Monday, January 15, 2024 “A STEP IN HISTORY”

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Celebration Night 100th Edition

A short film and photo exhibition retraced the path forged by Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags in the history of the footwear industry and highlighted the exhibition’s capacity to keep pace with global changes, evolving towards an increasingly international future, welcoming and overcoming the challenges that today, confirm its current standing as a benchmark in the footwear, bags and accessories market.
100 editions and a 50-year-long history: an incredible adventure that deserved to be the focus of the Celebration Night and honoured by images full of memories, teachings, pride and a vision for the future.

Celebrating the past is like putting on a pair of glasses that obscure the emotions linked to so many memories, while bringing the present into much sharper focus. Through the lens of the past, our gaze is now more firmly fixed on the future and the new milestones to be achieved.

The lights go out, the cake is wheeled in, everyone gets ready to blow out the candles. That’s how birthdays are normally celebrated. Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags decided to go one step further and invite to its memorable Celebration Night all those who have contributed – and still contribute – to the success of this remarkable event: “It is quite moving to see so many people in the audience, many of whom friends, who have travelled this long and rewarding path with us,” said Roberto Pellegrini, Chairman of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, from the stage of the Celebration Night.

Alessandra Albarelli, Director of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi pointed out: “Today, with immense joy, we celebrate a glorious past, but we do so with an eye to the future. The future of the event and its ability to provide an increasing number of services aimed at supporting the growth of the footwear and accessories industry in terms of both size and innovation capacity.” 

At the 100th edition, Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags rightfully wished to commemorate those people instrumental in making the event what it is today, who had contributed to its success and believed in it throughout its remarkable growth but also during its most challenging moments.

During the Celebration Night on Sunday, 14 January 2024 at the Riva del Garda Convention Centre, a short film and a photo exhibition too paid tribute to the incredible history written not only by an industry trade fair but by an entire community, whose key players (institutions, associations, exhibitors, buyers and accommodation facilities) have come from all over the world.
The key figures of this 50-year-long history took to the stage to accept the exhibition's due recognition. A succession of names, faces and stories; people who, in all these years, have strengthened the event with their professionalism and friendship.

How much has the world changed since 1974? To say “a lot” would be a little simplistic. To speak of revolutions would perhaps be an understatement. Especially today, in an era where artificial intelligence is able to do what only the most imaginative science fiction writers could have vaguely imagined.
The short film and the exhibition “A step in history” curated by Roberta Bonazza and Luciano Stoffella sought to highlight the event’s capacity to address the numerous changes undergone by the market in 50 years of human and political history. 50 years that have shaken up traditional balances and entire continents.

The short film captured the history of the exhibition within the broader framework of the major international transformations that have taken place, the most important moments in history, sports, fashion and society. An increasingly broad and globalised human history, accompanied by the event’s international growth.

The photo exhibition, stylised to look like an old-fashioned film, revisited the major milestones in a continually dynamic, never-stagnant journey. This was symbolised by the final frame – alive with colour and motion – depicting the modern-day, the present and the proactive drive towards the future.

The Kataklò Athletic Dance Theatre Milano treated the audience to an extraordinary, energetic and expressive dance-theatre performance, choreographed especially for the evening, in which the dancers’ bodies brought the bags, accessories and footwear on stage to life, depicting the number 100.

The dj set at the end brought exhibitors, buyers, the press and organisers together in a beautiful moment of celebration that ended the evening with a room full of smiles, well-deserved for a milestone as important as the event’s 100th edition.

* The Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags team collaborated with Roberta Bonazza and Luciano Stoffella on the cultural and historical aspects.


*Photo credits: for Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags