I finally put together all the pictures from Italy where I went on Sunday for two days! It was really quick, but incredibly intense!
And how did I actually get here? The shoe brand Geox invited me and three journalists to have a look into their factory where their famous “breathing” shoes are made. The journalists interviewed the president of Geox Mario Polegato and I had a chance to explore their factory, laboratories, and warehouses. Coincidentally, the president of Geox is a passionate winegrower, so he owns several vineyards and restaurants in the neighborhood of Montebelluna, where Geox headquarters are located.
I’m not going to burden you with long stories about what I’ve learned and seen, but I’ll tell you the story that started it all, because it’s unbelievably interesting. Certainly, most of you guys know, that Geox first came up with the breathing membrane, thanks to which the foot really breathes in the shoe. But just a few people actually know how this membrane was invented.
So, young Mario was helping with the family wine business, and when he went for a walk in the middle of summer, he realized how hot and uncomfy his feet in his shoes are. He took a Swiss knife and made holes into the soles in order to let some air into the shoes. He realized what a brilliant idea it was, but the problem was when it started raining – the water got into the shoes obviously. So he began to think how he could bring this technology to perfection. After several prototypes, he managed to invent a membrane that worked one way only. It let the moisture out, but not in.
He tried to sell this technology to big footwear companies such as Nike, but no one was interested in it. So Mario established his own company and named it Geox. This year he celebrated 22 years of successful existence. The company currently has around 6,000 employees worldwide and is the third largest casual shoe company. In front of Geox there is only the British Clarks, which has been operating for nearly 200 years, and the Danish Ecco, which has been on the market for over 50 years.
Interestingly, Geox began producing kids’ shoes first, followed by men’s collections, and ladies shoes came to the market last.
And what exactly have we been doing here for those two days? Because there is too many things, I decided to split it into two articles.
We arrived (by propeller plane!!) to Venice at around noon and drove to Montebelluna, where our hotel was located. This hotel was the most romantic hotel I’ve ever seen! Those fancy city hotels don’t have this kind of atmosphere at all! We had a coffee and waited in the garden before Ludvík, our guide, who represents Geox and other brands in the Czech Republic, arrives. Ludvík was a cool & stylish guy, whom I would have easily mistaken with a native Italian. When he arrived, we ordered a bottle of prosecco (And by then I had no idea that it wouldn’t be the last one at all hahahaha) and were talking and getting to know each other.
In the afternoon, we had a planned trip to this fantastic historic town called Asolo, where we went for a walk and made it to the castle.
Then, Ludvík took us for dinner to the restaurant owned by Mr. Polegato. My diet was completely ruined, because I ate about the same amount of food as in the whole last week. Pasta was served as an appetizer (?!) and the main meal consisted of half a kilo beef steak (<3). Of course there was a dessert and a strong Italian coffee, after which I wouldn’t normally fall asleep, but thanks to those hectoliters of wine, I fell asleep within 5 seconds, haha:)
The next morning we had even more intense program than the first day, about which I’ll tell you in the next article! <3