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Too many firms relying on tired products – Dragon By Louise Cordell RETAIL guru Theo Paphitis has blamed the ‘shocking state’ of the British footwear industry on brands who fail to move with the times. Speaking at a product launch for the WedgeWelly brand, his latest Dragon’s Den investment, he claimed that too many companies are relying on reproducing old and tired products. He said: “The footwear industry has been in a shocking state for a number of years now. “But there will always be a market for things that are different. “Who would have thought that Uggs or Crocs would be the phenomena that they turned out to be – it shows that if you don’t innovate then you will fail. “The brands that have died a death recently are the ones who have been putting out the same old thing for years – even since I was a kid – and that was many years ago!”

He has now invested £65,000 in to WedgeWelly and will be using his retail expertise to guide the company through the challenges it faces as a new business while building and expanding the brand. He added: “I invest in people and the people that came before me were exciting and passionate. “Then I just had to decide if the product was a goer and the answer was a definite yes. “My aim now is to let people know about the brand and the concept of the wedges. “I believe that retailers should be investing in the boots because they are something new and innovative. Independent stores are only going to get customers in if they are offering something customers can’t pick up at the local supermarket. “They need to have something that everyone else hasn’t got – that’s what makes the difference.”

Buying event in Dubai TRADE fashion and footwear event, Pure London, has joined forces with French trade show Who’s Next and Premiere Classe to host a buying event in Dubai. Middle East Fashion Days are set to take place October 19-21 2010 and Pure London has announced that the new collaboration will mean a dedicated section for its exhibitors over the three-day event. Pure Selection will form a special part of Middle East Fashion Days giving Pure London’s fashion brands the opportunity to meet, network and do business with buyers and consumers across the Middle East. Brands who have already expressed intent to show include Zandra Rhodes, James Lakeland, Almost Famous, Lotus London, Sight Station, Beth Jordan, Bibi and Andrew Majtenyi. The event will take place in Dubai’s hotel resort, the Madinat Jumeirah and will include three catwalk shows a day presenting the best in international designers, sponsored by Fashion TV and L’Oreal. Creations by local designers will be on show alonside a mix of international products from Indian, Turkish and Lebanese designers, as well as European brands.

Spanish brand El Naturalista launched its first summer kids’ collection at GDS and Micam this September. The 2011 summer collection is the second children’s shoe range designed by El Naturalista Kids. The 40 strong shoe range is made up of seven different outsoles, with several styles per line, all available in four or six colors. True to the natural influence in their main range, the children’s designs are unique, fun and reflective environmental consciousness.

Lotus in VAT move

Shoes – The Musical has finally opened at Sadler’s Wells theatre with a cast of 12 dancers performing in over 250 pairs of shoes from Louboutins to Crocs. The show, composed by Richard Thomas in his first large scale production since Jerry Springer – The Opera, features 32 footwear inspired song and dance numbers. Stephen Mear, the show’s director,

said: “For this subject matter, and Richard Thomas’'s unique yet wide variety of songs and music, the other ingredient had to be dance. “So we have brought together totally different variations of style, enabling us to bring to the show as much diversity through the dancers as Richard will bring through his wonderful music.” Picture: Manuel Vason

AT LEAST one footwear brand is tackling the VAT changes head on, with a pledge to reduce prices for retailers. Following the government’s decision to raise the rate of VAT from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent from January 2011, Lotus has announced it plans to increase the base margin on its S/S11 collection by lowering its prices to take into account the VAT increase. The brand has said it has taken these steps in order to support its customers as they contemplate absorbing the extra tax burden or suffering an inevitable fall in consumer demand if they pass the tax on. The key retail price points will also remain the same to help retailers through what will undoubtedly be a very challenging period. Alan Scott, Lotus MD, said: “We could see consumer spend drop following the VAT increase, which will put added pressure on our retailers. We want to do everything we can to help.” Customers have pledged to reciprocate their support by placing increased orders with Lotus for S/S11.

Tempting by design WHILE news reports are claiming that the country’s finances are looking up, most people are still feeling the pinch – especially as we begin the run up to Christmas. Luckily there are a lot of designers and brands out there tailoring their offerings to help retailers attract even the most reluctant customers. This issue we speak to Helen Rochfort whose collectable, pop-art inspired creations owe more to art than fashion. We also feature the latest legal and business advice for retailers concerned about facing further financial challenges in the New Year. Articles considering the pros and cons of pre-pack administration and tips on how to prepare for January’s VAT changes will provide all the information needed to plan an effective saving strategy. Finally, make sure you check out our show round up, featuring Moda, Pure, GDS and Bread and Butter. We review the best bits of the season’s shows and look forward to what the biggest industry events have planned for brands and retailers in 2011.

www.twitter.com/ooalmagazine ISSUE 61 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2010

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Contents COVER STORY

Issue 61 October/November 10

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Great news ... The ultimate winter boot

NEWS

Celebrity goodies

NEWS

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Sales Tony Barry - Sales & Marketing Director Beverley Green - Sales Manager (bg@whpl.net) Advertising Contacts Tel: 01226 734333 | Fax: 01226 734477

Editorial

SOCKS N STUFF

Tights that won’t ladder

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ACCESSORIES

Helen bags style of her own

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ACCESSORIES

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Cheeky look

Andrew Harrod - Group Editor Judith Halkerston - Group Deputy Editor Louise Cordell - Editor Christina Eccles - Reporter Dominic Musgrave - Reporter Editorial Contacts Tel: 01226 734694 | Fax: 01226 734705 Email: lcordell@whpl.net

Design & Production

SHOWS

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Full round-up

Stewart Holt - Studio Manager (sth@whpl.net)

Kyle Wilkinson - Design & Production (kw@whpl.net)

BUSINESS

What the VAT rise will mean

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Circulation 01226 734695 (24 hour hotline) Email: circulation@wharncliffepublishing.co.uk

The Just in Time philosophy GREAT news! The hugely successful shoe company Paul Green, has made the decision for a very selective increase in its UK and Ireland distribution. Paul Green is famous amongst discerning shoe shops and consumers for its excellent quality, superb fit and up-to-the minute styling. However, perhaps of more interest to prospective UK and Irish customers is its unique Just In Time (JIT) production philosophy. This philosophy means that instead of the normal two seasons per year, Paul Green can have anything from four to six seasons. The customary main collection is launched later than other brands but due to 100 per cent European

production, still manages to be delivered first to the retailer. An example being that a spring/summer collection would be ordered in October, with the first deliveries in December. This timing allows the collection to be as relevant (hence profitable) to the coming season as is possible. In addition to these key collections Paul Green create bridge collections whose selling time is specifically designed to span what is traditionally a slow period for sales. This means retailers can still have

relevant products over the late winter/early spring and late summer/early autumn time periods when normally all that is available is the previous seasons sale goods. This JIT philosophy, along with the possibility of made to order repeats available within three to four weeks, enables the modern retailer to control stock levels and cash flow as efficiently as possible. If you feel that your business is forward thinking and suitable to take advantage of this opportunity, then contact Paul Green at the UK office on 01604 686800 or e-mail them at service@paul-green.com.


