FAIRS | 24/11/2022

Forum in Mexico: "For Guanajuato to be the epicenter of Mexican fashion"

Trends and Design Fashion Forum. With important international references, the event had a massive turnout and was highly positive for all its participants.

A crowd confirmed the vocation of Mexico to have a greater role in the international fashion market.

A feeling of general satisfaction left the TRENDS AND DESIGN FASHION FORUM among organizers, invited speakers and the general public. The concepts and contents expressed by relevant international figures from the world of fashion to the large audience that gathered on November 9th at the Roberto Plasencia Saldaña Bicentennial Theater in León, Guanajuato, were a valuable contribution to the sector.

It was a direct contact with renowned businessmen, professionals and designers who left their experiences and knowledge, in order to collaborate with the planning of a strategy for greater insertion of the Mexican industry in the international market. This pointed to the revaluation of its cultural roots and creative capacities, of strong identity, which augur a promising future in the global arena.

Students represented 25% of the total attendance, while businessmen were 57%, followed by the public related to fashion production and press. The majority came from the state of Guanajuato (1,176 people); Jalisco (94); Puebla (49); Michoacan (31); Veracruz (20) and Querétaro (18), among the main origins. The total number of attendees was 1,452.

This first international fashion forum had the support of the Government of the State of Guanajuato and its respective secretariats, and the Municipal Government of León through its Departments of Economy and Tourism. The coordination and organization of the event was in charge of the Clúster Guanajuato Moda, with the participation of CICEG -Footwear Chamber of Guanajuato-, APIMEX -Association of Suppliers- and other entities linked to the footwear, manufactures and clothing sector.

​Authorities present and recognitions

At the inauguration of the forum, the Governor of the State of Guanajuato, Diego Sinhué Rodríguez, had words of recognition and gratitude to the organizers "since I firmly believe that this event will become a fashion benchmark not only for our country, but for the whole Latin America", he said.

For her part, the Municipal President of León, Alejandra Gutiérrez Campos, recognized the effort of the Clúster Moda Guanajuato to continue promoting knowledge and innovation: "The leather-footwear industry and its entire production chain have given us identity for many years and it will continue to do so, evolving and adapting to changes”, she was happy to welcome all the businessmen and students who attended the forum as a host city.

Alfredo Padilla Villalpando, Coordinator of Clúster Moda Guanajuato and President of the Chamber of the Footwear Industry of the State of Guanajuato, thanked the authorities for their support and the willingness of the chambers that make up the fashion industry in Guanajuato: APIMEX, CICUR, CANAIVE Guanajuato and CICEG; he recognized that the event generates a new knowledge platform to encourage innovation, the generation of new business models, first-rate networking, and the possibility of sharing experiences with national and international speakers. "In addition, it allows us to attract new generations to our productive sectors and position the Guanajuato fashion industry as a creative, developing and design region."

In front of hundreds of students, big brand businessmen, new entrepreneurs and designers, the president of Clúster Moda Guanajuato welcomed the 8 international experts who shared their experiences: Steve Madden, Cleto Sagripanti, Amanda Dolfi, Pepa Pombo, Ricardo Seco, Beatriz Calles, Anuar Layon and Tanya Meléndez.

Main speakers


Former President of the European Footwear Confederation, and former President of the Italian Business Chamber of Leather and Footwear Manufacturers. He was also president of the MICAM fair in Milan and Shanghai and was awarded the Premio di Ateneo, for innovative entrepreneurs from the Le Marche Region in Italy.

He is a recognized promoter of the Made in Italy concept as well as European footwear. He has owned Italian Holding Moda since 2011 to promote the growth and internationalization of small and medium-sized companies.

He was in charge of opening the forum's programming, giving a vision of the Mexican industry in the international market.

Some of his concepts

“There is an opportunity for Mexico not only to be identified by making cowboy boots, but there is also another variety of footwear that it can make. It remains to prove it internationally. The Mexican fashion industry can innovate with other products, such as handmade sandals that are hereditary”.

"The first point for the fashion industry is essential to identify the strength of the brands, as well as the team that is working behind it and select the market niche of the project well and not change from one to another".

“It is very important to have a very close relationship with the client. That relationship represents 80% and what the product provides is 20%. The actual cost of the product is of less importance when compared to digital marketing. Investment in this tool is essential”.

"Guanajuato represents a lot for foreigners because it is here where suppliers had been installed, and there are many Italian brands that see good potential in this area where the industry is concentrated".

"Today the main pillars for the footwear business are: defining the markets, brand positioning and digital strategy".

“70% of clients are lost because they are not satisfied with the treatment they receive. It is very important to maintain links and engagement. In this aspect, we must achieve full satisfaction, provide the best service and have a stable and adequate behavior”.


American fashion designer and businessman, founder in 1990 of the brand of the same name, he was in charge of the main conference. He currently has 130 stores in the United States, 250 in 76 countries, and has an annual turnover of approximately US$ 2 billion. At the beginning, he was a salesman in a shoe store and later worked in a shoe factory to train in design and production. Once he started his independent activity, the good acceptance of his products consolidated his brand globally. On his way to success, he also had setbacks, due to his friendship with Jordan Belfort, a former stockbroker, known as "The Wolf of Wall Street", which meant 31 months in prison for Madden.

For 32 years, part of the production of footwear and its manufactures has been carried out by maquila in León, Mexico. He also designs and sells watches, jewelry, leather goods and clothing.

