Bata is undoubtedly one of the most internationally renowned Czech brands. Formed in 1894, they proudly proclaim to be the world’s leading shoemaker by volume, serving more than one million customers a day. Not bad for a family owned business.
Last year they debuted their own Bata Fashion Weekend in their home city of Prague. So successful was the event, that this year they took it on the road to the global fashion centre that is Milan.
“This year, we decided to host our Bata Fashion Weekend in Italy. We chose Milan since it’s one of the most important fashion capitals in Europe, a city where trends actually emerge,” says Thomas Archer Bata, Chief Marketing Officer.
For two days, the prestigious Palazzo Mezzanotte was transformed into a bustling hub of fashion, design and creativity. The theme of the event was “The Sound of Style”; activities inclulded fashion shows, shoe exhibitions, music performances and handcraft workshops.
One of the highlights of the event was undoubtedly the final of the Bata Young Designers Challenge 2018, in which students from Prague’s UMPRUM academy and Italy’s Politecnico Calzaturiero of Padua entered their crystal-covered shoe designs. Cooperation with universities is hugely important to Bata, as they feel it is crucial to support young talented designers and give them an inside look into the industry to kick-start their careers.
The competition was run in close cooperation with Preciosa, who also supplied crystals for the students to use in their designs and gave entrants a specialized workshop on the use of crystals in shoe design. The two winners of the competition were Tereza Kanyzova and Celeste Andrea Beggio; their prize will be to have their designs produced in the Kalliste factory and sold in select Bata stores internationally.
Also key to the weekend was the campaign “Me & Comfortable With It”, which promotes healthy self-confidence while fighting against prejudice. Jana Barbati Chadová, Head of Global Marketing at Bata, said: “Our goal is to transform the campaign into real life in every point of view. That is why Nidhim Kochhar, a professional bodybuilder whose left foot was amputated after a motorcycle crash, will be one of the main models of the catwalk.”
Overall the event was an immense success. Energized, colorful and chaotic, singer Lenny (also Bata’s Brand Ambassador), was present along with various other journalists, models and TV stars from various countries. We will be waiting with baited breath for next year.