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The Compass show is ready for its Big Apple debut.
Due to demand from retailers and brands, the two-year-old footwear trade event — taking place Feb. 1-2 — has moved from its original digs in Las Vegas to New York’s Puck Building at 295 Lafayette St. About 50 exhibitors and 1,000 attendees are expected.
Buyers from Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Piperlime.com and Amazon.com are slated to attend, in addition to smaller boutiques “that weren’t going to Vegas for the footwear market,” show spokeswoman Edina Sultanik told Footwear News.
New women’s brands exhibiting include B Store, Dr. Martens and Opening Ceremony, in addition to existing names such as 80%20 and Seychelles. Heritage labels Mark McNairy for Bass, Red Wing and Abington by Timberland will also exhibit.
For men’s designer brands, vendors will include Florsheim by Duckie Brown and the U.K.’s Grenson. In the casual category, Creative Recreation, New Balance, Palladium, PF Flyers and Clae are expected to participate.
Sultanik said Compass’ specific approach is what attracts shoe buyers and brands.
“The fashion-forward retailer appreciates a focused, edited show that offers the best of the best in an easy-to-shop setting that’s relaxed with good vibes and a high level of service,” she said.
For their part, exhibitors praised Compass’ overall vibe and move to New York.
“Everybody we need to see ... has been here with open arms. The atmosphere in the building is extraordinary. It’s hard to explain. It’s just absolute optimism,” said Danny Livingston, GMM of Florsheim by Duckie Brown.
Andy Friedman, who represents Abington by Timberland, praised Compass’ “intimate” environment and said the move to New York is important.
“Not everybody gets out to Vegas,” he said. “[Compass] being in New York is going to be very impactful. ... It’s going to give people in New York the opportunity to see footwear under one roof in a very different light.”