Which colors and what trends will dominate the a/w 2007-08 footwear collections and what consumer trends will affect retail? Answers will be given at this year’s Footwear and Accessories Business Conference at the World Shoe Association (WSA) show (wsashow.com), which will run February 1 to 4 in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay and the Las Vegas Convention Center. The onsite conference’s nine speeches about trends and consumer studies will give international buyers and retailers insight into the US market.

Europeans are more than welcome at WSA: A delegation of buyers from Germany and Italy will attend and get an orientation by the WSA retail relations team led by Milan-based Philippe Versluysen. The team will plan meetings, organize strategic business introductions and handle entire itineraries. Diane Stone, WSA’s chief operating officer, says, “It is our aim to provide the best possible platform for the footwear industry to conduct business on a global basis.”

WSA will also feature several special events. The proceedings will kick off the night before opening day (January 31) with cocktails and the live runway show “Style Walk” at the Fashion Show Mall (pictured above). An opening night concert will feature rock ‘n’ roll legends Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Mary Wilson, Bo Diddley and Booker T and the MG’s.

The show will feature footwear, handbag and accessory collections from 1,600 exhibitors that represent more than 6,000 brands, including Swear, 7 For All Mankind, Dry ShoD, Diesel, True Religion and Zeha Berlin.

This season, children’s footwear is big with 529 kids’ companies and brands exhibiting. Brands such as Nina Kids, Skechers and H.H. Brown will be introducing their kids’ styles to match the adult lines.

The luxury section “The Collections at WSA” (a “fair on the fair”) will again be held at the Venetian Resort Hotel and will feature 350 designer brands, including Juicy Couture, Theory and Esquivel.

Held twice a year, the WSA show attracts about 36,000 trade visitors from 95 countries.

— Barbara Stockinger, Contributing Editor