A gift for invention led MARIO MORETTI POLEGATO to forever change the course of footwear technology and the global shoe industry.
It takes talent and tenacity to transform an unpleasant walk into an internationally recognized brand worth millions. GEOX Founder and Chairman Mario Moretti Polegato began his foray into breathable, waterproof fabric technology in 1989, by piercing the rubber soles of his sneakers while taking a stroll in Nevada, creating crude ventilation. After much research and development, he patented the world’s first “breathing shoe”. His Montebelluna-based company, established in 1991, quickly garnered recognition as one of the best Italian enterprise success stories in recent history.
The Group expanded globally in 2000 using both single and multi-brand sales channels. It formed an international sales organization consisting of independent agents handling distribution of GEOX products per territory. GEOX products are now available in more than 110 countries, spanning over 1,165 stores and more than 10,000 multi-brand points of sale. Listed on the Milan stock exchange since 2004, GEOX is characterized by exclusive, innovative technology used in the manufacture and design of all types of footwear.
“As the regional hub of Asia, Hong Kong is a most important strategic location for development in Asia Pacific,” says Polegato. “We established our regional headquarters in the city in September 2012, officially taking over the business through direct management and operation. As of July 2015, 20 directly operated GEOX stores have opened in Hong Kong and Macau.
“The recent renovation of the GEOX store in IFC Mall best-illustrates our commitment to the Hong Kong market, in which a globally-exclusive store concept was conceived to reinforce Italian contemporary style and design, featuring furniture and construction materials specially designed and produced in Italy.”
Style and Functionality
A family brand, GEOX produces shoes for Men, Women and Children. “Our customers are those who look for comfort as well as quality in footwear, and at the same time, understand fashion trends,” says Polegato.
“The successful combination of technology and fashion is the key. This is no easy task as they are two extremes, especially in women’s footwear.” Striking a balance between the two, GEOX takes shoemaking up a level, consolidating its leading position in the industry. “We invest more resources into authentic shoemaking technology than our competitors to develop unique products.
“Traditional shoemakers focus mainly on design and quality. We invest 2% of our annual turnover in research and development. We collaborate closely with researchers at European and American universities. In Italy, we have an exclusive lab where our team of 15 engineers delves into kinetic relationships on a daily basis.”
90% of the industry produces rubber sole shoes, causing problems concerning moisture and heat. To address these, GEOX shoes use perforated soles incorporating a special breathable, waterproof membrane made from a micro-porous material, which expels perspiration in the form of vapor, but prevents water from penetrating. The membrane’s micropores are larger than water vapor molecules, but smaller than water droplets – keeping feet dry. This allows a natural thermoregulation, creating an ideal microclimate within the shoe.
Similarly, GEOX patented apparel technology grants up to a 40% increase in transpiration capability. The application of this patent consists in the use of a garment’s constructive system, based on the creation of a cavity between the fabric and the body. This exploits the natural movement of warm air, letting it rise and exit through a waterproof membrane-equipped breathing tape.
Offspring of Necessity
GEOX is renowned for proprietary technologies, boasting 60 patent rights to date.
“Over the years, we have developed patented technologies to improve the wellbeing of our customers. These include the NET Breathing System with ultra-breathable technologies for maximum comfort, the Amphibiox Collection offering 100% waterproof protection and thermal insulation, the Side Transpiration System for better performance under extremely cold conditions, and the NEBULA Collection launched recently in SS15, with 3D Breathing Engineering offering extra breathability, stability and lightness. With our continuous development and enhancement of our shoemaking technology, GEOX is committed to offer our customers more unique products in the future.”
For additional information please visit www.geox.com