According to the organisers, this edition of Sipiel confirmed its place among Europe’s top three footwear and leathergoods shows in terms of the quality and variety of styles on show.

The event continues to be a showcase for the best in Spanish products, quality and design but the international flavour of the fair is growing with an increase in the number of foreign exhibitors participating. The highest level of participation was from Portugal with 80 exhibitors followed by Italy with 60. There has been a significant increase in the number of exhibitors from Asia, reflecting the shift in the market.

Official figures state that 21,500 buyers attended the fair. However, a representative of one of Spain’s foremost designers told Leather International that visitor levels were very low this year. He attributed this to the poor state of the market, not just in Spain, but added that the atmosphere at the GDS fair in Dusseldorf just one week earlier had been equally subdued. Visitor numbers from more distant countries such as Japan, USA, UAE and Mexico decreased significantly in comparison with last year.

Sipiel also hosted a trends area, where predictions for winter 2006 ranged from pale pastel colours to warm, mouth-watering colours, strong, deep and emotional. The ostrich effect was very popular for bags, as was a raised reptile pattern cut into the leather. Thirty companies participated in the trends showcase underlining the Spanish leather industry’s flair for design.

The next edition of SIPIEL will take place from September 29 to October 1, 2005, at Feria de Madrid.