Micam Show Preview

European footwear players continue to face challenges, but Micam organizers are upbeat about next week’s show at the Rho Fiera Fairground in Milan, thanks in part to increased attendance from overseas exhibitors.

“Micam has confirmed its position as the leading industry event on a worldwide scale, even in a time of great uncertainty,” said Cleto Sagripanti, chairman of ANCI, the Italian footwear manufacturers association, and CEO of Manas SpA.

Still, Sagripanti acknowledged that some vendors and retailers are skittish heading into the event, set for March 4-7.

“We are aware that the situation facing international markets is very complicated and that Europe is paying a heavy price for the crisis,” the executive said. “At this moment, ANCI wants to increasingly promote the footwear industry and we have worked hard to involve new high-end fashion brands.”

In total, 1,560 exhibitors — 951 from Italy and 609 from international markets — will unveil their fall lines at the show.

Notable new names this time around include Liu-Jo, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Roberto Botticelli and Esprit. Several key high-end labels are also returning to the show, including bespoke footwear maker Silvano Lattanzi.

Fabio Aromatici, general director of ANCI, said that while the show saw a slight dip in attendance from domestic manufacturers, it is seeing increased interest from countries such as Spain, Portugal, Brazil and India, among others.

When it comes to attendees, organizers have also worked to attract more retailers from the U.S. Exports to the States increased 14.7 percent for the 10-month period ended October 2011, in terms of value.

“We are very keen on the American market,” Aromatici said, adding that U.S. consumers are becoming more aware of value and quality, opening the door for smaller Italian companies. (The U.S. now ranks third for Italian exports after France and Germany.)

Off the show floor, Micam will once again have a home in central Milan at “Micam Point” and in other key areas of the city.

“We continue to make our presence in Milan stronger,” Aromatici said. “We want to educate consumers about how our shoes are made and what kind of materials are used. People are impressed with our product and they want to know more.”

The Calendar

Micam Point
March 2-7
Via Borgonuovo 1
Several special events will be held at “Micam Point,” once again located in central Milan. The space, open to the public, will feature a special exhibit of red shoes that will play off the theme “Follow The Red Footsteps.” Visitors can also get a glimpse of the “I Love Italian Shoes” e-commerce and television platform and receive online discounts.

Cocktail Party

9 P.M., Sunday, March 4
Roialto, Via Piero Della Francesca 55
Organizers kick off the show with a celebration at Roialto restaurant. This invitation-only event is open to exhibitors, visitors and press.

Cocktail Party

7 P.M., Monday, March 5
Micam Point
Footwear News and Micam will host an invitation-only event at “Micam Point.”

International Press Conference

11:30 A.M., Tuesday, March 6
Micam Press Office, Rho Fiera
First Floor, Room 13
ANCI will give an update on the state of the Italian footwear industry.

Gala Dinner

8 P.M., Tuesday, March 6
Palazzo Pirelli, Via Fabio Filzi 22
Select vendors, retailers and media are invited to the dinner.