World Footwear


Kirstin Deutelmoser, Director of GDS, live on World Footwear

Feb 25, 2015 Germany
Kirstin Deutelmoser, Director of GDS, live on World Footwear
The second edition of the new format of the GDS trade show, with anticipated dates, took place in Düsseldorf earlier in the month. We spoke to the Director of GDS to make a balance of the latest edition of the trade fair
900 brands, divided in three themed words, showcased their collections for the 2015/16 Autumn / Winter season at the latest edition of GDS trade show. To this adds 160 exhibitors participating in the tag it! show, the trade fair for private labeling.

According to the organization the atmosphere at the event was good and by the end of the second edition with advanced dates, it became clear that the new GDS is well received by the industry as a kick-off event. The organization believes this new format with earlier dates brings together industry and retail at a point in time where information is most precious, positioning GDS as a information platform, according to Kirstin Deutelmoser, the Director of the trade fair.

GDS once again delivered the new format of the trade fair with anticipated dates. What balance can be done of this second edition with the new format?

After the first February edition of GDS we have received plenty of positive feedback from industry and retail. The new GDS brings together industry and retail at a point in time where information is most precious. And this is also precisely why the positive mood in the halls and the busy networking serve as a benchmark of success to us. After the start of the new concept in July 2014 the expert world was excited to see how GDS would fare at its first winter edition. In terms of overall results GDS followed on from its positive impression in summer. A representative survey confirmed the positive mood: 92.3% of the visitors polled stated they were “very satisfied” with GDS. The positive results obtained in the market research study were joined by another positive trend namely GDS posted more visitor numbers than last summer.

Do you have any feedback from visitors regarding the new concepts which can be shared with our readers? Any comments about changes that need to be addressed?
After our second event the feedback is unambiguous. Our timing is right! Right at the start of the season customers are open to all things and manufacturers can present themselves on an international stage. This is exactly what makes GDS so valuable as an information platform. It goes without saying that we are happy to also learn about business activities at our exhibitors’ stands. The GDS team capitalised on the positive ambience at the kick-off event to work out further details of the concept. In selected halls, for example, new areas were added and the innovations introduced in summer, like the Highlight Route, were made more visible. Fine-tuning is generally happening in the three lifestyle worlds, particularly in regard to atmosphere, with the intention of more clearly highlighting the character of the individual worlds, and providing the appropriate ambiance for the more than 900 brands featured there. For July 2015 we are still working intensively on attracting more international retailers.

In your view what were the most successful elements of the last edition of the fair?

Needless to say, that the Grand Opening party was very successful part. I think that it was not only a great come together for the sector but also an amazing performance by the Canadian singer Kiesza.  Both guests and VIPs agreed that Kiesza was a highlight and a worthy successor to Beth Ditto, who had put the audience in high spirits at the Grand Opening in summer.
Also launching the innovative Design Trendsetter project meant a targeted fashion highlight.  In order to start into the season with new impulses and an ideal overview of product line selection, GDS and the Italian marketing and design agency Honegger launched a unique  a unique pilot project “Design Trendsetter”. 20 international designers presented their collections and designs at GDS as part of the premium STUDIO world. This project focuses on creativity, with an eye out for a combination of imaginative collections, masterful craftsmanship and market savvy. I think that with the Design Trendsetter platform, we managed to provide important impulses and to create true added value for our visitors, and this way we could present a whole array of trends and themes here in Düsseldorf right at the beginning of the season. The 20 designers can be seen once more in summer from 29 to 31 July 2015. The cooperation runs for one year for each designer, after which time new young talent is able to submit applications for the platform.

In your view, what will be the main challenges for the footwear trade fairs in the next couple of years?

The footwear sector is very challenging and so is the fashion fair business. To achieve best results the basis for this is a strong cooperation with the exhibitors. We as GDS serve as a platform for the brand to present itself at its best here in the halls. It is key for the exhibitors to take advantage of this opportunity and show a recognizable DNA, new impulses for shoe fashion and highlights of the season. The retailers require a strong brand DNA and not mainstream monotony, because this is what they have to offer to the consumer. We as an international fair trade always need to keep the wheels in motion and we never stand still. We are permanently focusing on the requirements of the market. This is why we launched the Design Trendsetter Project to create these new impulses for the retail.

The next editions of the GDS and tag it! trade fairs will be held from the 29th to the 31st of July 2015.

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