 60 percent of them are engaged in third-party manufacturing, although many of them also have their own brands. Tommaso Cancellara, general manager of the association, has already started screening companies to put together the new program. Assocalzaturifici is also working on a new program in the area of sustainability.

Badon runs a big company near Venice, Calzaturificio De Robert, that develops and makes the shoes for Balenciaga and Yves Saint-Laurent, two of Kering's brands. He recently modernized its factory, introducing new guidelines to reduce carbon emissions. Badon will remain president of Acrib, the association of shoe manufacturers located along the Brenta River, until his successor is elected before the end of this year.

Last month's edition of Micam welcomed a total of 44,076 unique visitors, down from 45,424 one year ago but 0.9 percent up from last February, when the show coincided with the Chinese New Year. Foreign visitors represented about 60 percent of the total. As compared to February, the total number of foreign buyers went up by almost 2 percent, including a 10 percent increase from Switzerland. The number of visitors from Russia and the Ukraine fell by 12.8 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively.

The show hosted 1,303 exhibitors, down from 1,396 a year ago. A dozen sports and outdoor brands were invited to the show for the first time in a new area, called the Players District, close to one of biggest and most loyal exhibitors at the fair, Skechers.

There was also a new VIP Lounge for foreign buyers inspired by China at this 88th edition of Micam – 88 being a lucky number in China.

At the end of the show, a select number of guests were invited to an event, called “Art Reflects Beauty,” to commemorate both the 50th anniversary of Micam and the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. It included a private visit to Leonardo's famous “Last Supper” and an aperitif in “Leonardo's Vineyard.”