They keep the shoe business united — some do it through trade shows, while others organize the power players to rally for a cause or to lobby Washington, D.C.
Below, the nonprofits, organizations and trade shows that continue to guide the footwear industry into 2020.
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Siro Badon Tommaso Cancellara
President, Assocalzaturifici Italian Footwear Manufacturers’ Association & Micam; CEO, Micam GM Assocalzaturifici
Micam celebrated its 50th by introducing the Players District, a new area of the show dedicated to outdoor and sports shoes. The addition also included a performance space called The Arena, where live events take place.
Laura Conwell O’Brien
Executive Director, The Atlanta Shoe Market
The Atlanta Shoe Market continues to expand its national and international presence by working with various organizations and retailers. For 2020, the trade show is partnering with Abicalcados, a footwear organization based in Brazil, as well as individual Brazilian companies in the shoe business.
Interim CEO, Two Ten Footwear Foundation
While the search for a new CEO continues, DiPasquale is leading the nonprofit as it prepares for its annual gala, a celebration of 80 years, at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Notably, more than 200 women participated in Two Ten’s WIFI mentoring program in 2019, a record for the foundation. Two Ten is also working to address relief efforts, which have increased over the past year.
President of Footwear, Informa
Informa continues to come up with ways for trade shows to thrive in the digital age. In August, the organization moved all of Magic under one roof at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The transition put footwear-centric vendors in the mix with apparel and lifestyle, a tactic that aimed to enliven the disruptive retail industry.
Executive Director, Fashion Footwear Association of New York
It was a year of transformation and reinvention for FFANY and Heron, who stepped in as president of the association this year. Under Heron, FFANY debuted a new, leaner operating model and announced it will no longer be involved with the administration of exhibitions at hotels in the area.
President & CEO, CFDA
This year, the CFDA welcomed Tom Ford as its new chairman. The award-winning fashion designer succeeded Diane von Furstenberg, who was in the position since 2015. Additionally, the CFDA published a comprehensive report with retail management giant PVH Corp. that examines the relationship between inclusion and diversity in the American fashion industry.
EVP & Incoming President, American Apparel & Footwear Association
The AAFA remains on the front lines to help curtail — and rally the industry against — the Trump administration’s tariffs on footwear and other goods. The association also debuted a new Sourcing Profiles feature for its members that allows them to quickly assess opportunities and challenges when it comes to diversifying supply chains.
SVP & Show Director, Outdoor Retailer
Outdoor Retailer will go back to hosting two annual shows, the Outdoor + Snow Show in January and Summer Market in June. Under Nicholson, the organization introduced new sustainability efforts this year at its Summer Market, which included banning the sale of single-use plastics within the venue.
President, Apiccaps & The European Confederation of The Footwear Industry
The Portuguese designer is a force to be reckoned with in the European footwear industry, as he was appointed as president of its confederation in February. Onofre continues to lead the way for Portuguese-based shoe designers. Currently, 95% of Portugal-produced footwear is exported to 162 countries in five continents.
President, Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America
Under Priest, the FDRA continues to be at the forefront of the footwear industry’s fight against the Trump administration’s tariffs on goods from China. In 2019, the FDRA organized two letters to President Trump expressing concern over the projected rise in costs. The association, which turned 75 this year, also hosted a group of footwear executives who publicly testified against the Federal Government’s proposed action.
President, National Shoe Retailers Association
The NSRA continues to advise independent retailers on best practices, and it also rolled out new member benefits
this year. Perks include leadership training with a sales and marketing specialist and online marketing services. The association is gearing up for its annual conference, held in St. Louis on Nov. 13 and 14.
CEO & President, Soles4souls
Soles4Souls worked to find success with key partners like DSW, whose customers donated more than 1.5 million pairs of shoes in 2019. The organization also was able to fully fund a pilot of Street Business School, which helps people around the world living in poverty find success in entrepreneurship.