"The redesigning of Hall 15 gave the fair a new profile," said Mike Todd, European manager of Ugg Australia, about the revamped GDS (www.messe-dusseldorf.com), which took place here September 16-19.

The trash look in hall 15 was described as an authentic element for urban footwear, and Dr. Thomas Nassua, general manager of s. Oliver Shoes & Accessories GmbH, also said his company was also satisfied with the new hall division.

The restructuring of this premier shoe event received full support from all quarters. Visitors registered the new segmenting of "Young – Modern – Global Sources" right from the start.

Posting about 42,000 visitors, GDS achieved an increase of 5% over the last edition. The upbeat atmosphere in the halls, the lively events and the rise in visitor numbers – and, most importantly, business orders – all helped to create a sense of new beginnings at the fair.

The rise in visitors was prompted by the increase in visitors from abroad. Notable contingents came from Great Britain (3,200), Benelux (3,950), Italy (2,100), Spain (1,380), France (1,350) and Scandinavia (1,380). In addition, 1,200 visitors came from the USA and an extraordinary increase could be seen in the number of visitors from Eastern and Central Europe, especially from Russia.

Still, not all were completely satisfied. "The frequency could have been better," said Ivonne Bock of h.i.s. shoes. "We love the fair concept and our environment, but Bread & butter is more important," noted Thomas Hens from Palladium shoes.

Volkmar Liebhart of Replay shoes had fewer complaints. „We are very satisfied," he said. "We had many customers at the GDS".

In January 2005 a new GDS fair concept will be inaugurated called Pre-GDS. That show will run from Sunday, January 30 to Tuesday, February 1 and run concurrently with cpd woman_man_kidz.

The next "regular" GDS will take place from March 17-20.