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GDS – Global Destination for Shoes & Accessories
Imagetag it! – the show for private label in shoes and accessories 4 to 6 February 2015
The Düsseldorf shoe trade fair show off winter to its best advantage: meteorologically cool but sunny and fashionably informative and comprehensive – 900 brands presented themselves in the three themed worlds of GDS, 160 exhibitors were represented at tag it!. The atmosphere was good.

GDS whets the Appetite for New Collections

  • Positive mood, intense networking and initial orders

  • New concept was successfully developed further 

  • GDS posts slight rise in attendance

  • Design Trendsetter project becomes visitor highlight

  • PR events: shows, awards and craftsmanship

  • Even more bloggers reporting on shoes


The Düsseldorf shoe trade fair show off winter to its best advantage: meteorologically cool but sunny and fashionably informative and comprehensive – 900 brands presented themselves in the three themed worlds of GDS, 160 exhibitors were represented at tag it!.

The atmosphere was good. Visitors used the opportunity to browse the new collections at an early point in time while exhibitors welcomed the in-depth dialogue with their customers. At the second edition it already became crystal clear that the new GDS is well received by the industry as a kick-off event. In Düsseldorf trends are spotted, moods are perceived, information is exchanged. This mixture whets the appetite for new collections, explains Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf: “The new GDS brings together industry and retail at a point in time where information is most precious. And this is also precisely why the positive mood in the halls and the busy networking serve as a benchmark of success to us. And I have received plenty of positive feedback here. It comes as an additional positive bonus that we also registered more visitors at the trade show than in summer.”

After the spectacular start of the new concept in July 2014 the expert world was excited to see how GDS would fare at its first winter edition. The team supporting GDS & tag it! Director Kirstin Deutelmoser capitalised on the positive ambience at the kick-off event to work out further details of the concept. In selected halls, for example, new areas were added and the innovations introduced in summer, like the Highlight Route, were made more visible. Launching the innovative Design Trendsetter project meant a targeted fashion highlight was also initiated for the STUDIO world. 

Needless to say, a Grand Opening party was part and parcel of the event and both guests and VIPs agreed that chart topper Kiesza was a worthy successor to Beth Ditto, who had put the audience in high spirits at the Grand Opening in summer.

Also in terms of overall results GDS followed on from its positive impression in summer. A representative survey confirmed the positive mood: 92.3% of the visitors polled stated they were “very satisfied” with GDS. The different themed GDS worlds went down even better with the audience than before: it is true that HIGHSTREET remains the area enjoying most demand but visitors’ interest strongly increased in POP UP and STUDIO at the same time.

The positive results obtained in the market research study were joined by another positive trend in visitor numbers: GDS posted more retailers than last summer.

The DS visitors in the survey also confirmed that the desire for information and a willingness to order at the beginning of the season are not mutually exclusive. Although most polled said they primarily travelled to Düsseldorf for information and networking purposes, 60% had either already placed orders on the afternoon of the second day at the show or were planning to do so.

To Kirstin Deutelmoser, Director GDS und tag it!, this is not a contradiction in terms: “After our second event the feedback is unambiguous: our timing is right – right at the start of the season customers are open to all things new and manufacturers can present themselves on an international stage. This is exactly what makes GDS so valuable as an information platform. It goes without saying that we are happy to also learn about business activities at our exhibitors’ stands.”

Design Trendsetter Project becomes Visitor Highlight For the Design Trendsetter project 20 international designers were selected by a jury and given space measuring about 1,000 square metres within the STUDIO World to present their designs. The specifically designed stands and the runway show proved an absolute highlight of the trade show in GDS visitors’ eyes: 95% of the visitors polled were very satisfied with this area. So it is good news that the 20 designers will also be presenting their collections in Düsseldorf again next summer.

PR Events: Shows, Awards and Craftsmanship

Also causing a stir were the activities staged as part of the GDS Press Walk which was organised for the second time now. Selected exhibitors presented to the international media representatives entirely different highlights revolving around shoes, ranging from the production of fulled fabric (Giesswein) and the hand stitching of moccasins (Sebago) to the GDS runway shows. On top of this, the HDS/L Junior Award was presented during the Press Walk. With this award the Federal Association of the German Shoe and Leather Goods Industry – HDS/L in cooperation with GDS – honours a creative young designer every year. This year the winner was Tereza Švolíková with her “lenticular shoe”, whose design changes with the angle of view.

Even more Bloggers Reporting on Shoes

After the first two days of GDS when only trade visitors and media representatives were able to gather information, Friday saw the trade show also open its doors to fashion bloggers. Once again serving as a meeting point was the Bloggercafé Shoedition offered by GDS and styleranking. 150 bloggers cashed in on this offer to find out about the latest footwear trends at GDS. A highlight in its own right was the Blogger Runway Show, where five fashion bloggers, headed by Alice M. Huynh providing the GDS testimonials, took care of the styling for the models.

RICHTIG WICHTIG: Partial Area Open to Consumers

With its key trend area RICHTIG WICHTIG GDS for the first time opened a small portion of the exhibition area to interested consumers on the second day of the show. Fashion enthusiasts from Düsseldorf made use of this option to enjoy shows and live acts under the 8-m high Eiffel Tower replica in Hall 7.0 and to secure some finds at the vintage market there.

The next editions of GDS and tag it! will be held from 29 to 31 July 2015.



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