NEW YORK — For the upcoming spring ’11 market, trade show organizers are stepping things up in a bid to lure buyers. In addition to shifting dates and moving locations, many are rethinking their formats and introducing amenities and other features designed to help time-crunched retailers make the most of their experience. Here, Footwear News previews the year’s remaining trade shows, including the newest brands to join the exhibitor lineup, special events and other key highlights.
Shoe Market of the Americas
Dates: June 27-29 (Miami); Sept. 14-16 (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
Location: Miami Beach Convention Center and Palms Hotel, Miami; Broward Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale
Notable new exhibitors: Z-Coil, Justine, Fashion Focus
Highlights: SMOTA is returning to Miami for its June edition. After a challenging 2009, organizers are optimistic about what the second half of the year can bring. “The Caribbean and Florida were tough markets [last year], but buyers are still upbeat,” said Executive Director Beverlee Maier. The show will welcome several new exhibitors, including Brazilian brand Justine and designer women’s label Andrea Carrano.
ENK New York
Dates: July 18-20
Location: The Tunnel/LaVenue, New York
Notable new exhibitors: J Shoes, Palladium Civilian Collection
Highlights: The men’s-focused ENK New York market, which includes the Designers’ Collective, Blue, Clean and Tomorrow shows, continues to attract a growing number of footwear brands hoping to connect with higher-end boutiques and specialty retailers. Bed-Stu, Fred Perry, Frye and Mark Nason are among the shoe lines signed on for the July edition.
Dates: July 19-20 (New York); Aug. 4-5 (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Location: Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Hyatt Regency Hotel, Huntington Beach
Notable new exhibitors: Vans, Reebok, New Balance
Highlights: The debut Agenda New York show will feature a more fashion-forward, streetwear-focused direction than its Huntington Beach counterpart, according to President Aaron Levant, who said the Chelsea Art Museum location is ideal. “It became clear that the New York men’s market week would be centralizing in Chelsea, so we found a venue that put us right in the thick [of things].” Meanwhile, the Huntington Beach edition will once again partner with the U.S. Open of Surfing, which draws more than 500,000 action sports fans.
Dates: Aug. 1-3; Oct. 3-5
Location: Pier 94, New York (Aug.); Javits Center, New York (Oct.)
Notable new exhibitors: Dansko, Dan Post Boot Co., Geox
Highlights: The August Children’s Club will showcase a mix of immediate and resort/early spring ’11 product. Among the footwear firms exhibiting are Steve Madden, Trimfoot, Geox, Primigi and Dansko. The show’s October edition will focus on spring ’11 merchandise and feature a much larger lineup of shoe collections. “We cover a highly specialized market, and after a rough 2009, business is starting to bounce back. Our show will reflect that,” said Stanley Kaye, show coordinator.
Dates: Aug. 3-4
Location: Center 548, 548 W. 22 St., New York
Notable new exhibitors: Sorel, Hush Puppies 1958
Highlights: To be more centrally located, Compass is moving to a new venue: Center 548 in Chelsea. The boutique show, which launched in 2008, continues to broaden its vendor mix. This season, the young designer and women’s contemporary offerings will be expanded. In all, around 85 brands are slated to exhibit. “The growth Compass has experienced is indicative of the need at retail for better product,” said director Chris Corrado. “[The show] is a great place for buyers to see amazing brands under one roof [and] get a true big picture of the hottest trends and new directions.” On opening night, the Young Professionals for Two Ten will host a cocktail party.
Dates: Aug. 3-5; Dec. 1-3
Location: Hilton New York Hotel, Flatotel and showrooms, New York
Notable new exhibitors: Geox, Beautifeel, Helle Comfort, Zoe Kratzmann
Highlights: Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, FFANY is seeking to build on past success. The event continues to attract a growing number of brands across all categories. “The August show is still brewing, but it will be substantially bigger than last year,” said President and CEO Joe Moore. FFANY will host its popular evening cocktail reception for vendors and retailers. “We started the cocktail party at the show last August and we want to continue with that,” Moore said.
Dates: Aug. 3-6
Location: Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City
Notable new exhibitor: Scott Hawaii
Highlights: OR’s summer market aims to be stronger than ever, with 130-plus new exhibitors already on board. “We’re seeing a return to the 2007 demand for space at the show. We’re back to having a waiting list and bursting at the seams,” said Kenji Haroutunian, show director. “Footwear, in particular, is an area where we’ve continued to grow, even through the recession.” OR will introduce mobile applications to enhance attendees’ experiences and productivity. The Open Air Demo, held the day before the show, will relocate to Jordanelle State Park in nearby Heber City, Utah; and the newly launched Adventure Travel Pavilion will return, with international tourism reps on hand to help retailers set up trips for their customers. And in a show first, Ford Motor Co. will unveil on-site a new vehicle that is tailored to a rugged, outdoor lifestyle.
