GDS celebrates its 100th edition

8 September 2005

The 100th edition of GDS will take place in Dusseldorf from September 18-21. Over 1,500 exhibitors from 50 nations are expected to meet with 38,000 buyers from 80 countries. Attractions on offer to visitors include 'Design Attack' located in hall 13, which is described by organisers as a 'must-see destination' for trend scouts. There will also be a range of exhibitions such as 'Schuhe-Shoes-Chaussures' featuring styles by Manolo Blahnik, who is to be an honorary guest at the event and 'Generation Mode - expedition to the fashion schools of the world' showcasing up and coming talents. GDS began life 50 years ago as the 'Große Deutsche Schuhmusterschau'or great German sample show. It has grown and developed to become an market barometer for the global footwear business. The original GDS was powered by the German economic miracle and a noveau chic in fashion with 124 German exhibitors and 7,000 visitors. By autumn 1958, 10% of exhibitors came from outside Germany. By 1960, the 9th GDS was held and welcomed exhibitors from Italy, France, the Netherlands and Belgium among others. In 1976, the 40th GDS boasted more than 360 exhibitors and over 20,000 visitors marking yet another turning point in the history of the trade fair. Featuring participants from Brazil, Mexico and Chile it now warranted the title 'GDS - international trade fair.' At the 90th GDS in September 2000 more than 1,900 exhibitors and some 50,000 visitors demonstrated the global importance of GDS. This has been reflected in the show's name since 2003, 'GDS- the premier shoe event.' GDS has continually adapted to the changing panorama of the footwear industry. New production and export markets have emerged and European supply nations are facing enormous competition on key export markets which in turn had an impact on the number of shoe manufacturers. Retailing is also undergoing serious change with altered distribution channels and a fashion approach which is increasingly focused on full outfits. According to the show's organisers this scenario makes it all the more important for retailers and manufacturers to have access to a global platform which picks up on rapid market developments, pools varying market interests and directions, provides fashion guidance and conveys condensed market information.

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