According to an Italian newspaper report, Russian buyers are expected to cut back their orders for spring/summer 2015 clothing and accessories by around 15 percent. They are said to be selecting brands that have been selling well before the end-of-season sales, which have come to represent 60 percent of the Russianr retailers' turnover. Russian customers' purchases in Milan stores have fallen by more than 20 percent, says the report.

The geo-political situation has already started to affect the sell-in and the sell-out of shoes in the country, according to several other observers met at recent shoe shows. Meanwhile, trade data from Russia show that the country imported 334 million pairs of footwear in 2013 valued at US$4,277.8 million, with stable quantities and growth in value of 6.9 percent. Exports grew by 51.7 percent in value, consolidating the growth registered in previous years in sales of Russian footwear to foreign countries.

During 2013, 61 percent of total Russian imports came from China, followed by Italy, which accounted for 8 percent of Russian imports, and then Vietnam with 6 percent, Indonesia with 4 percent, and Belarus, Portugal and Turkey with 2 percent each.

The average price paid by the Russian Federation for imported footwear reached US$12.80, representing a 6.2 percent increase from the average price paid during the previous year.

Russia's trade deficit in footwear is still high, but 10.3 million pairs were sold by Russian companies abroad, and they were valued at US$137.5 million. More than half of Russian footwear exports, namely 64 percent of the total, went to Kazakhstan or Belarus. Ukraine, Germany, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Italy and Georgia followed. All these markets registered solid two-digit growth in imports in 2013, but Kyrgyzstan grew by 8.6 percent and Georgia by 3.6 percent.

The average price for Russian footwear reached US$13.39 per pair, an 11.1 percent increase from 2012. It could not be determined whether a large part of Russia's exports were actually re-exports.