ANCI celebrates Milan shoe fair
The MICAM ShoEvent was an opportunity for more than 1,500 exhibitors to showcase their latest collections.
The large crowds leaving the Milan Metro at Rho Fieramilano and heading for the exhibition centre suggested that the MICAM ShoEvent was again proving to be an important date in the international footwear calendar. In fact, the four days of the September fair attracted 42,385 visitors – a small increase over the corresponding 2010 edition – with 20,967 of them arriving from outside Italy. According to event organisers ANCI (The National Association of Italian Footwear Manufacturers), there was a significant rise in the number of Chinese buyers in attendance compared to previous editions, which, the Italian footwear association claims, confirms the Asian market’s increasing interest in Italian product.
Undoubtedly an important international trade fair for medium-high and high-end footwear, the MICAM Show drew 1,595 exhibitors – 582 of them from overseas – to showcase their spring/summer 2012 collections.
Spread over eight halls in the exhibition complex, MICAM presented a fascinating insight into the mind of the world’s footwear manufacturers. With regard to women’s footwear, what became apparent is the tremendous confidence a great proportion of these companies are placing on trim – around one-third of the companies displaying their collections had styles sporting (and in some instances, heavily laden with) jewels, studs, feathers and ribbons.
The prominent use of cork – particularly when combined with wedge heels was very evident around the show. Styles incorporating the laser cutting of shapes from the uppers of both shoes and boots were also popular on many stands.
Italian shoes online
In a proactive step to support Italian shoemakers, ANCI revealed details of a new marketing website at an international press conference held during the show. As an e-commerce platform, www.iloveitalianshoes.eu is being promoted as making it possible for European shoppers to buy footwear from around 700 Italian companies. According to ANCI’s figures, around 200,000 online searches are made each month in Europe alone using the keywords ‘Italian shoes’.
The built-in search engine can be used to find shoes by brand or style, which can then be viewed dynamically with a 360° rotation. Plans are in place for access to be made possible through the latest generation of smartphones – especially the iPhone, for which a specific application has been designed. After identifying the shoe they would like to buy, shoppers can pull up a street map, indicating the closest retailer to their current location where they can purchase the product. In addition, ANCI has included access to the world of social networks, with a direct link to Facebook on both the website and the mobile application.
During the press conference, ANCI directors Cleto Sagripanti, Vito Artioli and Fabio Aromatici revealed that there has been an increase in the production of footwear with synthetic uppers. This is a result of worldwide pressure on the leather industry caused by a number of factors, including the global reduction in consumption of red meat and China and other major producers retaining much of their own leather for domestic use. Nevertheless, 80 per cent of Italian shoes are still manufactured in leather.
A good report
The final day of the Milan fair was quieter than the preceding three (as is often typical in shows of this duration). However, this final lull did not lessen the definite enthusiasm that had been evident among the MICAM delegates from the beginning, with many exhibitors reported a positive reaction to their offerings during the event.
“Our exports from Italy are doing well,” remarked Vibram Area Manager, Gianmarco Ricci. “At MICAM we have met many potential customers, especially from Korea and other Asian countries, for both our soles and FiveFingers.”
“We recognise that MICAM is a fundamental event in the European and international buying calendar,” said Fitflop Press Officer, Katie Neiman. “Footfall onto our stand was very healthy. This has been a very successful show for all our European distributors – especially for France, Italy and Spain. There has been a continual flow of existing customers visiting us, many of whom have come to confirm their orders. We have also been encouraged by the interest a considerable number of other delegates have shown in the Fitflop brand.
“Functionally, our stand performed well. It’s an expression of our company’s personality and the display has certainly captured our visitors’ imagination. The pod design was fluid and fun, and proved to be an effective evolution of our trade show presence.”
This article was originally published on page 36 of the November 2011 issue of SATRA Bulletin.