Despite all the bad news about the UK, being a British footwear brand is proving to be a real asset in today’s difficult global economy.
The demand for British-made products is well documented and continues to expand – especially when it comes to high-end men’s welted shoes. Discerning stores in the Far East and the US continue to buy these in ever-increasing quantities and UK factories are working flat out to satisfy this interest.
Over and above this, however, is the growing enthusiasm for overseas exhibitions wanting to host British labels. The British Footwear Association (BFA) is taking an increasing number of companies to GDS in Düsseldorf and Magic in Las Vegas, and in each case features a British section, strongly themed and with support staff from the BFA. The contemporary stands are designed to showcase the best of British talent.
At Micam in Milan, still the premier international show, the BFA has this autumn negotiated a larger stand in a prominent location to host the 70-plus UK exhibitors, again supported by BFA staff.
It is fantastic that, in this grindingly tough trading climate, being British is a major advantage and one the whole UK industry should work to their advantage.
- Richard Kottler, Chief executive of the British Footwear Association