The GDS footwear show (gds-online.com), which closed this weekend (14-16 March), was characterized by a busy, positive atmosphere with vendors reporting a decent turnover and a high interest in new styles and trends and especially more fashion-led designs.

In all, 34,000 visitors (an increase of 3% from last season) attended the Dusseldorf show, coming from 76 countries to view the 1,382 exhibitors’ Autumn Winter 08-09 collections.

Attracting the most interest were the Lifestyle & Sports, International Selection, Exclusivity, and Young Fashion, Design Attack and the white cubes areas.

Conceptual and layout changes continue to up GDS’s ante to positive effect and response, with exhibitors evidently busy and even signing orders directly on-site. Denim-led brand G-Star showed their footwear at the white cubes section for the third time due to the sales team’s satisfaction with it, while Miss Sixty, who were showing there for the first time, reported the same positive feedback. Said Frank Prenntzell, distributor of Airstep who were also showing at the white cubes: “All the interesting clients were here. We did real business and retailers gave direct orders on our stand,” a sentiment that was echoed across the floor, with Wolfgang Friedrichs of Replay shoes conceding “we were busy all the time.”

The next GDS fair will be held from 12 to 14 September in Dusseldorf

Photo: A design from the Fiorelli collection