The Italian Almanac

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Mario Moretti Polegato

Shoe Can Breath

Mario Moretti Polegato, founder and chairman of Italian footwear giant Geox, added to his long list of awards by picking up France's MAPIC international real-estate fair's 'personality of the year' gong. "I'm really very honoured to receive this prize which I take as a recognition not only of my firm but also of Italian excellence in the business world," Moretti Polegato said in accepting the award at Cannes' Palais des Festivals.

"Born into a family of farmers and winemakers, this highly unusual entrepreneur first exercised his talents in wine production before embarking on the challenge of producing a very special type of shoe," the MAPIC award citation said. "The Geox concept was invented after a hike in Nevada in the mid-'90s, where he decided to make holes in the soles of his shoe to relieve his overheated feet," MAPIC recalled.

Recognized worldwide as the inventor of 'the shoe that breathes,' Mario Moretti Polegato has raised his brand to the position of market leader through a combination of innovation and creativity. The runaway success of Geox, driven by a cutting-edge marketing strategy and international development policy, is a fascinating case study of entrepreneurial success.