SCARPA® has a history spanning over the last seventy years. A story full of...
... memories, traditions, experiences, from today to the future, where nature, fun, and imagination are the pillars which built the successful products of tomorrow: where No Place Is Too Far.
Retracing the history of SCARPA® means making a journey into the evolution of Italian customs over the last seventy years. Above all,discovering the remarkable insights and special sensitivities of the family Parisotto. A family who had the ambition to transform mountain boots and from work, humble and useful product, in a true object of worship, the truest symbol of Italy, made up of things performance, refined and sincere. A path that arises from crafts in which skills are acquired slowly, thanks to the tenacity,skills and organisational techniques accumulated an action where the sense of time is strong: to become masters in ancient times it took years, it was necessary passion and ability to produce emotion, in other words, the work of shoes: the seduction of the unpredictable.
1930 TO 1949
Rupert Edward Cecil Lee Guinness, 2nd Earl of Iveagh, an Anglo-Irish businessman established S.C.A.R.P.A.® the footwear company, anacronym for Calzaturieri Asolani Riuniti Pedemontana Anonima (Association of Footwear Manufacturers from the mountain area of Asolo).
A BEGINNING ELIGIBLE FOR ENTRY INTO THE GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS
Rupert Edward Cecil Lee Guinness: the man who has established his reputation as an able politician, a charitable nobleman and an enthusiastic supporter of science, owner and chairman of the family brewing business and owner of lands in the Asolo area too. His desire is to give work and a future to skilled craftsmen in leather processing, a traditional handicraft of his beloved area. He does this by offering them the opportunity to join together in one single business entity. Incidentally, it was during his management that the very first edition of the Guinness Book of World Records was released in 1955.
He was actually in search of a good promotional idea with which to bring the Guinness name to the public's attention and his bright idea of a reference book containing a collection of world records was soon supported and shared by Sir Hugh Beaver, the company managing director.
The SCARPA® company and the Asolo inhabitants express their true thanks to Lord Guinness Iveagh!
The Parisottos story, full of meetings among the rolling hills of olive groves and vineyards in the town of Asolo, in a land that often found itself in the history books as a vocation and not by chance. In a city, a place indeed, among the most beautiful in Italy, an enchanting place that has fascinated such celebrity visitors as Eleonora Duse, Pietro Bembo, Giosué Carducci, Igor Stravinsky, Ada Negri, Gian Francesco Malipiero, Ernest Hemingway, Carlo Scarpa, Freya Stark, Wilma Neruda and many others. In an environment so rich in suggestions and intersections, Luigi Parisotto began his apprenticeship with the best footwear artisans in the area. Early, in 1942,Luigi Parisotto was hired by a company established in 1938 by Lord Rupert Edward Cecil Guinness, second Earl of Iveagh, a wealthy Anglo-Irish businessman who was Rector of the University of Dublin from 1926 to 1962. The Anglo-Irish Viscount lived in the beautiful house that once owned by Eleonora Duse,wealthy, intelligent and eccentric, what today might be called a philanthropist and intellectual border, who could be a descendant of the Guinness family,decided to put together most talented craftsmen in leather and leather work of founding the S.C.A.R.P.A.®: it was 1938, the year that the ball point pen,nylon, and photocopying were invented.
1950 TO 1969
In the early fifties, the turning point, Luigi, Francesco and Antonio Parisotto decide to start their own businesses, all trades in a place full of symbols in the old barn owned by the Curia Vescovile The family becomes a working community of persons, the perfect human communion.
THE BRAND-NEW SCARPA COMPANY
Luigi, Francesco and Antonio Parisotto take over the SCARPA business. It's an excellent opportunity for the three young brothers buta huge responsibility and a great challenge too. They have good heritage though: Luigi's manual skill (he started at the age of 11 as a shoemaker trainee); Francesco's business skills (inherited from his mother) and Antonio's reliability.
Together, with many debts to realise their dream, an Italian dream, they see it coming true.
Thus, it was established the first brand of Parisottos:San Giorgio, continuously perfect with the traditions of their land, their culture, their beliefs. So begins the adventure of the family business in a convivial and harmonic atmosphere with the master shoemakers and the community of Asolo. In May 1956 another turning point, the acquisition of SCARPA® where Luigi began his apprenticeship. The commitment was great and saw the whole family involved, both from a strictly operational point of view, both from a capital standpoint. The adventure is not easy, the market dense with risks,however, thanks to the 17 master shoemakers, the tenacity of the three Parisotto brothers and the undoubted quality of the products created, within a decade, footwear shoes that acquire a large reputation. The challenge is so overcome: the quality SCARPA® states gradually in different markets. In 1965 an Italian American from Boston discovered the superior quality of footwear shoes and the horizon widens further: it started the first major production for North American markets.
