At the last edition of GDS shoe & accessories fair in Düsseldorf that closed its doors September, 13 SI met Jorge Hernández, Sales and Marketing Director of The Art Company for an interview. Here, he talks about about the GDS' new concept, the market situation in Spain and the latest shoe line Bye Bye Suela.

The international shoe fairs are on the move, there are new concepts and dates have moved significantly forward. What do you think about that?
I am glad about the changes. Showing collections so early in the season fits very well for a niche label like ours. Although everything has to be done one month earlier now, but we will manage.

To what extent is your business affected by the economic situation in Spain?
We generate 90 percent of our sales through export, thus the Spanish market is only a small part for us. Our strongest market is Germany, closely followed by France. Spain comes in third place. Of course, the country still needs some time, but Spain is on a good path, many international investments are currently held there. Also the export ratio of the country is as high as ever. That is very good for Spain.

"Bye Bye Suela"
"Bye Bye Suela"
How has your shoe line Bye Bye Suela been received since its launch last summer?
Through new technology we now save material and production time when making the product. In addition, the Art-sole is made from recycled cork, so the shoe is very flexible and the customer gets more quality, which goes down well. Therefore, we increased Bye Bye Suela from three to six lines, and this technology is now also available for men. Our average prices are unchanged, but we have reduced the entry prices by 15 percent so the shoes now retail from 65 €.

Read the whole Interview in our upcoming issue #255 due November, 1, 2013.