Transit/The Los Angeles Shoe Show
Dates: Aug. 8-10
Location: California Market Center, Los Angeles
Notable new exhibitors: Pour la Victoire, Mea Shadow, Charles David
Highlights: Held in a sleek loft space, Transit L.A. will spotlight contemporary collections from burgeoning labels and established brands. A live DJ spinning on the show floor, complimentary cocktails and daily shoe giveaways for retailers all contribute to the show’s casual and creative downtown vibe.
Dates: Aug. 9-11
Location: The Venetian and Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas
Notable new exhibitors: Philip Simon, Tash Ltd., Ricap Shoes, Heeluxe
Highlights: WSA is on the move again. The show, which will feature more than 650 brands, will be held under one roof in The Venetian and Sands Expo & Convention Center. To better segment the show, two new environments will be added: Ten, dedicated to higher-end brands; and BlackTop, focused on athletic, street and skate lines. The Box, a special section showing trend-driven product from a handpicked mix of men’s and women’s contemporary brands, will return. “We’ve made a conscious effort to merchandise the show in a way that better displays new product within different categories,” said ENK founder and Chairwoman Elyse Kroll. WSA will honor the Two Ten Footwear Foundation by requesting a $62 donation from exhibitors in a nod to WSA’s 62-year history.
Dates: Aug. 13-15
Location: San Diego Convention Center, San Diego
Notable new exhibitors: OTBT, Damiani’s, Dav
Highlights: In line with its mission to address all categories of the action-sports market, ASR will debut a partnership with surfboard expo Sacred Craft. The expo will take place in the Sails Pavilion area of the convention center, upstairs from ASR. The skateboard-focused Crossroads show, added last year, will return, along with another recent addition, Class@ASR, focused on the boutique and emerging streetwear markets. “Between [the four shows], ASR Marketplace will offer an efficient opportunity for retailers to see the entire action-sports landscape in one convenient location,” said Andy Tompkins, VP of Nielsen Sports Group, which produces the event. In total, more than 850 brands will be showcased.
The Atlanta Shoe Market
Dates: Aug. 13-15
Location: Cobb Galleria Centre and Renaissance Waverly Hotel, Atlanta
Notable new exhibitors: Camper, Rough Justice, Kamik, True Religion Footwear
Highlights: Although conceived as a regional show, The Atlanta Shoe Market has gained national stature in recent years. “We’re now attracting retailers from more than 33 states, as well as the [Caribbean] islands,” said Executive Director Laura Conwell-O’Brien. “We’ve really been taken out of that regional connotation.” More than 50 new exhibitors have signed on. To showcase brands within the better and salon categories, a new 50,000-sq.-ft. area called the Fashion Collection will be unveiled at the Cobb Galleria Centre. The Kids Shoe Box is returning after a successful debut in February, with more than 110 lines slated to present.
Dates: Aug. 17-19
Location: Las Vegas Convention Center and Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Highlights: The Magic Marketplace encompasses WWDMagic, Magic Menswear, Premium, Street, Workroom, Pool, S.L.A.T.E., Project and FN Platform. While all the shows will feature a sprinkling of shoe exhibitors throughout, FN Platform is the dedicated home for the footwear category.
Dates: Aug. 17-19
Location: Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas
Notable new exhibitors: Robert Clergerie, Mephisto, Geox, Dr. Martens, Umi
Highlights: Magic’s footwear show has made significant strides since its debut in February. According to Chris DeMoulin, president of Magic International, retail registration is trending up by roughly 25 percent, and nearly 500 brands have signed on to exhibit, with more than 150 of them new. “We’re seeing growth across every single area of the show,” said DeMoulin. “The idea we had that you could buy footwear more effectively in the context of the apparel market seems to be catching on.” A number of special events are planned, including a 30-year retrospective of Robert Clergerie, celebrity personal appearances, men’s and children’s power breakfasts, a financial summit and an opening night bash featuring a celebrity mixologist and professional poker lessons.
Dates: Aug. 17-19
Location: The Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Notable new exhibitors: Penelope & Coco, Volley, Generic Surplus, Grenson
Highlights: Project is making some big changes. The show has canceled its July event in New York, and new
President Andrew Pollard and his team are hard at work on redesigning the show to better suit the changing marketplace. “Our vision is to be an influential destination that unites an industry and provides a compelling experience that inspires growth both creatively and commercially,” Pollard said. Project New York will relaunch in January 2011. Previews of the revamped format will be seen at the Las Vegas show, which will run as scheduled in August.
Dates: Aug. 25-27
Location: Embassy Suites, Deerfield, Ill.
Notable new exhibitors: Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Merrell
Highlights: To help recession-weary retailers spark new sales opportunities, MAX is thinking beyond shoes. According to President Patti Maibauer, the show is seeking to bring in vendors that make accessories and other add-on items. “These would include backpacks, hair bows, sunglasses — anything that could augment a shoe purchase,” said Maibauer. The show also will consider vendors such as website design specialists and inventory management software makers. “We’re really trying to shake up the old shoe show model and be more forward-thinking.” MAX also plans to host an educational seminar for the first time, followed by a cocktail party.