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The ultimate winter boot EMU Australia have announced the development of water resistant technology for their spring/summer 2011 footwear collection. The water resistant sheepskin has been introduced to all of the brand’s styles across the collection, protecting them from water and reducing the risk of surface staining. The water repellent has also been added through the tanning process rather than through a spray that sits on the surface of the boot and washes away as the boot wears – ensuring that the protection lasts for the entire life of the boot. Emma Thaxter, European Sales Manager at Emu Australia, said: “We made the decision to introduce the new technology into the brand’s styles because sheepskin is naturally very porous, and therefore is not the best material for rain or snow – contrary to popular belief.

Conference call to online retailers INDEPENDENT retailers who also sell online are being encouraged to attend the Internet Retailing Conference 2010. The event, which will take place on 12 October, aims to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience to help retailers maximise their presence online. This year’s keynote presentation will see three major names from the British high street – DSGi, Marks & Spencer and ebay – who will share their insights, experience and challenges of innovating in multichannel retail. Following the keynote presentations, the conference will split into three simultaneous streams:  Captivating the Customer, which will ask whether retail should be forgetting about channels and devices and instead be concentrating on brand and the promises given to the customer.  Reaping What You Sow, which will consider how to include new lines of business, especially the important mobile channel.

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 Making Cross-Channel Work, which will ask – as the lines between channels are blurring, is retail able to deliver on its promises. ISSUE 61 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2010

“Since we now have worldwide distribution in countries all around the world, including in very cold and wet climates, we felt that this treatment would create the ultimate winter boot. “The response to the new line from customers and retailers has been great – it has been a real point of difference for Emu, and in addition to all of the other features and benefits of the products, we feel it makes us the best sheepskin footwear available.” The brand uses grade A quality Australian Borderlester/ Merino cross sheepskin to give the boot their structure, as it is known for its blend of fine and thick pile fleece with a strong pelt. Emma added: “I think that the move will convert critics who often claim that sheepskin boots are unpractical, as our products are made from top quality skins, have fibreglass heel cups and have

dual density EVA/ thermal rubber soles – adding water resistance to this means they offer everything.

“We are also always looking to see how we can continue to develop our product, so there will be even more to come in the future.”

New insoles are part of soldiers’ combat kit A NEW type of orthotic insoles, developed with the help of clinical trials with the Ministry of Defence, are now available to retailers around the UK. The manufacturer RightStride has previously produced bespoke orthotics for the NHS and for private clinics, and has now branched out into ‘off the shelf’ products for stores. Bente Smith-Rewse, RightStride’s executive director, said: “We have created these orthotics by using a specialised pressure measurement foot scan to analyse gait. “They were then tested in clinical trials with the Ministry of Defence – the study involved 400 people and it found that injury rate was reduced by 78 per cent in those using the orthotics.” The company used the results from the foot scans to categorise three different foot types – flat, flat/normal and high arch, for their three different orthotic types.

“For ours we have devised a simple test so customers can buy the right one.

Bente added: “People don’t realise how important it is that they look after their feet.

“Depending on whether they can fit their finger tip, half the finger or the whole finger under their foot arch, their type is flat, flat/normal or high, respectively.”

“Most have no idea what arch height they have, so even if they buy supportive insoles, they are usually wearing the wrong type.

The insoles are now used by the MoD and are part of soldiers’ combat kit. They last them for more than a year, so for a normal person’s

day to day use, they will last for two to three years. Bente added: “We have created impact and comfort orthotics which are made for shoes like trainers and hiking boots, but there are also ‘slim fit’ designs which can be worn in business shoes and heels for comfort and support. “Both are produced using the latest high technology equipment – they are insoles with a difference.”


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News Tinie Tempah

Goodies for the celebs

Market hosts free events LONDON’S historic Old Spitalfields Market has hosted five days of free, fashion events. The market, which is well known for its fashion designers and retailers constructed a 30ft long catwalk as a focal point for the week’s events – a collaboration between retailers, designers and hair and beauty specialists. Andrew Sparrow, events manager at OSM, said: “This is the perfect example of how everyone can come together and celebrate the wonderful and diverse fashion offering that our shops and market stalls have.” Retailers that took part include Dr Martens, Agnes B, Jigsaw and Lulu and Lush, and displayed their pieces in an Alice and Wonderland themed Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. There was also a Swishing event, where ladies dropped off unwanted garments, shoes and accessories in the morning – then returned later in the day to choose someone else's.

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Finally, up-and-coming designers from the market and surrounding areas were given the chance to display their style on the OSM catwalk, all modelled and choreographed by students from the London School of Modelling. ISSUE 61 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2010

Pixie Lott

Gok Wan

Hush Puppies attended this year’s T4 On The Beach music event in Weston Super-Mare to promote its latest styles.

gifting lounge to show off the spring/summer 2011 range and the ‘Coming Soon’ 1958 collection.

The brand set up a backstage

Celebrities including Pixie Lott, Tinie

Tempah, Gok Wan, Alexandra Burke and the Hollyoaks cast were all presented with a pair of shoes and goody bags full of champagne and chocolates.

Nation not happy with state of its feet HALF of the people in Britain are unhappy with the appearance of their feet, according to a new survey from Scholl. The study, conducted as part of the brand’s ‘Keeping Britain on its Feet’ campaign, has found that toes are particularly hated, with 40 per cent finding them the least attractive part of the foot.

“Scholl believes people should better appreciate their hard working feet, which keep this country going.” Victoria Beckham - well known for her soaring stilettos - was named as the person with the worst feet in the nation and 67 thought she should have urgent surgery to deal with her bunions.

It also revelaed that 52 per cent of people have cracked heels and that 61 per cent of men never moisturise their feet.

