OBUV’ MIR KOZHI – The International Exhibition for Shoes and Leather Products – concluded in Moscow on 23 October. The event was the latest edition of the Fair that has been taking place in Moscow for more than 20 years, organised by BolognaFiere in collaboration with Assocalzaturifici (the National Association of Italian Shoe Manufacturers).
“The event that has just concluded,” announced Antonio Bruzzone, General Manager of BolognaFiere, “was a particularly relevant edition. This was the first foreign event following the pandemic emergency for the compartments of footwear and leather, for which our country is renowned internationally and in which it is the undisputed leader in high end fashionable footwear. This was an important challenge and one that we can say we have overcome, demonstrating that, even within this particular situation that the world has been facing for more than six months, it is possible to hold events in absolute safety, offering companies new opportunities in the economic recovery.”
“In spite of the difficult scenario, our companies have participated in this event that continues to be essential for the Italian shoemaking sector,” claimed Siro Baden, President of Assocalzaturifici. “This is a reference event for the selection of collections and for planning the coming seasons but, above all, it represents a showcase for the Russian market in which our companies are still confident. The exports to this area are still suffering, worsened by the current pandemic crisis but, in absolute terms, this is a market that should be monitored closely.”
The success of the event, which saw the presence of around 40 Italian shoe manufacturers, representing a ‘made in Italy’ sector that is driving international fashion trends, should undoubtedly be attributed to the receptiveness of the Russian market but also to the creation of a new exhibition format that is more flexible and dynamic, enabling companies to oversee their foreign reference markets, also in the age of Covid-19.
An organisational effort that was rewarded by the response from the operators who arrived as soon as the event opened its doors at the Krasnaja Presnja exhibition centre, which hosted the 53rd edition of Obuv’ Mir Kozhi.
The feedback from those participating at the event unanimously confirmed the importance of exhibition opportunities to develop new commercial strategies to support exports and to identify new markets for the business. Today Italy is the leading producer of footwear at European level and is in first place in terms of exports, with a prestigious second place in terms of value for sector of footwear with leather uppers (Source: WorldFootwearYearbook, data 2019).
This position is the result of a mix of factors that characterize the production of Italian footwear: quality, innovation in production processes and the incomparable skill of the workforce, which numbers around 75,000 people operating in 4,300 businesses with an overall turnover of more than 14 billion euros (2019 values).
It is therefore fundamental in this phase of the economic recovery to implement forms of support for businesses not just in economic terms, but also concerning bureaucratic and training pathways, in order that their participation in international fair events becomes increasingly incisive and successful, which will consequently translate into success for our businesses at global level.
BolognaFiere and Assocalzaturifici are at the centre of efforts to achieve this goal, making their respective know-how available to identify exhibition formats and services for businesses in the sector.