Mario Moretti Polegato, the founder of Italian footwear company GEOX, is incredibly au courant about the positioning of his brand. “GEOX is in the premium category of shoes, but it is still accessible by the masses. We fuse the best of Italian fashion and technology.”
While it might be presumptuous of him to assume so, the brand’s 20 years of marrying contemporary Italian design and the comfort that only new-generation technology offers do not lie. What then does one do when the arenas of style, comfort, and quality have been conquered? Do as Polegato does – tackle the one that concerns hygiene. “95 percent of men buy shoes with rubber soles because they are comfortable. The number one problem they then face is hygiene.”
The two latest kicks from GEOX’s Fall/Winter ‘19 range fulfil the trifecta of a sneaker from GEOX – ease of wear, Italian good looks, and sturdiness – but Polegato is quick on the draw about the new technology incorporated into the MODUAL and NEBULA Y.
“We call the MODUAL the ultimate travel shoe – it does not crease or damage even if you throw it into your luggage. In fact, I’m wearing it now,” Polegato points to the handsome pair on a shelf. He also points out that the shoe “breathes” thanks to the combination of a Net Breathing (found on the soles) and Inner Breathing system (found on the insoles), and the inclusion of an Amphibiox system – an innovative membrane technology that renders the MODUAL completely waterproof yet breathable.
The NEBULA Y is the 2.0 of the NEBULA – GEOX’s most successful model, which, according to Polegato, “was designed based on how much [GEOX’s] consumers love comfortable shoes. Particularly ones that feature insoles”. The NEBULA Y now sees a cupsole that improves grip and stability in different terrains (rocky terrains, cobblestone streets, and wet pavements) and despite having an upper top of suede (it comes in white, blue, or black), it weighs as light as three tennis balls.
If one then wants to elevate his look from the footwear upwards, GEOX’s store at Paragon now sells puffer jackets. Not the run-of-the-mill kind, each GEOX jacket features a breathable membrane on its shoulder that wicks away heat. “Heat rises from the ground up, and humans usually get hot at their shoulders. The strip on our jackets increases the breathability of it,” shares Polegato.
Putting this technological feat in context, one will no longer need to remove his jacket when he steps into a heated place from a cold environment.
X MARKS THE SPOT
The concept of GEOX’s latest store at Paragon is titled X Concept, which is befitting of the brand’s four core pillars – Italian quality (the furnishings are inspired by Italian artisans), contemporary design that mimics their footwear, sustainability (the brand has an existing collaboration with the World Wide Foundation), and digital technology – four cardinal points that meet at the heart of the store.
A digitalised screen explains GEOX’s principle of breathability to customers, the details of current footwear trends together with the offerings, and it provides detailed descriptions of the patents for each GEOX product. In the field of sustainable technology, the brand goes one step further than most – it has installed solar panels on the roofs of their headquarters to power their operations.
When asked about GEOX’s 2020 plan, Filippo, Polegato’s right-hand man, addresses it humorously. “In every country, it is a given that the people (especially the younger generation) will want to enjoy a high quality of life. We are going to be rolling out special socks that are made of natural cotton. They do not trap sweat or smell.”
GEOX has already addressed what customers want on their feet, and now, it is poised to address what they should wrap it with.