LEON, Mexico – Mexico’s footwear industry is getting guidance from an Italian fashion company on how to conquer international markets by emphasizing original designs over lower-priced copies of styles created elsewhere.
“We need to open our industry to an international approach and with that purpose we hired an Italian firm, Mattori, to give us support in achieving professional design that matches what international markets demand,” Luis Gerardo Gonzalez Garcia, president of the Guanajuato Footwear Industry Chamber, told EFE.
The central state of Guanajuato accounts for 70 percent of Mexican footwear production, turning out 7.2 million pairs of shoes in the first quarter for export to 45 countries, generating nearly $130 million.
“We know that our prices are very competitive in the European market,” Gonzalez Garcia said. “We can sell 15 million or 20 million pairs, which represents doubling our exports.”
Mexico has the creative resources to produce its own original designs, Mattori director Matteo Bardi said.
Bardi is a consultant to Shoes from Mexico, a project comprising 15 Guanajuato brands who have put aside copying existing models in favor of crafting a new, distinctively Mexican style.
“To be able to create an international product, the first step is to travel around and look what the market, what the international client, seeks regarding quality, colors and textures,” he said.
Omar Mares, the boss of one of the 15 participating companies, said that the purpose “is to make Mexico known for what the country is, with the richness of its people and its culture.”
“We are matching Mexican manufacturing and design with this Italian design team to sell by offering new trends,” he said.