However, despite the possible health hazards, 81 per cent of women feel sexier wearing high heels - and seven per cent have loved their shoes so much that they have even worn them to bed.

Mark Crichley, SLL MD, said: “This survey has taken a measure of the nation’s feet and we have found a lot of pain and suffering.

Half the nation has admitted to buying a new pair of ill-fitting shoes - knowing they’d never be comfortable enough to wear and this

means that over 40 per cent also carry an extra pair of more comfortable shoes around with them. The survey also revealed good news for retailers, as it showed that the nation is keen to buy even more shoes with more than 75 per cent wanting more money at the end of the month to spend on footwear. The results should also give store owners an idea of what to stock, showing that while the most coveted shoe labels for women aged 16 to 40 are Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik, 49 per cent are not concerned about brands or labels at all, and that the preferred heel height for more than half of women is one to two inches.

Fashion Press Week launched A NEW fashion press day concept has been launched with the aim of collectively showcasing a wide range of key brands, all in one place. Fashion Press Week will be taking place at the Saatchi Gallery in November with displays of spring/summer 2011 collections from the biggest fashion,

footwear and accessory names. The event will be open to British and International press and the concept will then go on to be launched in New York, Milan and Paris for future seasons. Sam Fearn, who came up with the idea, said: “As most people

know, press are invited to 500 press days each season and in some cases over 40 in one day alone. “With this number growing season on season, Fashion Press Week will ensure brands are reviewed by all the key fashion and retail media.”


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Launch party for WedgeWelly By Louise Cordell THE team behind WedgeWellies have been celebrating their success on BBC2 show Dragon’s Den with a high-profile launch party. The brand was born out of frustration from the lack of practical and fashionable footwear available for girls to wear at music festivals and the entrepreneurs came up with a boot design that incorporates a 2.5 inch wedge and follows the latest catwalk trends for surface prints. After appearing on the show they secured a £65,000 investment from retail guru Theo Paphitis, in exchange for a 25 per cent share of the business. Mike Longthorn, WedgeWelly director, said: “We decided to go on Dragon’s Den because, while we were growing quite quickly and getting contracts with big names like New Look and YSL, we needed to have the finance and capital to be able to cope with the orders. “Appearing on the show was very daunting, it was quite frightening to be going up in front of business people of that calibre. We had a fantastic result, getting a couple of offers, but we really wanted Theo for his retail experience and I think we got the best deal possible.” Theo Paphitis attended the launch

The WedgeWelly family

party to celebrate with the team and said: “I found the enthusiastic team at WedgeWelly an inspiration and believe that the business has great potential. “When making an investment, the people are more important than the product. “The great benefit in this case is that they also have a very exciting product that is well-designed to be

Picture: The Hull Daily Mail

both practical and stylish.” The brand’s celebration party also gave the team a chance to launch a new WedgeWelly Curve range for wider fittings as well as show off a new sheepskin prototype design. Mike added: “We are really keen to show off all our products and let stores know that investing in the boots will give them a real boost – they provide exclusivity and also sit

well alongside lots of other products and I think that is why retailers have welcomed them with open arms. “Now we have this investment the sky is the limit for us. “We have always had big ambitions, and aimed to sell the product nationwide and even worldwide – now we believe anything is possible.”

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£1m invested as new show is launched Shoe moulds to foot shape FOOTWEAR brand Sole has launched a new hybrid shoe that moulds to the wearer’s unique foot shape as it is worn. The ‘Exhale’ is a slipper/shoe hybrid that can be worn indoors or outside and can also be worn as a shoe or as a slip on due to its fold down heel panel.

The mouldable design means that the whole foot is supported, with an adjustable arch height and a deep heel cup that provides lateral stability and neutral alignment. This creates 100 per cent contact across the foot to ensure even weight distribution and shock absorption.

Pop-up store attracts shoe lovers SHOE lovers are flocking to London’s West End in order to visit Manolo Blahnik’s pop-up store in one of the capital’s most famous shops. The World of Manolo has opened at Carnaby’s Liberty – it is the first time the Spanish designer’s

shoes have gone on sale in the UK outside one of his own shops. Mr Blahnik said: “I love the people who run the building and I love the things they sell in this building, so that's why I'm here.”

PURE London has announced the launch of a new show for February 2011. The event, Pure Spirit, will run alongside Pure London and will aim to attract a new selection of fashion industry buyers and retailers. A total of £1m has been invested in the new show, which will feature generational zones for upcoming labels, branded catwalks, parties, seminars and bands, and over 150 top brands are getting ready to sign up and exhibit. It is hoped that the expansion plans will benefit Pure London’s current visitor base, while also creating a stronger identity for young fashion retails. To help with this, buses will run between the two locations every seven minutes to ensure easy access to both shows. Samantha Bleasby, event director, said: “August 2010 saw Pure London deliver the most ever visitors, taking

the event to another level. “We also discovered that 81 per cent of young fashion buyers would prefer a show with a fresh, bespoke identity. “With international visitors up 27 per cent, the expansion of Pure London and the launch of Pure Spirit will continue this momentum and grow overseas visitors further. The new launch will allow us to fulfill the demand from even more brands who wish to take part in a London fashion trade event and will give more focus and identity to the young fashion industry.” On top of this, the layout for next season’s Pure London is set to be refreshed and re-edited in order to feature more brands and better cater to their requests. Several areas of the show are also set to grow further, including Pure Premium, which was launched last season, contemporary womenswear and footwear.

Best known brands distributed across the country BELSTANE are proud to distribute some of the best known brands across the equestrian and country market and cater for all footwear needs. Muckboots:

The Full Monty Harlequins:

As well as being 100 per cent waterproof and very light and flexible, Muckboots offer more warmth, comfort and support than you will experience with any other footwear. The neoprene will stretch to fit almost any calf and can be rolled down for ventilation in hot weather and for easy hands free removal. A wide range of general and specialist wellies and shoes are available.

An incredibly fun, fashionable welly in a range of beautiful colours at an amazing price.

Superlites: Superlites are ideal for those who dislike the clumpiness of traditional wellies.

Greta

With a plain ‘hunting style’ top in black or brown, elastic insert and gently padded lining, the Harlequins inject something completely new into the footwear market.

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Clouds

They are made from one piece of EVA, a polymer that is waterproof, self insulating and highly durable but is also soft, flexible and incredibly lightweight. The boot will mould to the wearer’s foot over time and support it all day.

