The managment of the Messe Düsseldorf was pleased with the result of the GDS international shoe fair link:(, which took place here from March 17 to 20. The total number of registered visitors was 38,000 and these visitors came from about 80 different countries. Compared to the March 2004 edition of GDS, the number of visitors stayed nearly the same. (The September 2004 edition of GDS attracted 40,000 people).

While more companies from Bulgaria, France, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Turkey and Brazil, Chile, Japan and the USA joined the trade show, the number of decisionmakers from Benelux, Great Britain, Italy and Scandinavia stayed constant at 11,800. In addition, there were 1,000 Eastern European visitors at this latest edition; most of them came from Russia.

The event featured 1,500 exhibitors in total. These included numerous established brands, as well as first-time exhibitors, unknown designers and young talents.

Several trends were apparent in the a/w 2005-06 footwear collections presented at the show. Many boots and pumps were in soft tones that ranged from cognac to sweet-corn yellow and the majority of women’s shoe styles featured decorative elements such as flowers, glitter and strass. Crocodile or python looks were also popular. Apart from pointed toes, round shapes and square-toe styles will also be increasingly important this fall.

— Melanie Gropler, German correspondent