The Children’s Great Event Shoe Show
Dates: Sept. 12-14
Location: Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel, Elizabeth, N.J.
Highlights: The show’s switch to a three-day format in February proved popular with participants, so organizer Allen Blum is sticking with the schedule for the September edition. “Many of our vendors said they were busy through the entire show, right up to closing,” Blum said, “and the retailers really benefited from having the extra time to write.” The show will feature nearly 300 lines of kids’ shoes and shoe-related accessories.
Dates: Sept. 21-23
Location: Javits Center, New York
Notable new exhibitors: Robert Clergerie, Gidigio, Charlie My Love, Dorotea
Highlights: Brought under the Coterie banner several seasons ago, Sole Commerce continues to bolster its offering of international collections, led by show newcomers Robert Clergerie, Dorotea, Sans Arcidet and Gidigio, among others.
The Running Event
Dates: Nov. 15-18
Location: Hilton Austin and Austin Convention Center, Austin, Texas
Notable new exhibitors: Hoka11, Li-Ning, Birkenstock
Highlights: While focused on specialty running, The Running Event continues to gain ground outside of its core market. “The show is really growing in non-athletic brands,” said show organizer Mark Sullivan, citing participation from vendors such as Earth, Birkenstock and OluKai. The conference portion of the show will move to the Hilton Austin and feature more breakout sessions than in previous years to allow for smaller, more-focused discussions. The popular Shoe and Sock Bar, which gives retailers a chance to test out the newest running shoes and socks, will now be open for all four days. In addition, the show will once again honor top retailers in the category with its 50 Best Running Stores awards ceremony and banquet.
A roundup of the smaller shows that are gaining ground in the footwear market.
The Footwear Event
Dates: June 28-30
Location: Exhibit Hall at Navy Pier, Chicago
The scoop: Produced by Formula4Media, the brains behind specialty show The Running Event, The Footwear Event targets the comfort, wellness and active lifestyle categories. The year-old show, which is relocating to Chicago from Nashville, Tenn., combines a retail education conference and product expo featuring roughly 30 to 40 brands, among them Sanita, New Balance and Merrell.
Dates: July 19-20 (New York Men’s); Aug. 18-19 (Las Vegas Men’s); Sept. 21-22 (New York Women’s)
Location: Center 548, 548 W. 22 St., New York; Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas
The scoop: Compass’ sibling show, Capsule, focuses on high-end contemporary brands and streetwear labels. This season, the New York edition is leaving its former home in the Lower East Side for Chelsea, where all brands — including newcomers Hush Puppies, Sebago, Ksubi and Swear — will be displayed under one roof.
The scoop: Since launching its first edition in San Francisco in 2006, the TRU Show (short for Traveling Reps United) has expanded rapidly. Created and run by a group of footwear sales reps seeking an alternative to the big convention center expos, TRU will host intimate, hotel-based shows in Austin, Texas; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Honolulu; Denver; and San Francisco this summer and fall. More than 300 men’s, women’s and children’s brands will be featured.
Dates: July 31-Aug. 2
Location: 82 Mercer St., New York
The scoop: Playtime, which stages successful shows in Paris and Tokyo, is making its New York debut this summer. Targeted to higher-end boutiques and specialty stores, the show will feature a mix of baby and children’s clothing, shoes and accessories in a chic, loft-like space in Soho. While the exhibitor roster has not been finalized for the upcoming New York show, the Paris edition has attracted a wide range of kids’ footwear brands, including See Kai Run, Polliwalks, Palladium, Simple and Pom D’Api.
Dates: Aug. 4-5
Location: Ayres Hotel, Hawthorne, Calif.
The scoop: Launched last year by a small group of sales reps, Los Angeles’ KSA Show (by the Kids’ Shoe Association) caters to West Coast retailers seeking to shop a wide range of lines under one roof in a more relaxed hotel setting. About 100 brands are slated to join the exhibitor roster in August, including Skechers, Primigi, Etnies and Polo Ralph Lauren.
The Train/The Box
Dates: Sept. 20-22
Location: Terminal Stores and LaVenue, New York
The scoop: The Train, launched in New York in 2006 by the organizers of Prêt à Porter Paris, features a highly curated mix of international ready-to-wear, accessories and footwear designers. Show-within-a-show The Box, which debuted in 2008, is dedicated to high-end accessories, including shoes, jewelry and handbags. Footwear brands exhibiting at the September event will include Bensimon, Repetto, Nathalie Verlinden and Gaspard Yurkievich.
Designers & Agents
Dates: Sept. 20-22 (New York), Oct. 15-17 (Los Angeles)
Location: The Starrett Lehigh Building and Chelsea Art Museum, New York; The New Mart Building and The Cooper Design Space, Los Angeles
The scoop: With editions in New York, Los Angeles and Paris, Designers & Agents is an international fashion and lifestyle trade event with a roster of around 1,000 exhibiting collections, including clothing, accessories and footwear. All designers presenting must pass a screening process.