A footwear sector in turmoil is the picture emerging from Expo Riva Schuh, the international trade fair dedicated to the world of volume footwear, which today closes its 86th edition with 11,025 visitors.
“This edition has brought us back to the image of a sector that is changing – explains the chairman of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, Roberto Pellegrini. Expo Riva Schuh has always been a great opportunity for understanding how the market is evolving, and in this edition in particular, we have noted some important changes that are affecting the fair and its target sector. We have seen new kinds of visitors, for example from large fast fashion chains, which started off in clothing and are now looking at the footwear sector, as well as new purchasing methods from the buyers. Our greatest challenge in the near future will be precisely that of managing to provide effective responses to these new market demands.”
A particularly positive aspect was the reaction of buyers from the Russian area, who don’t only come to Expo Riva Schuh in search of a mid-range product that suits the needs of an internal market in difficulty, but also companies offering “Made in Italy” products with whom they can strike up agreements and build partnerships with in the long term.
“Purchasing strategies are changing – comments Giovanni Laezza, Managing Director of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi. And so the companies too are looking for alternative ways to compete at international level. A number of luxury brands, for example, are considering running a medium level collection alongside their main collection, where the quality guaranteed by the brand can also be offered at a lower cost and with a faster response rate to market demands. It is similar to what has happened to the world of clothing with the introduction of fast fashion. This evolution opens up significant prospects for our event too, which could well become the key hub for this type of production.”
Speed in fashion production and on-going changes in the timing of collection launches were the subject of debate at Saturday’s opening talk on 11th June, entitled: "The on-going changes in fashion timescales.” During the meeting, the issue of whether or not it is possible to reduce the downtime between product launch and the point at which the product hits the high street was discussed, as well as the likely consequences of this revolution for the footwear market and sector-related trade shows.
Expo Riva Schuh continues to establish its international vocation, with 1,139 of its total of 1,438 exhibitors coming from abroad, representing over 40 countries, and the presence of groups from China, India, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Indonesia and Pakistan. Taking part in the four days of the fair were a number of buyer delegations, organised in co-operation with the ICE Agency, from South America (especially Argentina, Chile, Columbia and Peru) and also from Europe, with representatives from Belgium and Sweden.
“Hosting companies from all over the world gives us a complete insight into the fashions of the season- states Carla Costa, Manager ofRiva del Garda Fierecongressi’s Fair Unit.For Spring/Summer 2017, women’s footwear will be enhanced with metallic highlights and will see a return to a new style ethnic look. For men, a more former look will prevail, but revisited with a relaxed approach, so we can look forward to seeing classic lace-ups but in natural materials. Lots of denim for children with fringes and tassels in styles that aspire to grown-up fashion.”
The next dates for Expo Riva Schuh have been set from 14th to 17th January 2017, with previews of the Autumn/Winter 2017/2018 collections.