With a range of heights, colours and soles to choose from, there is a style to suit every requirement. For more information call: 01335 372600, e-mail: info@belstane.com or visit: www.belstane.com.


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Call for support for walking fundraisers By Louise Cordell A PAIR of fundraisers are calling on anyone involved in the footwear industry to support them in a bid to complete the Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk. Ken Gray and David Jameson of T and A Footwear in Leicester are taking on the challenge in order to raise £50,000 for Footwear Friends, a charity that provides financial assistance to people who have worked in the shoe trade but have fallen on hard times. They aim to complete the 192-mile long walk, which runs across the North of England from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire in just 14 days. Ken said: “The footwear industry has been kind to me and after many years I felt now would be a good time to put something back. “I have enjoyed traveling to many countries over the years and as I could never resist the local cuisine, I’ve struggled to shed the pounds. “Now is the time to do something about it and as a result I have decided to take on this challenge.

“Physical exercise is not something that has played a big part in my life, so training to lose weight and be fit enough to complete the distance is going to be a serious effort. “To help us reach our target, we are also trying to encourage as many people as possible from the industry to come and join us at any time during our walk.” T and A Footwear are sponsoring the costs of organising the walk to ensure that all the money donated goes to those in need and asking as many people as possible to get involved by making a contribution. David said: “After a 12-month break concentrating on riding out the recession I’ve strangely missed the discomforts and challenges thrown at me when raising money for Footwear Friends. “I am looking forward to this challenge for a number of different reasons – not least getting as much sponsorship as possible and knowing what a difference I have been able to make for the charity’s beneficiaries.”

This season’s Switchflop range includes the special edition ‘Ida’, created to raise awareness of breast cancer. The line has been named after creator Lindsay Phillips’ grandmother and features pink ruffled straps with a decorative rosette and a gold base embossed with the breast cancer ribbon logo. For each pair purchased, 25 per cent of the profits will be donated to the ‘Walk the Walk’ breast cancer charity.

Training course launched THE British Footwear Association has announced the launch of a new, industry led technical training course. The BFA Foundation Course in Footwear Technology is an initiative aimed at raising the profile and competencies of technical trainees. A number of leading employers have already nominated trainees to participate in the 12-month programme and those who complete it will receive a BFA accredited certificate. Richard Kottler, BFA chief executive, said: “It is generally acknowleged that technical staff constitute the biggest skills shortage in the industry. “Following consultation with the industry and with training

organisations, the BFA decided that the only sure way to meet this crisis in competency was to introduce a course that would become the industry standard.” To create the course, over 25 key footwear companies met with the BFA and SATRA to agree a syllabus for trainees and the selection of accredited training providers to manage different modules. Richard added: “What makes this course unique is that it has been put together by the industry itself, with input from training providers, and not the other way around. “This has harnessed an incredible amount of enthusiasm from within the trade.”

Odour beater on award shortlist Brand in AN ultraviolet sports pack that eliminates odour from the users’ shoes has been shortlisted in the James Dyson Design awards. The designer, Canadian student Rahim Bhimani, has created a rechargeable battery powered athletic bag, which uses UV light to wipe out the bacterial that causes shoes to smell. To use it, two UV hubs are places inside the shoes, which are then sealed inside the bag to protect the users eyes from the light. Rahim said: “I was inspired while conducting surveys and interview with varsity athletes at my university, who expressed concern about the hygiene and smell of their footwear after extended periods of physical activity. “Many of these athletes had recurring issues with athlete’s foot and fungi and had resorted to sprays and powders, which merely masked the problem temporarily. “I thought it made sense to look into

discount exclusive

the power and benefits of UV light in permanently eliminating bacteria and odour from athletic footwear.” While developing the product, Rahim carried out research including visiting podiatrists to learn more about feet and what causes foot odour and liaised with his university’s physics department to learn more about the properties of UV light. He added: “During my research I observed athletes and their shoes after hours of physical activity and it became abundantly clear that a viable solution simply did not exist. “Further study showed that athletes were more concerned with the

INDIE focussed footwear brand J Shoes has announced a new money-saving scheme for the spring/summer 2011 season.

problem of shoe odour rather than wet shoes and that there was a need for a product specially designed with athletes in mind. “My final challenge was to make sure that the light would not be visible to the user, so I therefore decided to conceal the technology in a trendy sports bag.” The James Dyson Foundation will announce the global winner of the design awards on October 5 2010.

It is offering its account base an exclusive 2.5 per cent discount on all SS11 forward orders alongside a standard mark up of 2.5 per cent. The brand is also offering in season stock, bespoke POS packaging and an early settlement discount for retailers. The new collection combines a range of materials with vintage touches, including cut out uppers, tassles and lace for women and dirty, dressed down styling for men. ISSUE 61 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2010

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New Products

Oversize mid sole offers less pain and more fun OVERSIZE technology has revolutionised many sports such as golf, tennis and skiing.

Gant Footwear for spring/summer 2011 for kids sees a focused collection including classic deck shoes in navy and brown leathers for boys and a red/white combination for girls. Canvas product is available in a wide range of colours, pink, denim, navy and sand, and ballerinas and flip flops in summer brights complete the collection.

Hoka is now using an oversize mid sole for its new range of running and walking footwear. In sports that involve travelling downhill such as skiing and mountain biking this is where the fun happens, however for runners and walkers this can be where the pain starts with stress and shocks placed on the joints. Hoka footwear allows you to run and walk faster downhill with less pain and a lot more fun. Efficiency has been proved in ultra running races with over 20 podiums in less than a year from international

athletes such as Karl Meltzer, Ludo Pommeret and Nicolas Mermoud. HOKA Mafate trail running shoe has a RRP of £120 and is available in men’s and women’s fit. For more information call Steve Couper at Sidas UK Limited on: 01539 725817, fax: 01539 725845 or e-mail: steve.couper@sidas.co.uk

Unique, fun and reflective of city life SPANISH company Art Footwear will launch their first kids’ collection at the Moda trade show in February 2010, and will be in store in July later that year. The 156-strong shoe range is made up of five different outsoles, with three styles per line, all available in six colours. True to the urban influence in their main range, the children’s designs are unique, fun and reflective of city life.

In addition, there will be designs in basic black, brown and navy for the ‘back to school’ diffusion. The kids collection will be produced in Spain where The Art Company currently produces approximately one million pairs of shoes a year. A new division has been set up within the organisation to create the kids’ collection, which has been under development for some time.

