The management of the Messe Düsseldorf was pleased with the result of the 96th GDS International Shoe Fair, which took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, September 18-21. The show attracted 40,000 registered visitors, including 27,000 from abroad. Compared to the March 2003 GDS, the number of visitors stayed the same, whereas last September 42,000 people attended the fair. The number of exhibitors decreased by more than hundred compared to March: in total 1,520 manufacturers showed their collections for spring/summer 2004.
While more companies from emerging markets such as Brazil and Turkey exhibited, fewer Italian visitors and exhibitors came to Düsseldorf this time. One explanation for this drop may be that the Italian shoe fair Micam took place in Milan almost simultaneously, from September 20–23.
About 20% of the visitors at this GDS were attending the show for the first time. The show’s organizers said many delegations from this group were from Asia and the USA.
Overall, the styles at Düsseldorf showed two main themes. The first included strong colors, neon and metal effects. The second included sneakers and pumps in soft tones from beige to white. Round toes appeared to be making a comeback, although there were also plenty of pointy-toed styles on display.