August 2020 - Market Week Member Showrooms & Exhibitor Showcases


Strengthening the footwear industry through education.

Craftsmanship: FFANY & ARSUTORIA

Ars Sutoria Workshop

What does it mean to strengthen an industry? For FFANY, it means providing learning opportunities that help shape the current and future leaders of our industry. We believe education has the power to strengthen and transform the footwear industry.

To do this, we have partnered with the Italian shoe school Arsutoria to educate industry members about manufacturing through Boston, New York & L.A. workshops, scholarship opportunities, and e-learning courses.



View NYC workshop brochure:

NYC Workshop: The Art of Traditional Shoe Making

This 5 day course will provide a greater understanding of the processes of production of different types of shoe constructions and deeper knowledge of the materials used in each stage of the process. Participants will be given the opportunity to refocus on the experience and progress in a job that requires the ability to thoroughly analyze the product and interact with professional engineers from the overseas manufacturing of sample rooms and factories.

ARSUTORIA will bring 3 senior footwear professionals to the course:

  • Paolo Marenghi graduated from Arsutoria in 1987 and worked as a pattern engineer assistant and technical footwear collection assistant at a family owned factory until 1996. For 6 years, he worked as a freelance designer, pattern maker and technical assistant for international footwear designers, working at factories and design studios in Italy and abroad. Paolo returned to Arsutoria to become the footwear and leather goods design-pattern making instructor, collection coordinator and developer, and a custom trainer for specific educational programs.
  • Roberto Grasso has been in the shoe industry for over 4 decades.  Roberto spent the first eight years of his career working in a shoe factory learning all phases of shoe making.  After manufacturing, he went on to work in various areas of the shoe business including production scheduling, engineering, purchasing, merchandising, etc.  Roberto was one of the first people to pioneer overseas sourcing as early as the late 70’s for The Stride Rite Corp.  He continued to expand his sourcing knowledge and experience at various brands including The Rockport Company, Clarks, and eventually circling back to the newly formed Rockport Group. Roberto specializes in developing global sourcing strategies with an emphasis on cost-reduction and supply chain management.
  • Roy Russo is a life-long last and fit technician. Roy has been responsible for technical product development for leather, lasts, soles, heels and other components and working directly with line builders and designers assisting factories in all phases of development and production. Roy has worked for the most important footwear brands including Steve Madden and Nine West both in the US and offshore.
  • Ioannis Ioannidis is a fourth-generation leather technologist, having served the leather sector for over 30 years. He started as a wet-end chief technician in tanneries, gradually evolving into an International expert consultant and developer of low environmental impact technologies and bespoke leather articles. As a consultant of the association of the Italian tanneries UNIC – Concerie Italiane, during the course Ioannis will get into the details of leathers used to make shoes

Agenda may slightly vary depending on interest and background of participants. We highly value interactions, feedback and questions from participants. Slides with pictures and videos will be used throughout the entire course together with sample materials that will be available in the class. USB key with slides will be given to participants at the end of the 5 days.

Learn More

Graduate Testimonials

  • Clay Jenkins

    SVP, Global Sourcing, Compliance & New Business Development | CALERES

    “Even with +25 years of shoe experience, I attended the Arsutoria classes with goal of getting refreshed as shoe manufacturing technology and production locations continue to evolve. The class provides an in depth informational education and tutorial experience for any who attend. I’m confident any designer starting in the industry will benefit and learn about lasts, fitting, pattern cutting, shoe construction and leather making. I strongly endorse attendance for any new designer.”

  • Lauren Sandling

    Assistant Designer, Private Label, Camuto Group

    “During my week with Arsutoria, I learned the basics of pattern making, footwear construction, and cost awareness. With the knowledge, which was imparted throughout the week I am able to, not only fulfill my role as a designer, but also I am able to communicate more effectively with my team overseas. The information gained has helped me understand the importance of patterns and construction and how to properly design footwear that meets the needs of our customer. This training program is essential for anyone starting his or her career in the footwear industry.”

  • Jessica Chen

    Yellow Box Shoes

    “The Arsutoria New York workshop was an extremely beneficial experience. Without any formal education in footwear design, the week long training was an invaluable crash course in shoe making. The curriculum provided extensive information on shoe making fundamentals, but the inclusion and discussion of modern manufacturing processes really helped relate to my work. The knowledge I gained from Arsutoria aided all aspects of my job from collection development to sample prototyping overseas . To further advance my capabilities, I am currently taking the Footwear Pattern Making and Prototyping Course in Milan. The amount of technical knowledge I am learning through pattern making will be a vital benefit for my continuing work in shoe design and production.”

  • Kris Chang

    Assistant Linebuilder, Camuto Group

    “The Arsutoria course in NYC with the support of FFANY is one of the best shoe courses I have ever participated in. The curriculum is extremely well designed for students on all levels, all aspects related to the shoe industry. As a designer, I found the manufacturing portion of the course most helpful. It has helped me greatly when communicating with the overseas production team on sample construction and sampling method.”

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