Solving the wide-fit problem EQUITY’S spring/summer 2011 collection is a breath of fresh air for customers frustrated in their attempts to find a smart wide-fitting court shoe for special occasions. Stylish and chic with fine detailing, Equity’s sandals are the perfect accessory for weddings, christenings and summer balls. Skillfully fashioned on wide fitting lasts with a wide choice of heel heights, these sandals look classically elegant while allowing feet ample room to feel comfortable and fresh

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and all day long. To complete the look, a co-ordinated handbag is a perfect profit opportunity for you and a further problem solved for your customer. Shown here are shimmering Sarah, Stephanie and Gabriel in iridescent pearl and porcelain patent – all at a trade price of just £26.45. For more details of Equity’s sandals, shoes and handbags, please call your local representative or Padders Sales on: 01536 534999.


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New Products

Innovative design and styling ... THE new Scholl AW10 collection re-interprets basic lines and essential styles with original shapes and materials to propose a new footwear aesthetic. Innovative design and styling, are a combination of simple elements with new casual shapes for everyday wearability. Scholl Contemporary is the concentration of personality which expresses itself through casual and distinctive styles for a woman who wants to live her day with practicality, comfort and to feel great – a complete range for an easy refined look.

One of Brazil’s biggest names in women’s footwear, Piccadilly, has presented its spring/summer 2011 collection at Moda. The brand is aiming to regain its presence in the British market by proving that customers do not have to sacrifice fashion

for comfort. This season the collection is divided into four conceptual groups that represent different moods – Contemporary, Fashion, Classic and Maxi Therapy.

Worth a look, within the collection is the line characterised by a country-chic look for women who want to communicate their femininity confidently, by wearing boots with a vintage feel. The collection ranges from supple leathers and suede in earthy colours to the black and occasional highlights like fuchsia and blue for a spark of vitality.

Patent filed for Back to the Future laces SHOE lovers who remember staring in wonder at Marty McFly’s Air Mags are looking forward to Nike’s latest offering. The brand has finally filed the long-awaited patent for powered auto-lace shoes, similar to those featured in the 80s’ film classic Back to the Future. The patent has been lodged at the World Intellectual Property

Organisation describing an ‘automatic lacing system’. It shows a powerpack within the shoe that tightens the laces around the foot when a button on the side of the shoe is pressed. The design also features an ‘automatic ankle cinching system’, configured to adjust the ankle portion of the trainer.

Brand launches trainer range with price tag of £1,535 FOLLOWING the launch of Jimmy Choo Uggs, fans of comfortable fashion footwear can start celebrating again. Christian Louboutin, one of the world’s most coveted footwear brands, has announced plans to bring out a range of trainers.

However, the price of the hi-tops is anything but practical, with a crystal and suede ‘Louis Veau’ encrusted pair for £1,535 and leopard print versions for £595. The range will be sold exclusively at Harvey Nichols and Christian Louboutin stores.

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Kids Designs from the Bobux brand aim to let children’s feet develop free from restriction, while protecting them in soft, flexible leather that moves and breathes naturally. The company works closely with foot development specialists and podiatrists and are recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association as ideal shoes for an active toddler’s feet. I-Walk Pre and First Walkers cater for kid’s feet as they start to take their first steps and walk confidently. The highly flexible shoes allow for natural foot movement and are available in a range of classic designs with a modern twist. New styles for summer 2011 are Desert Boots in tan and navy and new Princess t-bars and classic sandals.

Meeting needs and wishes WHEN taking big responsibility for little feet, the Superfit development team pays close attention to the feet of youngsters in order to offer the right products to meet their needs and wishes. The theme of nature inspires the colours, shapes, materials and details of Superfit’s spring/summer 2011 collection. The nature line of first walkers combines chrome-free nappa leather with canvas for a natural effect and lace-up models all have linen-look shoelaces and natural-looking corkstyle soles. The city look for the summer has lots of white, with shades of grey, muted

metallics for a futuristic hint, and shiny silver. Superfit is also offering fresh ballerina styles, including new soles with sporty toe caps lifted at the front, sporty shapes with a small heel and a metallic sole finish.

With little feet in mind ... FEET-huggable Podlers have been designed with tiny tots' little feet in mind, made with super-squashable leathers, breathable linings and lightweight and flexible rubber soles. The Podlers SS11 collection holds host to its brightest and boldest collection yet, with innovative rubber design features. The collection is also expanding into a wider size range from a tiny 21 to generous 31. In addition to Eclipse (pictured) new styles include Orbit the rubber toebumper shoe perfect for mischievous

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toddlers and Earth, the limited edition suede desert boot. For more information call: 01234 240 440. e-mail: sales@aegisshoes.co.uk or visit: www.pod-footwear.com


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News Shoe lovers and retailers now have the chance to create their own footwear collections thanks to the launch of a new website. Upperstreet.com provides hundreds of style and material options together with a helpful advice service, giving everyone the chance to turn designer for a day.

Seven steps to turning designer USING Upperstreet.com means that you can design any shoe, in a vast range of styles, heel heights, colours and fabrics, in just seven steps. Sisters Katy and Julia Grinham came up with the idea for the site after Katy splashed out on a pair of bespoke heels to match her wedding dress. Julia said: “My sister had always had trouble finding shoes to fit her big feet! So when she got married and had a pair custom made, she fell in love with the experience. “Soon she’d started getting all her footwear that way, they always looked great and we started thinking it would be a wonderful idea for a business.” Julia’s business background was internet based, so it was a natural step to take the company online and after months of planning and research the site was launched in March. The pair brought in a team of experts to take care of the design technicalities, including Rosa Fior, a leading shoe designer who has previously worked for designers including Paul Smith and Emma Hope. Julia added: “This type of design was a brand new challenge for Rosa, because she had to look at things in a different way, designing the shoes and then deconstructing them because we needed elements that would work in any combination. “In the end she came up with a beautiful range – no matter what combinations you come up with it is practically impossible to

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make an ugly shoe!” They also had to work hard to overcome the many other challenges of selling bespoke footwear on line, ranging from the length of turnaround time to the issues of fit and alterations. However, their approach has paid off and, six months in, they are yet to receive a single piece of negative feedback. Julia added: “The response from customers has been unbelievable – better than we ever thought it would be. “People have been blown away by it, because it is giving them options that they’ve never had before.” The site is now expanding based on feedback from customers and demand means they will be introducing a new lower heel option on all designs before Christmas. They are also planning on launching a site blog with the aim of giving people the confidence and inspiration they need to make their designs a reality. Julia added: “We didn’t realise how much support and guidance people would need – many customers come up with lots of designs, and then email us because they don’t know which pair to chose. “They are scared of making mistakes, so we want to keep helping them and providing advice to help them get their ideal design.”