THE DREAM COMES TRUE
The top quality handicraft of Norwegian welt construction products, together with Francesco's bravery conquers the Italian and the export markets.
SCARPA® enters the market in the USA, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia.
The annual production rises from 10,000 to 120,000 pairs of shoes while the number of employees rises from 17 to 50.
The production lines include technical and professional leather footwear - mountain and high altitude boots - with Norwegian construction, ski boots and leather Telemark boots. Their trekking leather boots are smoother and ideally suited to walking and rambling with the outsole having the ideal type of sewing. The collection now consists of around 40 models. The production of the mythical 1000 - the engineer-style shoe -will continue for almost 40 years.
During this period three models are also born which specifically target University Campus students garnering huge success.
Thanks to its top quality, SCARPA® is requested and adopted by the Italian forest guards, the alpine rescue, the Italian, American, French, Spanish and Indian armies. SCARPA® is the official supplier (in the '60s as it is today) of the Cortina d'Ampezzo, San Martino di Castrozza and Courmayeur Alpine guides and of many other sports associations too.
1970 TO 1989
In the seventies the export production reached a market share of 60% of the entire production SCARPA®, touching different parts of the globe from Europe to the Americas, Oceania, Orient, establishing SCARPA® as a superior quality brand.
THE YEARS OF FAIR CHALLENGE
These were glorious years for mountaineering worldwide,mainly for Himalayan mountaineering and for SCARPA® too. The Company conquers new markets in Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand and Japan.
In years of heavy economical recession, unemployment is thankfully an unknown condition for all the 75 employees and cooperators of SCARPA®.
These are the years when the production starts on the very first sports climbing shoes and the coloured trekking & hiking boots in Cordura® fabric and suede leather.
Subsequently the collection rises to 60 different models.These are also the years when research starts to design a high altitude boot of premium quality, much lower in weight than the excellent leather boots currently on the market with removable inner shoes in precious German wool-felt. The bright idea to use the Pebax® (a block copolymer used in the 1970s to make strings for tennis rackets) brought at the end of that decade to the production of the very first high altitude plastic footwear, the Grinta, the evolution of which is the current and mythical Vega.
These are also the years when an intense cooperation witht he very best mountaineers worldwide starts. The first full page advertising campaign is published in the official magazine of the CAI (Italian Alpine Association).
In the seventies the export production reached a market share of 60% of the entire production SCARPA®, touching different parts of the globe from Europe to the Americas, Oceania, Orient, establishing SCARPA® as a superior quality brand. In the late seventies worthy ambitious new projects take shape wear shoes to international prominence for its quality and innovativeness. In particular, the alpine ski boot and high altitude Grinta attracted the attention of athletes as such exclusive and unbeatable products.The boot Grinta has been adopted by many Himalayan scientific and mountaineering expeditions (14 peaks, all of Planet Earth 8000) and Antarctica and by the armies of many European countries and outside Europe.
THE COMPANY EVOLUTION AND GROWTH
SCARPA® continues its expansion and gets other markets on board: Iceland, Poland, Slovenia and Hong Kong. These are the years of the SCARPA® great Himalayan undertakings and of the new generation entering into the business: Davide, Sandro, Cristina, Piero followed by Andrea.
This gives a fresh new boost to the SCARPA® entrepreneurial spirit. The collections improve with the addition of: High Altitude, Mountain, Trekking, Hiking, Outdoor, Climbing, Telemark and Ski Mountaineering with the brand new Rally. The models - eighty - are now more diversified in order to respond to the most demanding markets. The Cinque Terre outdoor and approach shoe - still in the SCARPA® collection - is created as the very first light hiking shoe worldwide.What's the bright creative intuition behind it? To replace the outsole of a climbing shoe, thus creating anew product with an timeless look. These are also the years of research &development in terms of new fabrics and new manufacturing procedures and technologies. Gore Tex® enters the market and SCARPA® is the first manufacturer worldwide to use it in its footwear, which gives a strong boost to its Cordura® and suede leather models. The lining and the soles are tailor made, based on the different demands of natural environments (from mountains to deserts).
The Bionic and Trionic Attak models have strongly revolutionised the practical use of gaiters.
Meanwhile, the SCARPA® patents grow and multiply.
Create, imagine and innovate from tradition and cultural heritage of the company: this is the true soul of SCARPA®. The experience,know-how accumulated that spreads through all products, even those of everyday use. As Italo Calvinos Marco Polo Scarpa has built his products with imagination and creativity. A story with a story, that plays with the natural complexity of language and stories toward a strategic operational action: the ability to connect the overview and detail, the knowledge and experience of knowing how to do because the do is part of thinking and creating.
