The Italian shoe industry association, Assocalzaturifici, reports an excellent response to the Italian shoemakers' collections shown at the recent Obuv Mir Kozi fair in Moscow and the Shoes from Italy exhibitions organized in concert with the Italian Export Commission (Ice) in Almaty and Kiev.

Ice has given further assistance to the sector by mapping out and profiling the shoe retail sector in Russia and the other CIS countries, and developing initiatives intended to win over new buyers. At the Best Luxury Stores Forum in Moscow on Nov. 21, where the 100 top boutiques in Russia received a prize, theMicam organized a presentation in collaboration with WGSN of the fashion trends that will characterize the collections at the next session of the Milan show from Feb. 11 to 14.

The recent trade statistics give Italian shoe exporters reasons for cautious optimism. In the first seven months of this year, while the average price of the footwear sold in the CIS region declined by 10 percent to €54.8 euros per pair, volumes increased by 25.7 percent to nearly five million pairs, leading to a 12.8 percent rise in value to €277 million.