Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

An excellent result for the days dedicated to the most interesting new footwear and leather goods ideas for the coming season. The analyses and products are still available to view on the Swapcard platform.

On 18th & 19th February, Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags offered all those who continue to participate in the Special Edition promoted by the event, an in-depth analysis of the most interesting products for the market, conducted by four industry experts. 

Sergio Belloni (designer & trend researcher), Milena Buttarello (product manager), Alice Masiero (buyer & collection merchandiser) and Maurizio Oliviero (product sourcing), explained the various product categories, highlighting the merits and qualities that might have winning results in the marketplace.

The success of the initiative, which forms part of the broadest strategy undertaken by Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags to date, aimed to integrate the physical trade fair approach with fast, concrete tools that can, both in the future and, indeed, all year long, support the key needs of the sector and was achieved thanks to a simple to use formula of great use to buyers.

The short webinar sessions (which are still available on the Swapcard platform), each focused on a particular product type, enabling the audience of buyers an easy way to follow the topics that interest them most and discover, albeit at a distance, the new products on offer.

Once they had identified the right products for their clients, the buyers were able to examine the rest of the collection in the Shoecase section, right there on Swapcard, and contact suppliers, obtain further details and place their orders. 


During the two days of the Showroom, the range of topics was complete. For both men and women, classic formal, comfort and casual were discussed, as well as boots, sneakers, sports & outdoor, slipper and other home wear styles and summer reassortment.

Other sectors mentioned were Work & Safety, children’s footwear and, obviously, bags.

Just to mention a few of the suggestions that emerged and merely to highlight some of the more interesting trends that we will be seeing over the coming months…….

…….without a shadow of a doubt, comfort and versatile sneakers will continue to play a vital role for just about all consumer types. The sneakers trend, which started way before the pandemic,  has become even more established in this period of blockade and is a sure investment for buyers.    They are far easier to sell online than their elegant counterparts, above all because they are so very comfortable to wear, thus limiting the percentage of returns. Also the fact that they are an all-season product makes them extremely appealing. 

‘Athleisure’ is the source of inspiration in terms of sneakers. In other words, a style that is both comfortable and suitable for doing sport, but fashionable too and attractive enough to be able to wear for other occasions and also for work.

The outdoor world, along with that of sneakers, has also benefited from the pandemic effect that has increased people’s desire for outdoor living. Whether they’re for running, hiking or even just simple gardening and walking, outdoor styles will continue to be enjoyed by the consumer who wants to facilitate his natural escapes with the right footwear. 

These recent months of the pandemic have convinced brands, quite rightly, to aim for comfort/casual lines too, in-keeping with our new lifestyles, such as smart-working from home.

Life has been much tougher for formal footwear, especially men’s, and has had to learn to reinvent itself both in terms of style and fit, and likewise has needed to become more comfortable – measures that have been able to stem the negative figures, as numerous reports of sell-outs have revealed.

The boots category (both men’s and women’s) on the hand, has exploded to overflowing! Sure, the fact of having to face the winter season in the first place is bound to facilitate the success of certain products, which are traditionally more profitable in the sales phase, too. But once again, Covid has played an important part in determining the success of this product group. People have developed a resilient attitude which has resulted in a ‘survived’ look and the experts’ advice for this category is to aim for versatile models that add value to a variety of looks.

Another effect of the pandemic is undoubtedly people’s desire for summer, making it important to take stock and get the summer season reassortment just right. It is essential to cover various price points and give new life to continuous products, using the new season’s colours: neutrals and soft shades will be particularly sought after.

The final issue to take into consider is the desire for product personalisation, which was seen in a number of the products presented during the Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags Showroom. A word of advice for buyers would be to not be shy and to ask their suppliers, who are increasingly ready to accommodate their wishes, for personalisation which will characterise their offers.

There are plenty more footwear and bags tips to be discovered if you follow the experts’ analyses that are still available on the Swapcard platform brought to you by Expo Riva Schuh: