Recent official figures show that the country’s gross domestic product notched up 2.2 percent in the second quarter. Exhibition organizer Kirstin Deutelmoser said the positive effects also have been felt by shoe retailers.
“Germany is a reliable market with retailers loyal to the shoe brands that they like,” she said.
Deutelmoser added that German footwear retailers have benefited from steady market conditions, noting that they now have an appetite for both new suppliers and shoe categories. Trends such as gladiators, ballerinas and flip-flops will remain popular for spring ’11, and topics including the environment, toning and wellness will continue to influence the industry.
Of the 1,800 collections exhibiting this season at GDS, new and returning U.S. names include Badgley Mischka, Jeffrey Campbell, Betsey Johnson, Creative Recreation and True Religion. The show also has put an emphasis on children’s shoes with a first-time presentation of kids’ fashion trends.
“The number of children’s exhibitors has not increased, but we have noticed that more lifestyle collections, such as La Martina Shoes and Ash, are adding children’s products to their collections,” Deutelmoser said.
A new kids’ icon has been developed for the show program to help retailers find children’s shoes shown in the adult areas.
Meanwhile, Global Shoes, the sourcing part of the trade show, has experienced an 8 percent increase in exhibitor numbers this season, said Deutelmoser. She explained that, although GDS and Global Shoes are both international, together attracting 1,190 exhibitors from 41 countries, “it certainly helps [boost attendance] if the domestic market is buoyant.”
“This season I’m doing both GDS and Micam, especially now that the euro against the U.S. dollar is more favorable. At GDS, I’m looking for ‘fashionable comfort’ and Spanish and Italian brands that don’t come to the U.S., as well as entire collections of comfort brands because I want styles that will differentiate us from other retailers.”
— Lenny Comeras, CEO of Easton Shoes in Columbus, Ohio
“Along with being able to preview overall direction for footwear for spring ’11, we find [GDS] invaluable [because it allows us] to work with several of our existing suppliers and purchase product that is typically exclusive to the European market and not available through U.S. distribution. It gives our customers a ‘wow’ shopping experience by providing them an even-larger-than-usual selection of product on our site, and having items that our customers won’t find anywhere other than Zappos is a terrific point of difference.”
— Jeanne Markel, director of casual lifestyle at Zappos.com
“As always, I will be interested to see what new footwear brands surface in the White Cubes area, and at the other extreme, what new developments the Far Eastern manufacturers will be unveiling at Global Shoes.”
— Richard Wharton, London-based footwear consultant
Calendar of Events
From seminars to happy hours, organizers and exhibitors have scheduled events to help visitors learn more about the shoe business — and wind down at the end of the day.
Friday, Sept. 10
11 a.m.: GDS opening Wunderlust-Upper Style Show
With appearances by singer Mimi Müller-Westernhagen and supermodel Charlott Cordes. Hall 2.
1:30 p.m.: Wellness Show
Features Germany’s “Next Top Model” candidate Miriam Höller. Hall 2.
2 p.m.: Milan Shop Windows
Seminar by Ars Sutoria International School with speaker Roberto Gussoni (language: English/German). Hall 7, speakers corner.
5 p.m.: UNISA
Tapas, wine and fashion get-together. Hall 5, Stand A04.
5 p.m.: Marc O’Polo: After Work
Socialize with food and drinks. Hall 5, Stand EO3/F04.
Saturday, Sept. 11
1 p.m.: How Much Fashion Can Functionality Take?
Panel discussion with representatives from the science, industry and retail spheres, hosted by Dr. Claudia Schulz (language: German/English). Hall 7, speakers corner.
Trend lectures (on sneakers, young fashion, kids’ footwear, etc.), by Nicoline van Enter of Y Trends (language: English/German). Hall 7, speakers corner.
12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.: Design Attack. Wa Bantu acrobatic show. Hall 3.
1 p.m.: Easy to Go — Wellness Fashion Show. Hall 2.
3:30 p.m.: Shoes in Wonderland — Urban Fashion & Kids’ Fashion Show