GDS International Shoe Fair that closed its doors today featured about 850 exhibitors that presented their shoe collections for s/s 2012 whereas 440 exhibitors were exhibiting within simultaneously running Global Shoes. About 24,000 visitors came to Düsseldorf, a minus of 4% compared to the edition in March. In general, exhibitors were in a good mood with business as usual.

Urban Authentic was completely booked with some booths having nice decorations getting compliments for the well-organized White Cubes area. Kangaroos presented itself with a completely new dynamic booth concept. Spanish lifestyle brand Desigual had its colorful debut with a decorated dinner table in the middle of the booth and offered fresh fruit for everybody. Almost all collections were showing colorful and inspiring trends. Moreover, retailers were interested in new color concepts, nature topics and intelligent technology.

Elaborate woven sandals and platform sandals on high cork wedges, wooden details, espadrilles in Mediterranean color shades were the hottest trends for women. Hand-dyed button boots, chukka, Chelsea boots and sneakers in soft suede materials with a patina finish in fresh colors were the trend topics for most retailers. Authentic sneakers are back and summer boots in soft suede or canvas are upcoming trends. Skechers, for example, offers innovative sneakers in super lightweights for running and walking in orange and purple.
GDS hall 4; photo:GDS
GDS hall 4; photo:GDS

Color is the top favorite of every order list, but retailers are looking for the right balance. Carsten Busche of Arte said: “Our retailers love colorful shoes, but when ordering they are more rational than emotional.” Rainer Fokkens, Biviel, Bunker, Dolly Do, commented: “Color is the main topic for summer but only with retail prices up to €100.” At GDS, most of the brands already have completed about 80% of their orders. The late date of the shoe fair is a discussion topic within every conversation. “GDS is too late, there is no traffic and our sales people are bored,” complains Sven Simonsen of Crocs Germany. Some other exhibitors were missing international visitors.

Besides business, GDS presented shows with innovative new approaches. Clarks presented its s/s 2012 collections in its own fashion show featuring soul singer Cassandra Steen. Providing the glam factor at the opening of GDS were top model Ana Mihajlović and German actress Andrea Sawatzki. Amongst other events were, for instance, the presentation of the Portuguese Innovation Awards – the “Footwear Oscars”, an event hosted by Diesel, and the Design Attack Happy Hour.