Katy and Julia Grinham

Designer opportunity UPPERSTREET.COM are now giving retailers a chance to get in on the design act by offering them the chance to design their own range and order them wholesale. The site is offering store owners an exclusive design service to guide them on style, finish and fit in order to create a unique collection to attract new custom. Julia said: “We have been speaking to several independent retailers about creating their own designs and are currently producing samples for a high end bridal footwear store.

“Our aim is to make it easy for anyone to design their own shoes – so why not store owners too? “Normally it is extremely difficult for an individual or small company to get a range of shoes designed and made, but by taking a co-branded approach with us, all the hassle can be avoided. “From a business perspective everyone wins, and the boutiques we are working with really feel it will give them an edge in difficult financial times.”


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News

Ben launches range in conjunction with Carn BRITISH outdoor footwear specialist, Carn, has announced a new collaboration with presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle.

Thomas said: “The free foot allows me to brake and perform basic parkour movements quite easily.

Ben Fogle said: “I am hugely excited to be launching this range in conjunction with Carn.

“This type of freedom makes the Nano more than just a board – you can perform ground tricks and grind, but you can also efficiently cruise through your environment and freeboard over obstacles at a high rate of speed and control.”

“Having travelled extensively across some highly demanding terrain, I know only too well that the right footwear makes all the difference. I wanted to use this experience to create a range which was up to that task and working with Carn I have been given the freedom to design the shoes the way I wanted them to be.

The new styles will be in stock for retailers for spring/summer 2011 and Richard Dean, Carn’s founder and director added: “To be asked to develop a specific range of footwear with someone of Ben’s prominence and passion for the outdoors has been a fabulous opportunity. “We first met with Ben and his team over a year ago and since then we have been working hard to put together a

HEELYS has announced the launch of its Nano in-line foot board which can be used with any Fats of Mega style Heelys. The new product has been undergoing testing for over a year, including assessment from top parkour athletes Jonathan and Thomas Tapp.

A range designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind, the Ben Fogle collection will include a mid-cut boot and an urban trail shoe, both constructed using proven technologies and the latest in environmentally friendly materials.

“Together we have created a range of functional products which are fit for the hills but also stylish enough for urban life – I can’t wait to start on the next collection.”

More than just a board

Ben Fogle

Rick Groesch, vice president of brand engagement at Heelys, claimed that the Tapp brothers' experience with parkour made them a natural fit for testing the board.

compact product line reflecting the high quality that retailers and consumers have come to expect.

He said: “Parkour requires a great deal of creativity and athleticism.

“Drawing on his many experiences and adventures, Ben has been a key source of inspiration throughout the product design and development stages which has enabled us to create a range of products that meets our brand ethos – to design and deliver products that are suitable for all walks in life.”

“The Tapps were able to bring their unique perspective to testing the Nano to help ensure that we were delivering a product that would once again revolutionize the way people skate.”

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TLC

Moisturising your feet with every step ... SCHOLL has launched a new shoe that moisturises your feet with every step.

fragrance, and the insole – made from a soft and breathable bamboo and charcoal textile.

The HydraStep Sandal contains a special built-in gel footbed that slowly releases softening ingredients to the skin on your feet while you go about your daily routine.

The new HydraStep Sandal is recommended as part of a daily skincare regime for women who care about their feet, as well as those who are too busy to spend time pampering. With its moisturising benefits, it can help women feel more confident about the skin on their feet – particularly in the lead up to the summer months.

Scholl Sr. brand manager Caroline Green said: “This is the perfect footwear for the busy woman who cares about her feet. With the new Scholl HydraStep Sandal, your feet are gently moisturised with every step. Following on from the success of last summer’s ladies removable footbed sandals, come two new designs from Padders – Glamour and Glint. Both have removable insoles, perfect for inserting bespoke orthoses and Glamour has the added advantage of a back in to

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help keep the foot stable and secure. Made in a wide fitting, with patent leather uppers, adjustable touch and close straps and a lightweight PU outsole – these sandals score highly on the TLC scale.

“The new HydraStep Sandal is just one more example of how Scholl is always innovating and using the latest technology to help women achieve healthy, attractive feet.”

It is easy to walk in and comfortable, with its anatomically shaped footbed and anti-slip sole, and Scholl recommends you wear the HydraStep Sandal from one to two hours a day to fully appreciate its benefits.

The Scholl footbed is comprised of two layers: a gel of gentle natural emollients, Vitamin E and delicate

Available in three colours – black, white and fuchsia – it comes in sizes 4/5, 6/6.5 and 7/8.


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TLC

Enhancing the walking motion HUSH Puppies, the brand known for creating the world’s first casual shoe, have launched a new concept collection called The Body Shoe. The collection for men and women offers athletic-inspired casuals from sandals to heels all of which feature Hush Puppies’ unique new comfort system that effectively enhances the walking motion and makes it easier, not harder, to walk. The Body Shoe collection is engineered with Hush Puppies Bio Bevel technology that is a bevelled heel and toe that increases walking efficiency by encouraging an easier, smoother and more natural walking motion. Exceptional fit is achieved by using precise moulds that are anatomically

correct so that every Body Shoe properly envelops the foot for ultimate comfort. Multi-density footbeds with Ortholite foam in the arch and Poron foam in the heel and ball of the foot provide complete support and enhanced cushioning. An advanced climate control system composed of Ortholite foam footbeds features in every Body Shoe which wicks away moisture, reducing heat build up and keeping the foot cool, dry and comfortable. The Body Shoe Collection is due to hit stores nationwide in October 2010. For more information visit: www.hushpuppies.com/uk or call sales contact Andy Cockayne on 0207 8600100

Stylish new packaging DASCO’S stylish new “lifestyle” graphics, which were so well received last year, are now to be used on their insoles’ packaging. The new design personalises insoles, illustrating activities that your customers will automatically associate with their lives and their footwear – from smart and formal to casual, outdoor shoes and boots. Dasco insoles are made from high quality, natural materials. These include: Fine, luxury leather

– natural and white, foam cushioned for extra comfort; Soft latex foam – extra cushioning comfort, perfumed for added freshness; Soft, fleecy lambswool – keeps feet snug and warm, foam cushioned for added comfort and extra hard wearing cork – comfortable and durable. All Dasco’s insoles are treated with anti-bacterial Sanitized® to help prevent foot odour.

