GDS, the international event for shoes and accessories, and Global Shoes, the trade show for sourcing, closed on Sunday evening on a predominantly positive note.

Over 31,000 buyers came to the fairgrounds — approximately 2,000 visitors or 6 % fewer than a year ago. Of these, 6,200 also visited Global Shoes, with 1,110 exhibitors from 38 countries offering the latest shoe and bag styles. In view of the current market situation, exhibitors, visitors and the trade fair company rated the results positively. Most visitors came from Germany, the Benelux countries, UK, Austria, Italy and France.

Kirstin Deutelmoser, Director of GDS and Global Shoes, said: “The quality of our visitors was very high. All important buyers were represented with smaller teams.”

Exhibitors and visitors were further impressed by the positive and busy atmosphere in the halls. Talks were constructive and many buyers placed orders in Düsseldorf.

Exhibitors in the young urban halls were also in a good mood. Willi Umland, Managing Director of Converse, said: “For spring we had an order of over 61%. Our order forms are full.” Peter Stratmann for G-Star footwear said, “Buyers are placing direct orders.” He added: “We are successful with military boots and have a good response from the new handmade worker boots.” And Dirk Fuchs for Diesel shoes said: “All key accounts have visited our stand. They are all in a good mood.”

There was even a good response to new fashion lines from fashion retailers and shoe retailers that are widening their fashion assortment. Authentic worker boots with vintage elements, used-look leather styles, suede boots, stylish moon boots, and ankle boots for girls are the bestsellers for winter. Meanwhile, sneakers are still booming. The newest looks include leather uppers, basketball influences, a mix of leather and fabrics, and “Chuck” styles with vulcanized soles.

The trendy area “Design Attack” was celebrating its 10th anniversary in hall 3. Its recipe for success is an original concept deliberately designed to stand out from mainstream presentations. The key feature of Design Attack is its blend of different trends and themes, extraordinary stand design, hip atmosphere, art and music, and young cultures. The brands are an exciting mix of independent fashion, urban and underground streetwear including accessories and lifestyle products.

Design Attack started with 15 exhibitors in September 2004 and during the last fair attracted 100 young designers to its showcase. Back then, GDS enlisted Eddi Mackowiak of E.M. Project as a “one-man” think tank to launch something new for the young segment. The first project was “Trash Lounge”; other projects and themes included “Viva Las Vegas” with a glittering Vegas look of the ’50s. “Mambo Italiano” brought back memories of the ’60s Italian Riviera and “Kaffee Oriental” was about the fascinating charm of the Moroccan city, Marrakech. The theme of the 10th edition was “Queen Alpin,” which showed London as a chic ski resort in the Alps.

Says Mackowiak: “Every season I’m looking for new talents from fashion schools and every season we are changing the brands.” In fact, many brands had their first presentations in the trendy area. Design has always been a superb platform to introduce young labels. Brands like Lise Lindvig, Grotesque and Adelheid had their first debut in the trend area. Today they are showing in the Urban Authentic hall. For Martijne Baars of Fred de la Bretoniere and Shabbies Amsterdam, Design Attack was also their first showcase. Now they have a larger stand in the “White Cubes” area amongst high fashion brands.

—Lisa Dartmann