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NEW YORK — For the upcoming spring ’11 market, trade show organizers are stepping things up in a bid to lure buyers. In addition to shifting dates and moving locations, many are rethinking their formats and introducing amenities and other features designed to help time-crunched retailers make the most of their experience. Here, Footwear News previews the year’s remaining trade shows, including the newest brands to join the exhibitor lineup, special events and other key highlights.
Shoe Market of the Americas
Dates: June 27-29 (Miami); Sept. 14-16 (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
Location: Miami Beach Convention Center and Palms Hotel, Miami; Broward Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale
Notable new exhibitors: Z-Coil, Justine, Fashion Focus
Highlights: SMOTA is returning to Miami for its June edition. After a challenging 2009, organizers are optimistic about what the second half of the year can bring. “The Caribbean and Florida were tough markets [last year], but buyers are still upbeat,” said Executive Director Beverlee Maier. The show will welcome several new exhibitors, including Brazilian brand Justine and designer women’s label Andrea Carrano.
ENK New York
Dates: July 18-20
Location: The Tunnel/LaVenue, New York
Notable new exhibitors: J Shoes, Palladium Civilian Collection
Highlights: The men’s-focused ENK New York market, which includes the Designers’ Collective, Blue, Clean and Tomorrow shows, continues to attract a growing number of footwear brands hoping to connect with higher-end boutiques and specialty retailers. Bed-Stu, Fred Perry, Frye and Mark Nason are among the shoe lines signed on for the July edition.
Dates: July 19-20 (New York); Aug. 4-5 (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Location: Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Hyatt Regency Hotel, Huntington Beach
Notable new exhibitors: Vans, Reebok, New Balance
Highlights: The debut Agenda New York show will feature a more fashion-forward, streetwear-focused direction than its Huntington Beach counterpart, according to President Aaron Levant, who said the Chelsea Art Museum location is ideal. “It became clear that the New York men’s market week would be centralizing in Chelsea, so we found a venue that put us right in the thick [of things].” Meanwhile, the Huntington Beach edition will once again partner with the U.S. Open of Surfing, which draws more than 500,000 action sports fans.
Dates: Aug. 1-3; Oct. 3-5
Location: Pier 94, New York (Aug.); Javits Center, New York (Oct.)
Notable new exhibitors: Dansko, Dan Post Boot Co., Geox
Highlights: The August Children’s Club will showcase a mix of immediate and resort/early spring ’11 product. Among the footwear firms exhibiting are Steve Madden, Trimfoot, Geox, Primigi and Dansko. The show’s October edition will focus on spring ’11 merchandise and feature a much larger lineup of shoe collections. “We cover a highly specialized market, and after a rough 2009, business is starting to bounce back. Our show will reflect that,” said Stanley Kaye, show coordinator.
Dates: Aug. 3-4
Location: Center 548, 548 W. 22 St., New York
Notable new exhibitors: Sorel, Hush Puppies 1958
Highlights: To be more centrally located, Compass is moving to a new venue: Center 548 in Chelsea. The boutique show, which launched in 2008, continues to broaden its vendor mix. This season, the young designer and women’s contemporary offerings will be expanded. In all, around 85 brands are slated to exhibit. “The growth Compass has experienced is indicative of the need at retail for better product,” said director Chris Corrado. “[The show] is a great place for buyers to see amazing brands under one roof [and] get a true big picture of the hottest trends and new directions.” On opening night, the Young Professionals for Two Ten will host a cocktail party.
Dates: Aug. 3-5; Dec. 1-3
Location: Hilton New York Hotel, Flatotel and showrooms, New York
Notable new exhibitors: Geox, Beautifeel, Helle Comfort, Zoe Kratzmann
Highlights: Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, FFANY is seeking to build on past success. The event continues to attract a growing number of brands across all categories. “The August show is still brewing, but it will be substantially bigger than last year,” said President and CEO Joe Moore. FFANY will host its popular evening cocktail reception for vendors and retailers. “We started the cocktail party at the show last August and we want to continue with that,” Moore said.
Dates: Aug. 3-6
Location: Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City
Notable new exhibitor: Scott Hawaii
Highlights: OR’s summer market aims to be stronger than ever, with 130-plus new exhibitors already on board. “We’re seeing a return to the 2007 demand for space at the show. We’re back to having a waiting list and bursting at the seams,” said Kenji Haroutunian, show director. “Footwear, in particular, is an area where we’ve continued to grow, even through the recession.” OR will introduce mobile applications to enhance attendees’ experiences and productivity. The Open Air Demo, held the day before the show, will relocate to Jordanelle State Park in nearby Heber City, Utah; and the newly launched Adventure Travel Pavilion will return, with international tourism reps on hand to help retailers set up trips for their customers. And in a show first, Ford Motor Co. will unveil on-site a new vehicle that is tailored to a rugged, outdoor lifestyle.
Transit/The Los Angeles Shoe Show
Dates: Aug. 8-10
Location: California Market Center, Los Angeles
Notable new exhibitors: Pour la Victoire, Mea Shadow, Charles David
Highlights: Held in a sleek loft space, Transit L.A. will spotlight contemporary collections from burgeoning labels and established brands. A live DJ spinning on the show floor, complimentary cocktails and daily shoe giveaways for retailers all contribute to the show’s casual and creative downtown vibe.
Dates: Aug. 9-11
Location: The Venetian and Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas
Notable new exhibitors: Philip Simon, Tash Ltd., Ricap Shoes, Heeluxe
Highlights: WSA is on the move again. The show, which will feature more than 650 brands, will be held under one roof in The Venetian and Sands Expo & Convention Center. To better segment the show, two new environments will be added: Ten, dedicated to higher-end brands; and BlackTop, focused on athletic, street and skate lines. The Box, a special section showing trend-driven product from a handpicked mix of men’s and women’s contemporary brands, will return. “We’ve made a conscious effort to merchandise the show in a way that better displays new product within different categories,” said ENK founder and Chairwoman Elyse Kroll. WSA will honor the Two Ten Footwear Foundation by requesting a $62 donation from exhibitors in a nod to WSA’s 62-year history.
Dates: Aug. 13-15
Location: San Diego Convention Center, San Diego
Notable new exhibitors: OTBT, Damiani’s, Dav
Highlights: In line with its mission to address all categories of the action-sports market, ASR will debut a partnership with surfboard expo Sacred Craft. The expo will take place in the Sails Pavilion area of the convention center, upstairs from ASR. The skateboard-focused Crossroads show, added last year, will return, along with another recent addition, Class@ASR, focused on the boutique and emerging streetwear markets. “Between [the four shows], ASR Marketplace will offer an efficient opportunity for retailers to see the entire action-sports landscape in one convenient location,” said Andy Tompkins, VP of Nielsen Sports Group, which produces the event. In total, more than 850 brands will be showcased.