An early Easter holiday and an important trade show in Milan have forced MICAM’s organizers to schedule next year’s winter show from Feb. 28 to March 2, making it happen for the first time in a while before the GDS, scheduled for March 14-16. They stress that this will be an exception to a now established rule of conduct between the fairs in Milan and Düsseldorf, but it will help to test the waters for a possible earlier showing, pleasing many industry officials, including Franco Ballin, who would like to have more time to plan their production.

Meanwhile, both the GDS and MICAM reported higher attendance at their respective trade shows last month. The news was particularly pleasing for the GDS/GLS, indicating a possible turnaround. The fair reported a total of about 33,000 passages through its turnstiles during the three days of the event last March 9-11, or about 5 percent more than in 2006. The organizers declined to pinpoint the countries that were responsible for the increase, but said that one-half the visitors were foreign, representing 63 countries. One-third visited the fair for the first time, to check out some of its 1,358 exhibitors.

The MICAM Shoevent accredited a total of 42,879 visitors last month, or 2.9 percent more than one year ago, and it continued its gradual internationalization. The number of foreign guests increased by 7.7 percent to 21,589, with much higher interest coming from Germany, Spain, the UK, Greece and Switzerland, as indicated in the table on this page. Held on March 15-18, the trade show hosted 1,654 exhibitors that presented over 2,000 collections for the Fall/Winter 2007/2008 season.

The simultaneous Mipel The Bag Show reported a 9.5 percent increase to 18,204 in the number of visitors that attended its leathergoods fair in Milan, with more foreign interest than national. The fair had 8,857 Italian visitors, up by 5.3 percent, as compared to 9,347 foreign visitors, up by 13.7 percent. Japan was the main country of origin of the visitors, whose number rose by 10.3 percent. The number of American visitors remained stable. Russian attendance was up by 11.6 percent while Germany increased by 9.2 percent.

The Mipel fair awarded its «Selected by Mipel» award to Furla. Other prize winners were Camomilla for image and communication, Schedoni for product quality, and the Spanish company Lupo Morenete for innovative ideas.