Whilst in the brand collections black patent leathers and beige and brown dominated, creations from a wealth of young design talent were promoted through a leather fashion design contest which, according to organiser Oya Akgün, will become a regular feature of the show.
Across the city at the Istanbul Fair centre in Yesilkoy, was the 39th edition of AYMOD International Footwear Fashion Fair. Companies from Türkiye, Italy, China and Hong Kong, Iran and Syria exhibited styles of men’s, women’s and children’s footwear and leathergoods for autumn/winter 2009. The fair, organised by ASDF/RDF Fuarcilik, ran from April 17-20. 230,000 visitors were expected over the four days.
The Turkish footwear sector comprises 4,000 factories and 40,000 workshops. Although the sector has the capacity to produce 500 million pairs/year, currently only half of that capacity is being used. Around 400,000 people are employed in the sector and Turkiye is Europe’s second largest footwear producer after Italy and is ninth in global terms.
Exports to markets such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, France, Germany, Ukraine, Libya, Netherlands and UK amounted to US$204.7 million. However, imports of leather footwear are on the rise from Italy and Spain and synthetic materials from China, Taiwan, Korea and Indonesia. Soles and components are also imported.
Since the cancellation of quotas for Chinese footwear in 2005, imports from that country have increased 120% in volume. The increased imports led to a drop in production and employment. However, the sector is pursuing a strategy of design, price policy and high quality to strengthen its position.