José Miguel Navarro
by Enrico Fragale Esposito
Giblu, Infinia, Orintha, Siveris, Elyseo, Prallax, Phanto and Omnia: we have not gone mad, don’t worry! We just wanted to introduce you to the planets of the new galaxy discovered not by Nasa astronomers but by Gioseppo, who this season invites us to forget everything we know and enter a world of space imagination. The FW23 kids campaign “Mission: Explore the Universe” takes inspiration from the women’s collection “Looking for New Planets”. For the Spanish footwear brand, it means broadening horizons and breaking down preconceived barriers through scenarios that evoke the beauty and diversity of places beyond the Earth. In short, it is a call to go beyond one’s limits and step out of one’s comfort zone. Moreover, this non-conformist spirit is inherent in the DNA of the brand, founded by José Navarro and now managed by his son José Miguel, vice-president and brand manager, together with his three brothers. With sustainability oriented choices, such as the use of organic cotton for laces or recycled EVA (bioplastic), and a commitment to maintaining a working environment focused on the well-being of employees, moreover in bioclimatic buildings, Gioseppo is a company that looks to the future. José Miguel has even reduced his working day in order to devote the afternoon to his private sphere. A pioneering decision, which shows us that the recipe for happiness is not an idea to look that far for!
image from the kids FW23 campaign “Mission: Explore the Universe”
What is the inspiration behind the brand’s new campaigns ‘Looking for New Planets’ and ‘Mission: Explore the Universe’?
They are based on the idea of broadening horizons and breaking down preconceived barriers. The inspiration stems from an admiration for space and its infinite colours, shapes and textures. The scenery of the countryside evokes the beauty and diversity of places beyond the Earth.
Incorporating these futurist-inspired elements, both adults and children are invited to step out of their comfort zone, push their own limits and discover new forms of expression through footwear. It is an invitation to non-conformism and self-expression.
How much of the adult line is remodelled into a children’s version and in how does the latter find its uniqueness?
All product ranges include models in “mini” versions, so that mother and child can opt for matching looks. The possibilities of combining Gioseppo Woman with Gioseppo Kids are extensive. The new kids collection innovates in design and plays with different materials and textures to make each shoe look like it is taken from another planet, without forgetting that children’s feet require special attention. Much of the collection has been designed in collaboration with the Ilustre Colegio Oficial de Podólogos de la Comunidad Valenciana (ICOPCV) to ensure that the footwear fits the most sensitive and delicate feet. In addition, sustainable materials such as organic cotton laces and recycled EVA are used.
What are the pros and cons of working with your siblings?
Working in a family business is an exciting challenge. The company was created by me and my father and gradually my brothers joined us, each in a different operational area. The key, right from the start, has been to find a balance between the personal and professional spheres, to ensure the long-term success of our relationship and the company. The advantages are trust, mutual loyalty and commitment. On the negative side, we may sometimes find it difficult to separate our work and personal lives, but we always approach everything objectively.
image from the woman FW23 campaign “Looking for New Planets”
We know you have travelled the world, is there a remote destination you would recommend everyone to visit?
The time I spent travelling the world with my family was one of the most important experiences I have had both on a personal level and in terms of business management. Travelling and getting to know different cultures, customs and people gives you a fundamental global view. I have had the opportunity to visit several impressive places around the world, but one of the most special is the island of Tabarca. It is an island less than 2 km long and 500 metres wide in the Mediterranean Sea, just a few kilometres from our facilities. Its coves, atmosphere, small restaurants and sunsets are something no one should miss. Moreover, the island was one of the main sources of inspiration for Gioseppo.
If you could choose one planet to go to, which would it be and why?
Without a doubt I would travel to the seven planets that make up the universe of the Gioseppo Kids FW23 campaign. With “Mission: Explore the Universe” we were inspired by the insatiable curiosity of the little ones to create our galaxy. From the coldest to the hottest planets, we invite you to discover Giblu, Infinia, Orintha, Siveris, Elyseo, Prallax, Phanto and Omnia in search of the most intense colours and the most striking silhouettes.
We know that you have reduced your working day in order to devote the afternoon to your private sphere: what hobbies and passions do you devote yourself to in order to switch off?
One of the advantages of having reduced my working hours is also that I can spend more time with my family. I can devote myself to the things that really matter, like picking my daughter up from school or spending more time with them. I also think sport is fundamental, so I dedicate a lot of time to outdoor activities, such as sailing, to take advantage of our Mediterranean climate.
José Miguel Navarro
The company’s headquarters, in Elche (Alicante), is a place that our director, after visiting it, called ‘an oasis’. How did you develop the idea of such a comfortable space and what advantages does it bring for employees?
At Gioseppo, we believe that the success of a company depends to a large extent on the people who work there. For us, from the very beginning, aiming to create a working environment designed for the well-being of our team, but also for the climate, has always been fundamental. Our headquarters is located in a bioclimatic building, which we call ‘Love Workplace’, designed to make the most of light, we have solar panels and cisterns that store rainwater to feed our beautiful garden.
As Vice President of such a pioneering company, what are your thoughts on technologies such as artificial intelligence or the metaverse in fashion?
Innovation is fundamental to our business strategy and these technologies undoubtedly represent a revolution in the way we design, create, market and experience fashion.
Artificial intelligence, for example, has proved invaluable in predicting consumer trends and personalising customer experiences. It allows us to optimise operations, reduce waste and provide ad-hoc recommendations. The metaverse concept in fashion is equally exciting. We are actively exploring opportunities to leverage these technologies to enhance our brand presence.
Gioseppo has always had sustainability at heart, but what habits have you taught your children at home to bring them closer to this issue?
For Gioseppo, sustainability has been the central axis of our values from the very beginning, as well as of my own and my family’s values. From a very young age we have educated my children in this sense, always seeking a connection with nature, whether through outdoor activities that encourage love and respect for the environment, recycling actions such as separate waste collection in the home, energy saving by switching off lights and devices, or the responsible use of water in daily activities such as brushing teeth or taking shorter showers.
As a seasoned traveller, what should never be missing from the luggage of those who embark on a journey to faraway destinations?
On my travels, I never forget a notebook in which I write down everything that excites me and that I discover: from special places to phrases or words that I mustn’t forget, to smells, tastes… A camera is also essential to capture all those moments I don’t want to forget. And, of course, an album in which to collect all the memories (cards, postcards) we find along the way.