International buyers from continental Europe and Asia were driving footfall on the first day of footwear trade show Micam in Milan, but some brands raised concerns about date clashes with other shows.
The biannual trade show is running from February 14-17 at Fiera Milano, overlapping with Las Vegas footwear show Platform, which runs from February 16-18, and Pure in London, held from February 14-16.
Janan Leo, founder of women’s pump brand Cocorose London, was on her own at the stand at Micam as her partner was showing at UK trade show Pure. She said: “This tends to be our best show but I think next season it clashes with some of the Paris shows, which may prove difficult.
“We have seen a lot of international buyers so far and it is normally a good show for us so I have high hopes.
“The market is difficult at the moment, independents are struggling and it is all about your brand – if your brand is known by the end customer then you do stand a change. It feels like buyers are playing it quite safe when taking on something new and margins are really tight for everyone.”
“This is my 26th Micam which should say something – we keep coming back,” said Khuram Saleem, marketing and sales director at women’s contemporary brand Unze London.
“We used to write orders here but for the last three years, orders come after, even from the smaller boutiques. We’re showing some spring 16 ranges here which we can turn around in a month because people are increasingly leaving ordering later and later.”
Hervé Saporis, commercial and marketing director at French heritage brand Paraboot, said: “This is already busier than last season, which was quite quiet as the Milan Expo pushed prices of hotels and plane tickets up so not as many people came. We’ve had a very busy start with international buyers from Europe and Asia on the first morning.”
“There is a bit of a conflict between Micam and GDS [in Dusseldorf] which was just a few days earlier added Simon Dickie, director of UK brand Steptronic. “This is a much bigger show but I wish they could just sort the dates out so there was a week or so in between, which would make it much easier,”.
Mathew Smith, sales manager at Skechers, said: “The first day always seems to be more Italian independents than anything else but it tends to pick up over the next few days.”