World Footwear

World

Kirstin Deutelmoser, GDS Director, live on World Footwear

Jun 27, 2014 Germany
Kirstin Deutelmoser, GDS Director, live on World Footwear
The interview focus on the next edition of the GDS fair, taking place between 30th of July and 1st of August
The dates of the GDS have been anticipated and the next edition is the first test to the new timing of the trade event. At the same a new concept has been announced, which adds increasing curiosity about what will now be the season’s opening international trade show for the footwear industry. We spoke to Kirstin Deutelmoser to discuss the reasons behind the change on the dates of the fair as well as the new concept and the main developments associated to this.

The dates of the GDS fair have been anticipated. What were the main reasons behind that decision?
In fact it was more than evident that we had to change something, because the footwear sector, retail and industry, have changed significantly over the last years. We, as the world’s leading trade fair for shoes and accessories have to react to these developments and to the previous date debates. Our new positioning envisioned being an image of the international footwear sector or even more, a platform for the sector to present itself. To accommodate to a variety of requirements of the changing sector we went a big step forward. Hence GDS will be the stage for the exhibitors and buyers will get a total overview about the season’s highlights!



While the dates were anticipated, a new concept has also been announced. What have been the reactions of the exhibitors to the new dates and new format so far?
I must emphasise that many of our former exhibitors encouraged us at the beginning to turn the big wheel. We have some very important supporters. The direction, in which other fairs are going too, clearly shows that the season is moving forward. Most of the manufacturers realized the changes and admitted to the new needs of the whole industry. But there are still some manufacturers who should have more courage to start a change. I am well aware of the fact that by introducing the new concept and the short term between the fairs in March and July also leads to issues and challenges concerning the exhibitors’ preparations for the trade fair. The development of GDS is basically a process and it will also take a while to change the exhibitors’ mindsets.

Do you want to share with us some of the developments of the fair’s new concept?
GDS will now be the season’s opening international trade show for the industry. The relaunch has been built around a completely new concept, central to which is the establishment of three distinct but interrelated pillars. First, GDS offers three big shopping worlds: “HIGHSTREET-THE MODERN PULSE”, covering the spectrum from modern and sporty to traditional and wellness-focused, while also including kids’ clothing and accessories,  “POP UP- THE URBAN GROOVE”, a lively marketplace for trendy street wear and “STUDIO - THE PREMIUM NOTE”, which presents sophisticated shoe fashions from the minimalistic to the glamorous. The new show concept for GDS makes it easier for trade visitors to find what they are looking for. They will enjoy a ‘brand experience‘ which will assist them in defining their marketing and sales activities.
The second pillar bears the motto “15 MINUTES OF FAME” and focuses on exhibitors’ highlights. On the first day of the trade fair a special GDS Press Day will be organized for journalists. Exhibitors will be able to use this opportunity in a variety of ways to present and promote their brands and products and send out a clear brand message.
And last but not least: The third pillar is the Shoes and Accessories Festival,“OUT OF THE BOX”. On the third day of GDS the city of Düsseldorf will celebrate the festival, organizing numerous events and shows atretail-partners’ stores and exhibitors’ brand stores or in galleries and bars.
As I said, I am happy that important exhibitors of former GDS are following as well our new strategy. For example brands such as Ara,Camel, Gabor, Lloyd, Mephisto, s.Oliver, Wortmann or international exhibitors like Clarks, Buffalo, Camel, Kangaroos, Skechers and Vagabond and many more will be represented in HIGHSTREET. And of course I am looking forward to new brands like Lacoste, Gant Footwear, Marc O´Polo, Napapijri Footwear, Giesswein and Viking. Besides former brands in STUDIO such as Ash, United Nude, Dinkelacker, Franceschetti and La Martina, new brands like Barbour, Porsche Design, Jil Sander Navy and Patrizia Pepe will show their collections. In POP UP we will see manufacturers such as AS98, Nobrand, DocMartin, Fly London, G-Star, Levis Footwear, Maruti, Panama Jack, Pepe Jeans. Replay, Velvet Red, Original Penguin and Me & Macs are new in this segment.


In your view why should the footwear industry companies and brands attend the new GDS fair by the end of next month?
GDS is the ideal platform for our exhibitors to show their new developments, highlights and innovations! Our suggestion to the brands was: if you want to be seen and excite the customer you should focus on who you really are. You have to tell your story and show your highlights! Brands must be identified with a unique and clear image. Since we take place at the very beginning of the season, the brands increase their chance to get the attention from the buyer and to be included in the assortment planning at an early stage. In addition the visitor audience is truly international, very knowledgeable and focused, which means high-level decision-making from buyers that know what they’re looking for. They can provide both a global perspective and a local viewpoint on trends, which is a key benefit for exhibitors who can use the event to launch their brands.

GDS is positioning itself as a global event within the footwear industry. What’s the plan to achieve the position and maintain it?
GDS will now be the season’s opening international trade show for the industry. We gave our best to create a platform that offers ideal conditions in terms of service, infrastructure and presentation options. At an early stage retailers will see all new collections at GDS which will be relevant in the upcoming season. With this information they are well prepared to start their assortment planning, potentially including new suppliers. We are working closely with our exhibitors and together with them target to inform and entertain the international visitors within those genuine theme worlds we created.

For more information about the GDS fair please visit the GDS website.

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