February’s edition of Moda, the UK’s largest fashion trade event, attracted a host of UK and international fashion buyers who praised this season’s edit of footwear labels as the show returned to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham for its Autumn/Winter 2019 edition.


n increase in the percentage of international buyers delighted brands as they filled three days with appointments and order writing. Buyers

themselves had the opportunity to view more than 300 emerging and established footwear labels on offer, and explore the adjacent halls showing a sought-after mix of womenswear, menswear and accessories collections.

Buyers also commented on a refreshed brand mix, with major new

names such as Superga showing alongside established favourites such as Rieker, Joules, Birkenstock, Geox, XTI, Bugatti, Hotter, Yull, Chatham and Steptronic.

As well as introducing a host of new ranges, KéDDO kept buyers

refreshed and entertained at their KéDDO Café, treating them to Prosecco every afternoon.

“As well as increased investment into our VIP hosting programme and the

introduction of a dedicated matchmaking scheme for selected buyers and brands, visitors to Moda feel confident that they will not only see their core brands at the show every season, but a host of new names, innovations and products,” says Moda Footwear event director Sean O’Connor. “ The Autumn/Winter edition has delivered on both accounts and we’re really pleased with the mix of brands on show. The reaction from visitors has been hugely positive and the response to our VIP hosting programme has been a great success.”

Pauline Cassidy from Goody 2 Shoes said: “We like the fact that the VIP

hosting’s been really good. We had been considering not coming because it was getting too expensive with flights and accommodation, but with the VIP programme, you have more of a “feel good” factor coming to the show. The brands that are here also makes the show a one stop shop.”

Travelling from Northern Ireland, Sheila Barry from Donaghy’s department

store added: “I attend Moda twice a year and have been for over 20 years. I find it’s a good platform for us and I do a lot of buying here. Some of the brands here, I don’t get to see at home, and if they are over in Northern Ireland, it’s usually difficult to get an appointment with them and then you


miss collections and your opportunity to buy. I also come to see what’s around; a lot of brands have their new season colours and trends on show which gives you a vibe for what you can bring forward into your next season buys. You always pick up pieces that you might otherwise have missed as well. It’s important to us as a company to come to shows like Moda. A lot of the good footwear houses are here.”

Moda also announced its collaboration with De Montfort University

Footwear Design BA (Hons) course this season and launched the inaugural History in the Making Footwear Design Competition to showcase incredible young talent and the future of footwear design. The History in the Making brief asked entrants to design and develop a range of footwear that interprets the broad spectrum of 'heritage' incorporating fashion influences, materials and colour trends for the Autumn/Winter 19/20 season. The six shortlisted designs were displayed in the heart of the prestigious footwear section throughout the show and the winner Dimitri Gabellier, whose innovative trainer design took inspiration from the Japanese martial art, the Hojojutsu, was announced during an award ceremony.

The This is Me theme across the rest of the show brought real fashion to life

and the catwalk delivered a range of trend-led looks aimed at giving buyers a head start buying into the key trends for next season. Moda’s content programme is also becoming a bigger draw for visitors says O’Connor, with the ever-quickening change of pace across the retail sector leaving independents hungry for new inspiration and new ideas. “As the leading national event for the footwear industry we need Moda to be the key meeting place of the season, and not just for buying,” he says. “Retailers are short on time and often on a tight budget, so for some this is one of the only opportunities to meet up with other buyers, view forward trends, get invaluable inspiration, and listen to industry experts on the topics that matter now.”

This season’s content programme included a trend’s round-up from fashion

forecaster Sarah Jackson, financial trading reports from PwC’s Andy Lyons, and a host of talks on e-commerce strategy and building customer engagement across social media channels.

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