The latest theMICAM event, the international trade fair dedicated to the fashion and business of footwear, has come to a close, having drawn 32,112 visitors, 15,697 of which came from outside Italy.
'theMICAM has once again demonstrated its capacity to attract the most important players on the international scene and to be a key event for footwear fashion trends, thanks in part to the debut this season of runway shows, which strengthened the fashion and glamour aspects of the fair', explained Cleto Sagripanti, theMICAM president. 'Positive signals came from the Italian buyers who visited the event to finalise orders: Italian visitors exceeded non-Italian ones this year, for the first time since September 2011. The markets in Russia and the surrounding area were clearly in difficulty, with a sharp drop in Russian and Ukrainian visitors, falling almost by half. Beyond the numbers, a message of cautious optimism was conveyed by theMICAM and its 1,516 exhibitors, who continue to value this event and confirm their trust with every new edition.'
Of special note were important delegations from South East Asia and an increase in visitors from Spain (the country with the highest number of theMICAM visitors) and Portugal.
In addition to difficulties in certain international markets, the event was certainly also affected by overlaps with and date changes for other fashion events: the priority for theMICAM and Assocalzaturifici will be to work together with the other trade fairs and the main fashion events towards harmonising the international calendar.
theMICAM has confirmed its central position as a key event for fashion footwear trends. The Autumn/Winter 2015/2016 collections of 1,516 exhibitors, 629 of which were non-Italian, were presented in the pavilions of Fiera Milano Rho.
The big news this season were the runway shows held during the first three days of the event at theMICAMsquare and organised in collaboration with Studio Rosemary Ferrari and WGSN. Female, male and child models from the exhibiting businesses (which were selected by WGSN) paraded down the catwalk, offering a survey of the trends in each of the six lifestyle categories defining theMICAM's themed pavilions: Contemporary, Street, Urban, Active, Cosmopolitan and Luxury. The shows were a big public success.
'With so many markets in difficulty, the added value of theMICAM', emphasised president Sagripanti', is its international dimension and capacity to offer a global panorama of the main businesses and leading international buyers. This means making it possible to open up to new markets and diversify one's own business. The most interesting challenges are without a doubt the US market and that of the Far East, an area which will soon welcome industry leaders at theMICAMshanghai, which will be showing off a new look from 18 to 20 March.'
Of major importance for the industry was the attendance of the Italian Vice Minister for Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, at the opening; a sign of the government's attention to an important sector for the Italian economy.
'The footwear industry is a major example of real economy and an important part of the Italian GDP: therefore, we cannot give in to the crisis. Instead we must regain momentum and optimism', explained Sagripanti. 'The Confindustria estimates for 2015 give us hope that Italian consumption might act as a driving force for economic recovery and the government, thanks to the support of Vice Minister Calenda, has finally turned the spotlight on manufacturing excellence and developed a concrete plan for trade fair policy and support for Italian-made products. At the European level as well, there is a major battle underway to support manufacturing. Bolstered by these positive signs, we will not give in and we will not lose faith in the future of our industry and our businesses.'
In addition to the runway shows, theMICAMsquare, a place for industry professionals to meet during the fair, hosted stimulating training sessions throughout the entire event focused on fashion trends for autumn/winter 2015/2016, new developments in global retail and guidelines for the design of spring/summer 2016 collections. The experts from WGSN also presented 'buyers briefings' to guide industry professionals through the footwear and accessories fashion trends for the upcoming seasons.
theMICAM's evening event also put footwear in the spotlight: Night in the Limelight featured an exclusive runway show celebrating Italian-made footwear, a moving performance by violinist Saule Kilaite and music from special guest Mario Biondi.
The evening also saw the announcement of the winners of the theMICAMaward, a prize given to the best ambassadors of Italian footwear in Italy and abroad, selected by the event exhibitors. The prize for the best Italian buyer was awarded to Sorelle Ramonda, a Veneto chain of 'shop in shop' clothing stores. The prize for best foreign buyer instead went to ESTATE for the QINGDAO DYNA-PAC IMPORT & EXPORT CO., LTD group, with headquarters in Qingdao, China, which manages eight stores, most of which multi-brand, in the major Chinese cities, stocked with the best international women's, men's and children's labels.
The next edition of theMICAM will take place from 1 to 4 September 2015