TO THE TOP OF THE WORLD
Jerzy Kukuczka, the chimney sweep from Gdansk ,undertakes a great and task. He becomes the second man to climb all fourteen of the world's eight-thousand metre peaks, four of which were winter ascents. He does this unaided, just three months after Reinold Messner successful attempt.An extraordinary man. SCARPA's Vega boots are on his feet.
Kukuczka's achievement is laudable as is the performance of his high altitude boots. The record remains unbroken for a considerable time: that's the reason why we are so proud of our Vega boot which has accompanied the great undertakings of men like Jerzy Kukuczka, Renato Casarotto, Erhard Loretan, Tomo Cesen, Romolo Nottaris and others: men who have exploited our boot's excellent technical features to the max.
These leading mountaineers and their extreme challenges have helped us to constantly improve our quality. The result is that mountaineers wearing SCARPA ®Vega boots have been able to follow in Kukuczka's footsteps, mimicking his undertaking throughout the '90s. It's the reason why the ENEA (Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Environment) has requested our boots for the scientists based at the Antarctic environmental research station. Thanks to the innovative use of Pebax® fabric, the Vega boot has been on exhibition for two years at the entrance of the Total Business Headquarters in Paris. (Total was in fact the Pebax® brand owner at that time). In 2000 SCARPA®is awarded the Elf Atochem Innovation Trophy.
1990 TO 2009
What is going on with SCARPA® now is a real revolution,triggered by the introduction and combination of materials and high-tech,environmentally friendly, the result of more sophisticated research.
A MARKET-ORIENTED BUSINESS
The consolidation of the business under the new generation carries renewed optimism, innovative ideas and fresh targets to reach.
New markets open in Finland, Greece, Czech Republic,Slovakia, Romania, Korea, India and Taiwan. Investments in research and development grow as well as funds injected into design and state-of-the-art production technologies.
The need for a strong market oriented strategy results in remarkable growth of the collection proposal, which tops 100 different models.The Ladakh boot is launched and gains extraordinary market success which it maintains even today. The Zanskar and the Chamalleont models with their removable shoe [replaceable with one made from Gore Tex® one] also join the product line. These are the years which see the revival of ski mountaineering with the Denali and the invention of the Terminator boot, the revolutionary plastic Telemark ski boot which achieves worldwide patent status.
In 1992 the SCARPA® business changes into a joint stock company. Investments in communication grow. The brand is invigorated and its image coordinated through catalogues, packaging, PoP material and a concise communications strategy. The No Place Too Far pay-off is created. The SCARPA® advertising campaigns are now mentioned in textbooks and in business communication thesis.
THE TELEMARK REVOLUTION
Again Luigi has one of his great creative revelations.While observing the rubber covering of the shock absorbers of cross motorbikes,he believes he can create a sort of Telemark bending stress- resistant bellow.The result of the fruitful cooperation between SCARPA®, Paul Parker and the great Pietro Aimonetto results in one of the most revolutionary concepts in the technical ski footwear sector: the first Telemark system plastic hull produced worldwide. This innovation will place SCARPA® at the helm of the Telemarkand agonistics ski mountaineering sector, where the same manufacturing technology is applied.
When we began implementing our project almost everybody said we were crazy. A Telemark boot in plastic? The concept was unthinkable and without a market. Yet, we went straight ahead and did it. We devoted time, manpower and energy to our 'new idea'. And once again we succeeded.
From the very first prototypes, to the finished products and the current models it's years since the project began with years of experience,quality and perfected skill. The competition can try to follow us: we smile,sure that some of our secrets will never be discovered.
THE REVIVAL OF SKI-MOUNTAINEERING
Ski and ski-mountaineering have roots in the SCARPA® company DNA since the very beginning. At the start of the '40s most of the production consists of skin & leather ski boots, a true work of art,cross-country ski boots and Telemark boots.
In the '70s the ski boot world market becomes increasingly oriented towards plastic fabrics. SCARPA® concentrates its efforts on those sectors of excellence where the company is strongly specialised and the ski line is discontinued, except for the Telemark leather boots. In the '80s, with the discovery of the Pebax fabric and its potential, SCARPA® enters the ski-mountaineering market with its Rally model garnering very good feedback for a few seasons.
Then, again a standstill. It's thanks to the cooperation and the positive role played by Romolo Nottaris, a devoted friend, all-round mountaineer and Swiss distributor that SCARPA® re-discovers its true vocation.In 1993 the Denali boot is created: it represents a passion for extreme. It's a striking market success and opens the doors to new investment in research and development. The product evolution and Romolo's excellent support have allowed SCARPA® to emerge as the winner in a market where the game appeared to have already been played.
Today, SCARPA® is constantly growing its market share and counts 18 different models in the Free-Ride and Alpine Touring collections.
A very special thanks to Romolo!