Steve Madden is recognized for his innate sense of fashion for women and men. His models are inspired by rock and roll, appeal and urban.

Opinions and comments

“To build a successful business, vision is required, choosing the best collaborators and producers. I am not the smartest man, nor the most creative man in the world, but I was able to put many pieces together to build this business”.

"If we are loyal to what we do, we are authentic, honest and we stand firm making quality products, this is the best way to build our brand".

“There is a lot of luck involved in success; you have to recognize when fortune comes your way and not let it go, because who knows if the opportunity will present itself to you again and what better, if you combine luck with hard work, intelligence and creativity. That way you are guaranteed success".

“We have to be open to new things, be visionaries, be willing to evolve and adapt to change. Sometimes in fashion and design we can get very caught up in how we do things and that is a risk, the key here is to surround ourselves with creative people who can be where we cannot and can think what we would not think of”.

“I love coming to Mexico and León's food, it's the best, I live in New York and I've never been to China despite the fact that shoes manufactured in Asia are bought a lot in the United States, but I prefer to come to Mexico, the weather is nice, the people are nice”.

"I don't like politicians turning against Mexico".

“The pandemic was the most difficult thing I have experienced, I was locked up and the only thing people consumed were slippers, they lived locked up and I continued making high-heeled shoes for those who did not stop going out. We were the only ones with new shoes, so the business boomed. Sometimes you have to look for those gaps, or voids to do what people don't do”.

“For 32 years I have concentrated on making a good shoe for women. The construction of the brand was through word-of-mouth recommendation. I created products that were liked”.

“Now we are getting into the clothing business, trying to make the best products. The marketing of my brand has changed over time, but the key is to get people to help you, it is the true secret of success”.

“At the age of 20 I worked in a women's shoe store, and it was my best school. I got to know their way of thinking, I learned how this business is. It was very difficult, but you learn a lot. Selling to women is an art".

“The knowledge acquired in a store is invaluable. Novices or students should do this experience to understand how the consumer thinks, how they interact with the product, what they want and what they don't like. On the sales floor there is a lot of information”.

“I always go to downtown New York, where there are a lot of shoe stores and I watch the consumers, I like to get the vibes. People think that I should be on a tower with my phone running the company, but my life is to be innovating shoes".


Mexican designer, with more than 14 years of experience. He is one of the greatest exponents of Street Culture and the most important national fashion in the country. He works as creative director of the brands México Is The Shit, Prima Volta, SadBoy, White Tag and Mercadorama Custom, in addition to his own firm. He developed garments and collections in collaboration for other well-known national and international brands. Currently, he is focused on a new textile technology research and development project to create more sustainable fashion.

His exposition dealt with "The business of fashion and the periphery of the system".


“Collaboration has always characterized me, it is something I really like to do, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with great Mexican artists and with great artisans. We started in 2008, and we found that there weren't enough platforms for fashion. From there, we had the opportunity to develop merchandising for rock bands in Mexico”.

“Merchandising was not commercialized like today. Now you go to any event, concert, show or conference and find the t-shirt, the cup, the doll, there is everything. Definitively, merchandising became professional in Mexico. Now not only designers are launching product lines, there are influencers who are generating more than many of us as national designers”.


She has 40 years of experience in the world of fashion. She is the General Director of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Mexico, the most important platform to promote new Latin American designers.

She is the creator of México Bridal Shower, another platform that has presented important haute couture fashion shows. She has worked and collaborated with international designers such as Givenchy, Karl Lagerfeld, Versace and Tommy Hilfiger.

Among the main tips that she gave to strengthen success, we highlighted:

"Be persevering and constant, especially in what is well done".

"We must be self-critical and not close ourselves to having someone specialized".

“To have a very clear vision of the DNA of the brand and to know what differentiates it from other proposals that the market has”.

"The design proposal is essential".

“We must be bold when it comes to business. If we count on boldness we will achieve success, always combined with humility”.

"You have to have criteria and common sense to integrate the work teams, thus strengthening the organizational culture".


New York-based Mexican designer, he shares his life between Mexico and the United States, with the goal of empowering Latin culture and its identity through collections inspired by key elements of his culture.

Simple shapes, unique details, textures, prints and a constant reflection of today's society is what makes Ricardo Seco an avant-garde streetwear brand.

Committed to the problem of immigration, he is part of the board of directors and coordinator of the art and culture commission of the Movimiento Binacional Fuerza Migrante. In his social commitment, he uses his work to spread messages of impact and awareness in favor of the immigrant and Latin community.

In this forum, he referred to Pride Culture: the value of building an international brand.


Colombian designer with more than 40 years of experience, her specialty is the design of knitted garments. She has known how to stay current in the Latin American market, always betting on original, durable and timeless design.

She manufactures her garments in Mexico and Colombia, which are sold in numerous boutiques in Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Santo Domingo, and the United States.

The theme that she developed was “Originality gives identity”.


She has a degree in art history from the University of Puebla, a Master's in Museum Studies for Clothing, an expert in fashion history, Mexican design and Latin American fashion. She is the former Art Director of the British Council, and is currently a curator at the fashion museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York -FIT-. She promotes fashion exhibitions in Mexico and New York.

She was the moderator of the event in the panel of Latin American Designers, and was in charge of the main interview with Steve Madden.


Italian entrepreneur related to the fashion manufactures business, with vast experience in Europe (Italy) and America (Mexico, United States and Canada).

Her theme to develop was "Interpret your consumers and attract new generations".

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