Hot shoe brands drew about 20,000 visitors at footwear fair Modacalzado, held September 29 to October 1 during the 18th International Footwear and Leather Goods Week Sipiel in Madrid.

“The fair is getting more and more international and it is an important marketplace for ‘Made in Spain’ products that stand for quality, tradition, price-performance ratio and respect,” says Japanese designer Chie Mihara, who now resides in Spain and produces exclusively in her husband’s factory YCB in Elda.

Marshoes, which has brands Ras and Alima under its umbrella, believes in the quality of the Spanish product as well. Its sales and marketing director, José F. Morán, knows what the image of ‘Made in Spain’ should be like: “It is very important to keep the values of your brand and to do a lot of research,” he says.

Not just Spanish exhibitors showed their s/s 2007 collections at the show: the fair also had plenty of international labels. Of the 645 brands that showed on 31,188 sq. meters (335,705 sq. feet) of the Feria de Madrid, 171 were from abroad. These included Art, Birkenstock, Chipie Shoes, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Mustang, Naturino, Nike, Reebok, Pepe Jeans London, Skechers and Rocket Dog.

The fair also attracted a more international audience. Compared to the previous edition, there were 10% more foreign visitors and 7% more Spanish visitors. In total, Sipiel welcomed 16,959 Spanish trade visitors and 2,912 from abroad. These foreigners came from Portugal, Italy, the UK, France, Russia, the USA and the Middle East. Most of the Spanish audience came from Valencia (3,627), followed by Madrid (3,153), Andalusia (1,804) and Catalonia (1,047).

Highlights of the three-day event included catwalk shows by Diesel, which held its presentation in a white tent with angel-styled models, and a show by Portuguese designers Alain Bastiani, Coqueterra, Eject, Ricap, Joseph Louis, Tatuaggi and Sofwaves. There was also a group show from brands based in Elda that showed the latest looks from Gondoline Sport, Calzapedic, Naughty Shoes, García e Riquelme.

The next Sipiel will take place March 23-25, 2007. It will showcase the a/w 2007-08 collections.

— Barbara Stockinger