With positive results, Spain’s International Leather week SIPIEL ended its three-day run on April 3. In all 21,498 visitors came the event in Madrid’s exhibition center – a increase of 7% compared to the March 2004 edition. SIPIEL includes Spain’s biggest shoe fair, Modacalzado link:(modacalzado.ifema.es), and the much smaller Iberpiel, a salon for leather accessories.

More than 18,000 visitors came from Spain, which proves that SIPIEL remains a regional event. Still, about 3,300 foreigners found their way to Madrid, 12% more than in 2004. Among them were mostly Portuguese, Italians and Greeks.

Shoe fair Modacalzado alone presented almost 700 exhibitors. Although 499 companies came from Spain the rising number of foreign exhibitors (194, +42%) showed the international appeal of Modacalzado. Highlights were prominent Spanish brands such as Ras, Alima, Pedro Garcia, Blay and Chie Mihara. One of the four exhibtion halls was dedicated to young fashion with exhibitors such as Puma, Pepe Jeans London, Park Lane, Art, and El Naturalista. Still there seems to be lot more potential for young national talents to present their collections.

Salespeople at Modacalzado were quite satisfied with the fair.

"We show here for a couple of seasons. Modacalzado is important for us to reach South European customers," said Derry Curry from Park Lane.

"This time Friday was calm, but Saturday was alright," said José de la Peña from El Naturalista.

Although some companies there were considering showing at the Bread & butter Barcelona event in July, most said they plan to stay with Modacalzado as they consider it a very important marketplace for shoes in Southern Europe.

— Sabine Kühnl, Bureau Chief Germany