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Strong Launch For A/W 17 At Moda Footwear
Posted by: NCWA 07 March 2017


Footwear’s most comprehensive trade exhibition heralds strong start to season

• Business-orientated buyers place serious orders at show

• New additions inspire buyers and uplift mood across sector

A/W 17 is officially underway following a strong edition of Moda Footwear this weekend. The UK’s biggest footwear show confirmed its position as the live event for the shoe trade, with a bolstered offer of industry staples and inspiring new design.

Buyers across the board praised the brand mix at the show, which confirmed its position as the most complete destination for footwear across the men’s, women’s and children’s sectors.

“Moda has become the major showcase for international shoe brands in Northern Europe,” says Robin Elt, owner of Robin Elt shoes, an independent footwear chain with ten stores nationwide. “The brand mix is an eclectic mix of premium and value brands which should satisfy most retailers, and we were able to visit both our core suppliers and and source exciting new product to provide us with that ever-necessary point of different. In brief – a good result.”

The new brands on offer inspired buyers to embrace the new season with steely optimism despite ongoing tough trading conditions.

“We placed a lot of orders this time around, including a few new accounts,” says Fiona Breen, owner of footwear independent Walk Shoes, Cork, Ireland. “Overall, it was a very successful buying trip and – once again – we also enjoyed the seminars on offer.”

New brands in particular were in high demand as buyers sought inspiring new ideas to reinvigorate their autumn offer. With a host of new arrivals including Candice Cooper, Hotter, Joe Browns, Nero Giardini, Jose Saenz and Oak & Hyde, Moda Footwear certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to branching out into new territory.

Moda Footwear played host to the launch of Oak & Hyde, a new British footwear label created by two of the industry’s long-established agents Martin Davey and Graham Baister.

“We chose to launch to the trade at Moda Footwear because of the number of good quality retailers in attendance at the show,” says Martin Davey. “From first thing Sunday when we were approached by a retailer at the top of our wishlist, the show exceeded our expectations, and confirmed that the footwear industry can still thrive if retailers get the right product in store.”

Fellow new arrival Jose Saenz enjoyed a similarly buoyant show, fuelled by its distinctive Spanish styling and fresh approach to design which piqued the interest of UK buyers. “The brand has been so well-received that we are already looking at coming back with a bigger presence next season,” says UK agent Declan McChesney, who has the inside knowledge of what sells from his own footwear store Cahill Brothers in Newry, Northern Ireland. “I know myself that the brand sells in store, and I have also had the chance to buy into some new labels of my own including the first autumn offer from Holster.”

Holster expanded beyond summer flip flops and sandals for the first time this season, unveiling an autumn offer characterised by cool metallics, shimmering nudes and on-trend sports luxe silhouettes.

“The orders on the first day surpassed our expectations,” says Jo Goodwin, UK distributor for the label. “Autumn is a new direction for us but this show has actually been stronger than the autumn edition, so it’s absolutely confirmed that this was the right move for us.”

Also testing new waters with its first-ever appearance at the show, Hotter enjoyed a positive response to its autumn offer. “We came to the show knowing that the brand was already known to a lot of retailers, and the feedback has been that buyers are happy to see us at the industry’s national show,” says Hotter’s head of wholesale Adam Marsden. “We’ve picked up some new leads that we never would have been made without being here, so it’s been a successful exercise.”

At the more trend-led end of the footwear spectrum, high street favourite Joe Browns made a successful foray into wholesale with its debut at Moda Footwear. “This has been such a successful show for us,” says Claire Ireland, divisional sales manager. “We have really benefitted from having the full cross-section of retailers here because Joe Browns is a full lifestyle label, and we can see a lot of potential for building upon our wholesale operation in seasons to come.”

The arrival of newcomers and niche labels added to an already comprehensive line-up of established footwear labels across the men’s, women’s and children’s sectors. Longstanding exhibitor Josef Seibel confirmed that the show had been a platform for three full days of strong sales, confirming its position as the industry’s essential trade event.

“This is the best show we’ve had for quite a few seasons,” says Josef Seibel’s UK managing director Martin Ingram. “We’ve been really happy with the quantity and the calibre of buyers that we have seen during what has turned out to be a very busy three days at the show.”

Moda Footwear will return to the NEC on 6-8 August this year with a similarly strong line-up of footwear collections for the new spring season. Keep up to date with new signings at www.moda-uk.co.uk 

Image: Bibi Footwear

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