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or the first time all trends and innovations revolving around shoes were presented in

Düsseldorf from Tuesday to Thursday. This made it possible to avoid clashing with Friday as one of the strongest retail-sales day allowing retailers to capitalise on the trade shows as best as possible.

According to the organisers Messe Dusseldorf,

visitor numbers at GDS were down on the previous season - 12,500 retailers visited the two shoe trade shows over the three days of the show. This was too few in the opinion of Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf: “Neither the sector nor we can be satisfied with this visitor attendance. Which is why we have decided jointly with the Advisory Board to again intensely consult on the optimisation of GDS together with industry and retail over the next few weeks.”

True, fewer halls were occupied at GDS

Dusseldorf this season, but the isles were busy on the days that I attended the show and agents on the stands were clearly taking orders. Visitors that I met at the event, including retailers and footwear buyers from the UK and further afield, commented on how much they had enjoyed the catwalk shows featuring the latest collections, as well as workshops and talks providing useful information on social media and upcoming fashion trends.

For exhibitors, there is generally a well-attended

Press Walk on the opening day of the show, and this season was no exception. It provided valuable Media coverage for those brands that participate and was much appreciated by members of the Press, including myself. In my opinion, GDS is still the most extensive and best organised footwear show in Europe and is worth a visit.

GDS provides extensive trend platform Fashion Shows, Trend Spots, Trend Codes and the Trend Talks – through its early dates and the gradual extension of its Trend Services GDS has positioned itself as an essential information platform that provides the sector with a perfect overview of 2 international collections with its three themed worlds STUDIO, HIGHSTREET and POP UP. However, strategic themes such as sustainability, social media and future trends are also part and parcel of GDS, explains Director Kirstin Deutelmoser: “Personal exchange and the new collections are, of course, centre stage at GDS; but in challenging times new impulses are also key for the sector. This is why we are offering our visitors a multitude of services in these fields and aspire to be up to date.”

Visitors took an avid interest in the GDS catwalk

shows in the separate Catwalk Area of Hall 2, whose programme had been expanded even further for the 2017 S/S season. For the first time, catwalk shows featured collection items from all three GDS worlds. Special highlight: the GDS opening show, which presented the most attractive styles from the STUDIO world under the heading “RE:LUXE”. Special guest on the catwalk was model and actress Alena Gerber (26). Further trend services included the GDS Trend Spots, which provided retailers with perfect blueprints for visual merchandising with their displays, and the GDS Trend Codes, which answered one of the key questions for advising shoppers at the PoS: “Which shoes go with what outfit?”

Green Shoes Workshop informs the sector The last day of GDS saw interested shoe manufacturers and retailers learn details about sustainability concepts in the footwear industry as part of a workshop. Under the heading “Green Shoes for a Sustainable Life” visitors enjoyed a lecture on the results of the “Step to Sustainability” project as well as two panel discussions with key industry representatives, who presented and explained “Best Cases” for the footwear sector. The workshop was organised by the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC) and its European partners to the “Step to Sustainability” project.

World Footwear Yearbook 2016: 23 billion pairs produced On the morning of the second day of the trade show GDS together with APICCAPS, the Portuguese Footwear, Components, Leather Goods Manufacturers’ Association, founded in 1975, extended an invitation to a joint press conference. Here the sixth issue of the World Footwear Yearbook was presented, which can be ordered at as from now. Among other things, this features a comprehensive report analysing the shoe industry in terms of output, exports, imports and consumption in a total of 79 countries, and evaluates the strategic position of the various actors in this sector. In 2015, for example, 23 billion pairs of shoes were produced worldwide – 0.4% fewer than in the previous year.

The next editions of GDS and tag it! will take

place from 7 to 9 February 2017 and 25 to 27 July 2017. All activities related to GDS and tag it! can be found online at: and

Cheryl Taylor, Senior Editor, Footwear Today Magazine.


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