by Susan Reed on Sep 23, 2019
Elastomeric Material Solutions
Would you be surprised to learn that high-tech and high-fashion are often closely linked? One unique company, Italian-based Omnipel Technologies, makes it their mission to address global footwear trends with high performance material solutions. For more than 20 years, Omnipel has been partnering with Rogers Corporation to do just that. We recently spoke with Dr. Jessica Schlaefer, Managing Director of Omnipel, to get her perspectives on the company, material trends, and the secrets to her firm’s global success.
INTERVIEWER: What is unique about OMNIPEL’s approach?
Schlaefer: In the fashion world, you cannot go to the brands with the same products, the same linings. We develop new fashion products that are introduced two to four times a year to present to the brands for each season. Mainly, I would say that we have a very vast selection of materials and we try to address market demands. Nowadays, customization is getting really big, so we try to address those needs. Brands want something unique, something customized to help them to differentiate their brand, and that’s what we deliver. We also try to have everything in stock because, when the brands call, they want it shipped out the same day.
INTERVIEWER: What do technology and innovation mean in your business?
Schlaefer: It is really hard to get innovative products, but customization is becoming more and more important. Environmentally-friendly products are a big trend right now that we are addressing. Customers are looking for recycled products, zero mileage, and other products that don’t add more stress on the environment. We seek out these products and partner with suppliers in product development. On the technology side, we have our own testing facility and laboratory equipped with several technologies such as a discoloration meter, Martindale abrasion and pilling tester, aging oven, textile strength meter, and color assessment cabin.
INTERVIEWER: What footwear trend would you say is driving innovation the most these days?
Schlaefer: Along with the demand for environmentally-friendly materials, comfort is really big right now in the shoe industry. Customers are demanding it. Even though many customers are only wearing shoes for 6 months or less, they want their shoes to be extremely comfortable and light weight. They look for that comfort in the stores. But on the other hand, they still are looking for design so materials must deliver performance and flexibility.
For more information on Omnipel Technologies, visit http://www.omnipel.com.
For more information about the PORON Comfort collection, click here.