With more than two months still to go before the staging of the nineteenth edition of SIPIEL, International Leather Week, this trade fair, organised by IFEMA, has already confirmed the attendance of some 592 exhibitors, 60 more than the number at this stage before the March edition of the event. Of this number, 107 are foreign manufacturers. The net exhibition area comes to 31,697 square metres, an increase of 3,000 square metres compared to the space contracted two months before the March edition of this year. The forecasts indicate that SIPIEL will maintain this rate of growth, bringing together nearly 800 companies from around the world. Alongside the commercial area, the fair will present four exhibitions linked to footwear and leather items.

MODACALZADO, the International Footwear Trade Fair, has confirmed the attendance of 510 companies to date, whilst its net exhibition area comes to nearly 27,300 square metres. The other 82 exhibitors correspond to IBERPIEL MARROQUINERÍA, the International Leather Goods Trade Fair, which will present a net exhibition area measuring 4,466 metres to date.

Between Friday 29 September and Sunday 1 October, all of these companies will present the fashions that are likely to set the trend in footwear and leather accessories next Spring-Summer 2007, in Halls 4, 6, 8, 9 and 10 at Feria de Madrid. Over these three days, SIPIEL will once again become the most important trade meeting-point for large companies within the industry in Spain, and the third most important event in Europe.

The organisers once again expect to welcome a large number of manufacturers from Spain, Italy, Portugal and Brazil. Among these participants will be highly prestigious brands, such as Pedro García, Magrit, Ferrerías, Lottusse, Martinelli, Pons Quintana, Sara Navarro, Paco Herrero, Patricia, Barrats, Castañer, Jaime Mascaró, Pura López, Salvador Sapena, Robert Clergerie, Pikolinos, Callaghan, Reebok, Jocomomola, Armand Basi, Stonefly, or Dorotea, in the footwear section as well as major companies in leather accessories such as Lupo, Olimpo, Calvin Klein, Sisley, Benetton, Liberto, Cats, Nobuck, Guy Laroche, Puntotres, J.J. Gil or Le Tanneur. The high quality of the collections presented by these and other companies is expected to attract more than 22,000 buyers from around the world.

Furthermore, in view of the success achieved by the initiatives introduced at the last edition of International Leather Week (SIPIEL), this nineteenth edition of SIPIEL will create four new exhibitions, which will take place within the framework of both MODACALZADO and IBERPIEL MARROQUINERÍA.

At ‘ShoeRoom: Footwear Trends’, located between Halls 6 and 8, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a tour through the past, present and future of footwear. This exhibition, which will occupy an area measuring some 170 square metres, is organised by the Business Innovation Institute of the Balearic Islands (IDI), in collaboration with SIPIEL. It will bring together the best and most outstanding creations in Balearic footwear in three different areas. The ‘Evolution Area’ will bring together the tradition and history of footwear on the Balearic Islands by means of a retrospective exhibition of the various models that have marked the development of this industry. The ‘Action Area’ will focus on innovation, based on a selection of modern and highly fashionable models. Finally, the ‘Reflection Area’ will present a space for relaxation, where visitors will be able to glimpse a preview of the footwear trends for the next Autumn-Winter 2007 season.

For its part, the Footwear Museum of Elda will present a new exhibition within the framework of MODACALZADO, which on this occasion will be known as The Golden Pencil. This retrospective exhibition will look back over the twenty-year history of the International Young Designers Competition of the Town of Elda (1984 to 2004), bringing together the 25 best pieces presented by the participants over two decades, as well as the winning works at the last competition. A number of large photographs of another four interesting models will also be displayed, and a video will be shown featuring images of the 167 pieces that make up the entire Golden Pencil collection.

In this respect, a new edition of this competition, Golden Pencil 2006, has been announced, featuring two categories: ‘Design’ and ‘Finished Shoe’ for women and for youth fashion. Works can be entered up until 16 October.

Furthermore, the art group, Eldado, whose members include Miguel Davia, Jesús Sevilla and Pablo Román, will present a very unusual exhibition at MODACALZADO, a footwear exhibition known as ‘Extraviados’ (Footloose). As Pablo Román has stated, this exhibition will focus on ‘footwear that is rebellious and ownerless. These are shoes that your feet will never wear, but that your imagination might create in order to show you new paths’.

IBERPIEL MARROQUINERÍA will present an exhibition of bags created by firms such as Victorio & Lucchino, Miriam Ocariz, Adolfo Domínguez, Converse, Pepe Jeans, Locking Shocking, Juanjo Oliva, Davidelfin and Alberto Tous, among others. These unique bags, boasting their own inimitable style, have all incorporated the image of Min in their designs, a charity-based trademark in the form of a doll which enables these companies to collaborate with various NGOs. Over the weeks immediately following the conclusion of the fair, these bags will be placed on sale at the Third Min Gala, which will take place in Madrid. Profits will go to the Menudos Corazones Foundation, which helps children with heart problems.

SIPIEL has set up two new highly useful services for exhibitors, enabling companies to make contact with potential visitors prior to the fair itself, whilst also helping them to find marketing agents both at home and abroad.

The first of these new services is called the Trade Meeting-Point (PEP), a virtual forum in which exhibitors will be able to discover the needs of visitors who are going to attend SIPIEL in advance. In this respect, potential clients simply have to include their details and specify the items that interest them. Exhibitors will be able to gain access to this information as of 1 September, establishing prior contact with buyers, arranging meetings, carrying out promotional measures and sending out information regarding the collections they will be presenting at SIPIEL. They will also be able to establish contact with the marketing agents that register for this service.

Furthermore, in order to facilitate the search for marketing agents both in Spain and abroad, a new chapter has been included in the SIPIEL catalogue and web page (www.semanapiel.ifema.es). By using this service, exhibitors will have the opportunity to indicate the regions or countries in which they would like to find a marketing agent and include their details so that they can be contacted throughout the course of the fair itself.