Report – Isetan Shoes Expo 2019

A week ago the first edition of the Isetan Shoes Expo 2019 took place – a real shoe bonanza with all things men’s shoes. Apart from the two sessions I worked with them on – a talk about the World Championships in Shoemaking with the top trio, and the Shoe Shining Champion of Champions contest – loads of exhibitions and happenings took place. Here’s a summary.

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The picture

The picture – Antique shoemaking machines

If you visit shoe factories today, it varies greatly between older and more modern machinery parks, not infrequently also within each factory. However, it’s not very common to use as old machines as the one in the picture above. This lasting machine dates from the first half of the 20th century, and is located in Gaziano & Girlings factory in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

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Reflection – New turn for the leather industry

The past few years the demand for regular cowhides has dropped dramatically, and in some places one has started to burry the hides since no one wants them. The reason is that more people want so-called vegan leather, the interest in leather shoes decline in general, and more. So far, premium skins have been spared, but the question is whether this trend will reach here as well.

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