The total number of visitors at the fair came to 14,557 professionals, a 15% decrease compared to the last edition. The fair’s organisers believe that one of the main reasons for this decrease was the fact that a general election took place in Spain on Sunday, March 9. This much was demonstrated by the fact that public attendance at the event was higher over the first two days of the fair (Friday and Saturday) than at previous editions, whilst attendance fell on the last day. The impact of the elections was also reflected in the fact that the decrease in the number of visitors was higher among professionals from the most distant Spanish regions, such as the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Catalonia and Galicia, and somewhat lower among buyers from Madrid and nearby regions. Another reason that led to a decrease in the visitor figure consists of the progressive fall in the number of multi-brand footwear outlets in Spain.
In spite of the fall in the number of visitors, the leading associations from the industry, such as the Spanish Footwear Industries Federation (FICE), the Association of Footwear Manufacturers of Elche (AICE), the Association of Footwear and Related Industries of La Rioja (AICCOR) and the Association of Footwear Related Manufacturers of the Balearic Islands (AFACA), considered the outcome of this edition to be favourable. The exhibitors who attended the event were also satisfied with their results.
Out of the professionals who attended, nearly 2,600 were from abroad, which is approximately 18%. Within this group, there was a large number of Russian buyers present. More than 40 guest buyers were invited to the fair by IFEMA and the Madrid Chamber of Trade and Industry and these were complemented by another large group from Russia, who attended the fair outside the Guest Buyer Programme.
There was also a strong level of attendance by Portuguese professionals, 1,176 in total. Portugal occupies second place in the ranking of Spanish footwear exports, surpassed only by France. In this respect, we can observe that the habitually strong presence of buyers from Portugal at the fair was decisive in terms of guaranteeing the favourable performance of Spanish exports to the Portuguese market last year. Last year, the number of pairs of footwear sold to Portugal increased by 28%, whilst the corresponding value figure increased by 14%.
As far as trends are concerned, the more than 740 participating companies confirmed a series of tendencies for autumn-winter 2008/09: high heels will feature prominently, based on a large number of conical forms, whilst platforms will also remain popular, in the same way as ballet-style shoes.
Among new features, there were peep-toe or open-toe boots and those that feature an incorporated sock, along with musketeer boots. As far as materials are concerned, exotic varieties of leather such as snakeskin, ostrich and crocodile skin will play a leading role throughout the new season, alongside patent leather featuring multiple effects – wrinkled, patterned, etc. Rabbit fur will be used to line footwear both inside and out. With regard to bags, although oversized formats will prevail, smaller formats will begin to gain ground.
The predominant colours will be grey, green, brown, intense blue and certain fluoride touches. Leather textures will be smooth and we will come across patent leather finishes featuring multiple effects (wrinkled, etc), not to mention combinations of leather and textiles (wool, Lycra, velvet, etc). Furthermore, the most frequently-used adornments will include varnished metal, zips and technological textiles.
Companies as prestigious as Pura López, Sara Navarro, Jaime Mascaró, Pons Quintana, Chie Mihara, Pedro García, Dorotea, Paco Gil, Ras, Magrit, Ras and Alima, once again surprised visitors to the fair with their collections packed with design, fashion and innovation. Under the heading of leather goods and items, brands such as Miguel Bellido, Superga, Converse and O’Neill exhibited their latest creations, based on the latest trends.
The next edition of Modacalzado and Iberpiel will take place from September 25-27, 2008, at Feria de Madrid. On this occasion, the exhibitors will present their collections for spring-summer 2009.