Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Advance information for the world's footwear market

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The next appointment is in June for the 90th edition - The 89th edition of Expo Riva Schuh draws to a close with over 13,000 visitors, confirming previous forecasts

Expo Riva Schuh has proved itself to be the event with the highest level of internationalisation in this sector – states the Chairman of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, Roberto Pellegrini. Our exhibitors have expressed their great satisfaction for the quality of the buyers they have met here in Riva del Garda and that confirms just how high the level of our fair is. Bringing valid visitors to the fair signifies offering concrete business opportunities for the companies, thus giving them a strong incentive to continue exhibiting at Expo Riva Schuh.”

The 89th edition of the event saw the participation of a delegation of buyers from 11 countries: Sweden; Norway; Finland; Denmark; Estonia; Romania; Russia; Serbia; Hungary; Croatia and the Ukraine. This incoming initiative, organised with the support of the ICE Agency, is the result of the Swedish leg of the ‘Expo Riva Schuh Around the World’ promotional tour. Next stop, in a few months’ time – The United States of America.

The opening talk of the fair provided important indications concerning the key world players in terms of footwear, thanks to the presentation by João Maia, Managing Director of APICCAPS (the National Portuguese Association for Producers of Footwear, Components and Leather goods). He revealed the statistics emerging from the World Footwear Yearbook, an authoritative publication produced by the Association.  

The North American market, for example, remains one of the world’s major footwear consumer hubs, but is going through a phase of great change.  ‘Made in China’ footwear represented up to 75% of American imports up to 7 years ago, but has now lost market share and accounts for a mere 15%. This figure is very closely linked to the increase of the average price of footwear produced in China, the result of which is a shift in production towards other Asian countries, including Vietnam. China is therefore experiencing an interesting growth phenomenon in terms of domestic consumption (due to a higher average wage), which makes the country even more important from a consumption point of view. And so, the role of this Asian giant becomes increasingly complex, opening interesting sales prospects for European companies too, and their medium to high output.

The market’s evolution runs parallel to the increasingly rapid changes in the world of fashion and the role of the consumer, who is more and more digital and evolved. As proven by the success of the fast fashion business model, the key to success is speed and brands are turning less and less to the larger manufacturers and more towards the smaller, more flexible producers, opening another possible door to success for European manufacturing.

In terms of strategy and positioning, Expo Riva Schuh is perfect for the demands of fast fashion, because we have long since had to do away with barriers between one season and the next - explains Giovanni Laezza, Managing Director of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi. More and more mixed purchasing strategies are emerging, in which large orders are integrated into smaller and more repeated productions. Companies have also expanded their product range in order to maintain their market shares, increasingly focusing on the concept of a total look. And so, therefore, our fair is changing, just as the market is changing: the recipe for success, however, is that of being able to respond to the new demands without ever changing your own DNA.”

For Autumn/Winter 2018-2019 a general tendency towards comfort has emerged from Expo Riva Schuh, with details that recall classic elegance, somewhere between formality and tradition, without ever sacrificing style. Fashions tend towards the hybrid concept of mixing and matching different materials, styles and colours, giving a completely new play on contrasts.

Studs, straps and strong colours, such as red and black, imply a rock trend that has taken hold of the women’s collections, sitting alongside more romantic styles, enhanced by elegant, classy decorations, sometimes expressed through the choice of materials, with a blend of leather and soft textiles. Men’s shoes too are inspired by an elegantly relaxed mood, focusing on attention to detail, with a classic look that is inspired by the 1950’s and 60’s. For children the tendency is to combine practicality, thanks to elastic and zip fastenings, with touches that derive from the adult world, with glamorous, refined details. Finally, when it comes sports footwear, styles are increasingly avant-garde in terms of shape and functionality. Brands continue to pay more and more attention to the issues of eco-sustainability and respect for the environment, with innovative, recyclable materials creeping more and more into the collections. 

The 90th edition of Expo Riva Schuh in June will not only represent an important moment in time for the fair, but will also see the inauguration of the very first edition of Gardabags, a completely new project that is all about accessories, designed to provide a concrete response to the ever-increasing demand for the total look.

“The Garda-bags project came about from a specific request from the market - explains Carla Costa, Exhibitions Manager forRiva del Garda Fierecongressi. At the moment there is no other event in Europe for the mid-segment of the accessories market and our project is aimed precisely at filling this gap. An analysis of visitors to reveals that around 20% of buyers who come here to Riva del Garda also purchase bags. With Gardabags we aim to respond to these demands while also attracting other buyers, with the right product offering, that combines Asiatic production with that of Italy, Spain and France. I would like to think that Gardabags could also become a place for young designers and their artisanal products.”  

The dates for the next edition of Expo Riva Schuh in Riva del Garda are from June 16th to 19th 2018.