The first time I crossed the gate of the SCARPA® old headquarters was in 1980 and I was with Renato Casarotto, just before we left for the first winter attempt on Makalu , the 8478 metre-high Himalayan giant.() Destiny wanted that in 1986, after six years during which I frequently climbed in many mountain chains all over the world, Francesco opened the doors for me to enter a brand-new world, offering me to manage the sales of his products in the Swiss market; that was the beginning of many adventures in creating new products together
Romolo Nottaris, technical consultant, friend and distributor
A JUMP TO GAIN ALTITUDE
This is the year when new offices and operative headquarters are opened. The existing area is extended from 2500 sqm to the current 6000 sqm. A historical event, crucial in the growth and development of a new entrepreneurial spirit ready to tackle the challenges of the new millennium challenges.
The year 1997 sees the official opening of the moulding department within the company with a 2500 sqm area. Later on other areas are established: the new Multimedia Meeting Centre and the Warehouse Centre together with the Finished Products Centre account for 3500 sqm.
THE CHALLENGE OF GLOBALIZATION
These are the years of complexity, international competition, continuously changing purchasing behaviours and outdoor industry giant multi-national companies.
SCARPA® faces the challenges of globalization with the firm aim not to surrender to the illusions of an easy business. The consumer's trust in the absolute quality of SCARPA® technical products cannot be betrayed.Therefore, 80% of production comes from Italy since nobody in the world can match SCARPA's® high, exacting standards.
During these years, the Company grows: in terms of people with its 165 employees and its 100 outside co-operators; its the 80% market share in exports; its 145 different models, 32 of which belong to the snow Phantaplastic collection with technical boots for High Altitude and Ice,Ski-Mountaineering and Telemark.
A Free-Ride new line also gains immediate market success as does the technical innovation with the New Telemark Norm NTN system which receives many awards.
Also new is the Approach line with its excellent Zen:another innovative range for climbing in association with the mythical Heinz Mariacher.
The umpteenth revolution by SCARPA® in the mountaineering world belongs to these years: the Phantom family that, with the Lite model,opens a new worldwide market.
IT IS BETTER TO CONQUER INSTEAD OF BEING CONQUERED!
September 2005: SCARPA® North America Inc. is established with head offices in Boulder, Colorado. This is an investment aimed at the direct management of the marketing and sales disciplines with an ambitious strategic plan for the Company positioning and growth under the direction of Andrea as its executive chairman.
THE TURNING-POINT IN CLIMBING
Friedrichshafen 2006: The New Climbing Line is presented with diversified and technologically advanced solutions. The collection has been developed in cooperation with Heinz Mariacher, an energetic, vital and excellent mountaineer and climber, with 20 years' experience in research &development for climbing footwear. The XTension System and the Bridge Systemare now introduced: two unique systems by SCARPA® which assure high performance, protection, power, precision, tightness and safety with no equal.Eighteen models for each technique, each style, each slope, and each climbing experience.
Thank you Heinz!
Climbing is soon evolving and becoming more and more athletic and involving sports activity: to overcome these new exciting limits,the shoe is by far the most important tool. Being able to give my contribution in a research & development path which I believe will mark the future in this sports sector is a source of great satisfaction to me.
Heinz Mariacher, climbing product manager
HERE COMES THE TIME FOR CELEBRATION
Challenges never end and SCARPA® is ready to take them all on. This year marks the 70th anniversary since its foundation and it's time to celebrate with the Company's special friends: its colleagues, partners and distributors, its customers, athletes, employees, its co-operators, friends andt hose who have helped lead SCARPA® to paths, meadows, deserts, woods, snowy peaks, slopes and white descents all over this wonderful blue planet.
We dedicate to them the international accolades our products have been awarded during these 70 years of company history, the latest of which we would like to mention as follows.
Image: The Parisotto Family.
2010 TO 2019
The story of SCARPA® is rich in innovations that have,more than once, revolutionized the world of skiing. More than ever, we are determined to give skiers the tools to realize their potential, to explore their limits in the most beautiful snow-covered places in the world, and to have more fun than ever.
The story of SCARPA® is rich in innovations that have,more than once, revolutionized the world of skiing.
More than ever, we are determined to give skiers the tools to realise their potential, to explore their limits in the most beautiful snow-covered places in the world, and to have more fun than ever. Once again,our DNA is evident in the new and extraordinary ski touring boot: ALIEN 1.0having already won everything there is to win in this race discipline.
The ALIEN 1.0 combines all of our experience, our know-how the best technology available today.
We go to great lengths to produce the best boots in the world and we encourage you to experiment with us and find a new way of skiing.For 73 years, SCARPA® has been moving forward as a cult brand for powder hounds everywhere. Your joy in the snow is our greatest satisfaction.
No matter where you are, the important thing is to go beyond emotions and to experience new sensations.