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Socks

Relaunch for waterproof sports sock SEALSKINZ has relaunched its waterproof sports sock to give players an edge by protecting their feet from the cold and wet this winter. Re-named as P3, the waterproof sports sock is ideal for football, hockey, rugby and any other pitch sport where players are often playing in the cold and rain sodden ground. Made with SealSkinz patented technology, P3 socks are the most technologically advanced socks on the market and work using a threelayer construction.

Italian brand Levante have introduced new sheer tights that won’t ladder. New technology used in producing the Resistenza Five line means that even if the wearer ‘catches’ the tights, the hole will not run into a ladder. The five denier tights are available in two natural shades, black and nearly black and are now being made available to retailers around the UK.

Matching socks ... THE latest collections from TN_29 and Tracey Neuls footwear have been launched with designs featuring sliced leather, pony skin, vegetable dyes, catfish, glove leather and horse tail hair. Authentic heritage is the key theme for Camel Active’s spring /summer sock collection. The focus of the designs is on durability and functionality in a range of colours and styles. These include wash-care label socks, worker socks, ribbed sport socks, slub socks and sort leg socks.

eTailer success

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ONLINE hosiery experts MyTights.com are celebrating after being named Best Specialist eTailer 2010 at the Drapers Awards. Judges said: “This pure-play eTailer was a clear winner, not only due to the selection of product on offer, but for the clean design, layout and usability of the site.” The aim of the site is to make buying tights easy, with a range spanning everyday essentials to the hottest fashion hosiery trends. ISSUE 61 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2010

To accompany the shoes, there is also a new selection of socks and tights, ranging from pulled wool to trompe l'oeil designs, lace, silk and elegant wool constructions – all created to match the footwear styles.

Designed to be worn next to the skin with or without a shin pad, they offer waterproof, breathable, windproof and close-fitting protection to keep players’ feet warm, dry and free from blisters. Andrew Dahl, SealSkinz MD said: “We received a lot of positive feedback from users of the original football sock, and found that it was popular with a variety of pitch-sport players. “Following this, we decided to rebrand and repackage our sports sock to highlight the benefits of the sock to a wider audience of sportsmen and women.

“Normal socks are notoriously lowtech, uncomfortable and offer no protection against wet and cold conditions. “The P3 will mean no more wet and cold feet this winter and the technology will make a huge difference to the enjoyment of those who play through the winter months.”

Cervin are a French luxury hosiery brand who have been producing that epitome of vintage glamour, stockings, for over a century. Still using the original machines, they continue to provide fully fashioned pure nylons stockings, silk stockings, and cosmetic seamed and RHT nylons in a range of fashion colours. This year they have added opaque seamed hosiery, a silk fully fashioned hold-up, and a range of fashion tights including cashmere and silk.


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accessories UK designer Helen Rochfort has won fans from all over the world with her limited edition handbags, inspired by everything from Sindy dolls to chocolate bars. She is now planning a series of new collaborations in order to ‘push the boundaries of what a bag is’ – Out On A Limb found out more.

Helen bags her own style HELEN Rochfort creates quirky frame box clasped handbags in a wide range of vintage and pop art styles. She set up the HRH brand three years ago with the aim of focusing her wider design experience on an exclusive accessories line.

“I have never really followed fashion, so I don’t try to keep up with seasonal trends, I just follow my own style.”

photo realist painter Sarah Graham and an exclusive, limited edition range of 200 chocolate scented ‘Wonka Bar’ bags.

The statement bags are all hand finished and feature a signature pink satin interior with a fabric HRH logo.

She has also just confirmed an official collaboration with Pedigree Toys to produce a range of officially endorsed Sindy doll bags, which will feature the character in an array of different outfits and locations.

She said: “I have always loved handbags and have been collecting statement pieces from other designers for years – two of my all time favourites are in the shapes of a radio and a watering can.

New designs are limited edition and come with an authenticated and numbered certificate, but alongside these there is a core range of best sellers that are available all year round.

“When I came to design my own I decided to focus on my love of colour and pop art to create timeless pieces.

Helen added: “I have found that because the bags are such individual pieces, they don’t need to fit into the traditional summer/winter collection pattern and this means that we can run designs for longer – for example we have some that have been best sellers for nearly three years now. “I try to avoid being in fashion – because that just means that soon you will be out of fashion! “Instead, when I am designing the bags I treat them like pieces of art – the box of the bag is the frame and then I create the graphics and visuals to match that.” Helen often collaborates with other brands and artists to create new designs, including a recent capsule collection using work from renowned

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Helen added: “I love doing collaborations, for example with Sarah Graham and an exclusive Wizard of Oz design for Harrods last Christmas. “I am always on the lookout for the next new thing and it helps me keep coming up with new ideas. “I enjoy pushing the boat out when it comes to design, for example with the scented bags and I would love to create musical bags as well – I like to think of things that will get a reaction and I want to push the boundaries of what a bag is.” Helen attributes her inspiration to a ‘childlike instinct’, but the designs have won her fansof all ages on top of demand from her main customer base of 25 to 44 year olds.

Many find it difficult to stop after buying just one bag and she hears from many client ‘collectors’ who have filled their wardrobes with a range of HRH styles. Helen added: “Fans of the brand send us pictures of themselves with their bag and we have even heard from one lady who has built a special shelf in her bedroom to display all her styles on. “It’s great to know that people love what they see.”


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accessories

Cheeky look

Works of art on a plate ECO-fashion company LittleEarth will be exhibiting its latest products at Boutique. The latest range includes the FenderFlair – the first LittleEarth handbag to fully display the brand’s signature licence plates

as minature works of art. The product features two licence plates, crystallised twist closures, hundreds of Swarovski crystals, a lined velvet interior and a recycled rubber strap.

Name a bag and win a designer bag

Posh Wellies will be exhibiting their latest styles at Boutique this month.

LONDON handbag designer Anya Sushko has launched a fashion competition to celebrate her spring/summer 2011 collection. The contest is called ‘My Name is Fashion: Name a Bag by Anya Sushko’ and a designer handbag

worth £750 will be awarded to the winner of the most original naming suggestion for a bag from the new range. Entries are to be submitted via the competition form on Anya Sushko’s website: www.anyasushko.com.

