Kirstin Deutelmoser, a 40-year-old executive who knows the fashion industry well, is going to take office on Oct. 19 as the new manager of the GDS, which went relatively well upon its 100th session earlier this week. For the last five years, Deutelmoser has been running the growing Body Look lingerie and beachwear fair in Leipzig, which has just been acquired via the Igedo Company by Messe Düsseldorf, organizer of the GDS.
At this week’s GDS, the total number of buyers’ passages through the turnstiles reached 38,381 during the four days of the show, indicating stability as compared to the same event a year ago. The number of visitors increased from Italy, the new member countries of the European Union, South Africa and Latin America. Attendance was stable from France, Holland, the UK, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and North America.
The show went off on a strong start on Sunday, culminating in a gala patronized by Manolo Blahnik, the famous US-based Spanish designer. Around 60 percent of the visitors placed orders at the show in spite of its late dates, according to the organizers. In general, most of the remaining exhibitors (many important ones have left) whom we interviewed said the fair had gone better than expected, although they had been prepared for the worst. Only a few, particularly in the mass market segment, complained about a lack of business. The new layout has been cleverly adjusted, and the future earlier dates of the exhibition (March 5-7 and Sept. 10-12, 2006) should help reverse the tide.
GDS’ new project manager will become operational in mid-October, gradually replacing Danila Avdiu who is going back to run ProWein, the wine fair in Düsseldorf. Avdiu took over from Ute Windhausen-Kiss in the summer of 2003, but she and her team have not been unable to respond effectively and quickly enough to the competition from other international events such as Bread & Butter and MICAM, leading to an exodus of brands in the young fashion and high fashion segments. Efforts to add to the informational contents of the GDS have been limited.
Avdiu’s successor, Deutelmoser, has been n recruited by Werner Dornascheidt, former CEO of the Leipzig Fair, who was recently appointed as joint CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, responsible for the GDS, the CPD, Beauty and Top Hair fairs, and its international exhibitions. She previously worked as marketing advisor of Breuninger, an important German department store chain, and as senior consultant in a Stuttgart-based management consultancy, Glasmeier & Partner.