FOLLOWING an enthusiastic response to its first bag collection, The Chesterfield Brand has now launched its follow-up range. The second collection features high quality leather and buttons, creating the same look and feel as the brand’s furniture but with a fashionable twist. Viona van Dijk, designer, said: “On the one hand the Chesterfield collection is timeless due to its leather and familiar authentic English Chesterfield style. “On the other hand tough details provide a cheeky look that makes the collection exciting and never out of fashion. I design for young women who want to seal their success, ambition or performance with a timeless style icon.”

The Sukie Lau collection for autumn/winter 2010 is all about colour and creativity. The pieces have been designed to be comfortable to wear and easy to personalise in a mix and match style. The jewellery is all fashioned from real semi-precious stones, coloured to the designers specifications and then made by hand. Sukie Lau is the creation of jewellery designer Rachel Parkin and has now reached its sixth season collection.

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accessories

Eel skin accessory specialist Makki has launched an autumn/winter collection that combines glam rock and art deco influences. New for the season is a range of day bags and gloves, created with the help of an Italian designer, as well as a new salmon skin line. The Butterfly collection uses feathers and studs and the Glam Deco range features striking woven eel skin.

Belts from Chatham Marine’s latest collection include the men’s style Porta, featuring cotton webbing stripes with buffalo brown leather tabs and an antique style silver buckle and women’s style Sabrina, which is available in green/cream and airforce blue/cream.

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Show round-up

Show points to business revival for footwear industry Record Moda attendance MODA organisers have announced renewed industry confidence following record attendance at the August 2010 show.

industry. It’s particularly encouraging to have seen such a positive reaction to new exhibitors and new areas of the show such as The Collections.

The event saw a 22 per cent increase in visitors compared to the previous year, making it the busiest August show to date.

“It’s always been our aim to bring the whole industry together at Moda, and this season we’ve been able to expand the scope of Moda another step further across each area of the show.”

It saw over 1,450 brands showcase their spring/summer 2011 collection across five shows, with some reporting record orders and a large number of new exhibitors. Colette Tebbutt, ITE Moda MD, added: “The feedback from each of our show sectors this season has been excellent, and record attendance figures underline both the strength of the show itself and returning confidence within the

Regular exhibitors at Moda Footwear were pleased with the number of retailers visiting the show and Stephen Joseph, UK distributor for Caprice, said: “This season in particular however we saw new independents and opened up accounts with them, including some people we’ve been keen to bring on board for several seasons.”

ALL the signs pointed to a business revival for the footwear industry at GDS and Global Shoes this season. Exhibitors from 79 countries attended the three day show, resulting in a total of over 28,600 visitors, matching last year’s attendance numbers. Brands that were showing at the event reported a significant increase in visitor quality and that there had been an improvement in the ordering moods amongst buyers. Retailers who attended included Betsy Palmer, Comfort One Shoes, Hush Puppies, Jones Bootmaker and Zalando, with one in two visitors attending from abroad. This year there was also an increase in buyers from the Benelux, Scandinavia, Great Britain and the Baltic states as well as a larger proportion of non-European buyers and more who were interested in large scale retail. Kirstin Deutelmoser, Director of GDS and Global Shoes, said: “The economic mood is considerably better than even just one year ago. “You could hear and feel this in the halls of the fair. Increased visitor quality, the ordering mood and the rise again in the number of buyers coming to Düsseldorf underlines the role of GDS as a leading specialist

shoe fair for the central and northern European market.” At the event, 780 exhibitors presented 1,800 collections, showcasing all the key trends and looks for spring/summer 2011 orders. The range spanned pregressive and classical premium brands and quality fashion through to street, sportswear and kids’ ranges, with a further 410 exhibitors participating at Global Shoes. The next GDS and Global Shoes fairs will be held March 16-18 and September 7-9 2011. Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, CEO of the fair organising company Messe Düsseldorf, said: “The international shoe sector once again felt very at home at the Düsseldorf shoe fairs. The mood in the halls showed that GDSand Global Shoes are a reliable and solid marketplace for both trade and industry.”

‘Best brands, best buyers, best business’ Record attendance at Pure BREAD and Butter is celebrating a trade event that showed off the best in street and urbanwear. The motto for the July show was ‘Premier League: best brands, best buyers, best business’ and it produced an increase in international trade visitors as well as an improved brand portfolio. Karl-Heinz Müller, Bread and Butter GmbH managing director, said: “It was a fantastic and in all aspects consistent event, which represented a strong and successful start of the season for all business partners.

“Again, we could welcome the industry’s best, which valued and used Bread and Butter for communicative exchange and directed order decisions. Under the motto ‘best brands, best buyers, best business’, we have once more exceeded the attained level and our selective brand portfolio.” The highlight of the three-day show was the football World Cup, which had served as a fixed part of the event concept since the start of the season. At the especially built B&B Premier League stadium on the open airfield,

9,000 guests watched the Spain v Germany game on a 68-metre square LED screen as well as on additional screens that were set up in the B&B Lustgarden. Next season’s Bread and Butter is being launched under the motto ‘Absolute’ and will take place in January 2011.

THIS season’s Pure London broke its attendance records with a 24 per cent increase in visitor numbers. Compared to August 2009, the number of international visitors was also up by over a quarter with more buyers from Europe and as far afield as Canada, USA, Japan, Lebanon and Russia. There was also an increase in buyers spending longer at the show, with revisits over a second and third day up by 37 per cent. The show offered a full

line up of content, including insights from TV, online, high street and independent retail experts. WGSN, Drapers, Kurt Salmon and London College of Fashion ran seminars on topics such as buying advice, future trends, localisation and visual merchandising. GMTV’s Mark Heyes, ASOS’s Jo Hunt, Cosmopolitan���s Fashion Director, Shelly Vella , Khabi Mirza for Pure London and Manchester Fashion Network’s Dale Hicks, all offered advice across the two stages.

Demand from new exhibitors for Blackpool show THE organisers of Blackpool Show are gearing up for a new event in January, following the success of their first July exhibition. The show, organised by Conrad Dempsey and Shaun Moreley, is open to footwear wholesalers from around the UK and aims to showcase the best new and established brands. Conrad said: “July’s event was very well received – it was the first time we had held a show at that time of year, but there was a very good

turnout. “We have always traditionally done January shows – but they were such a success we thought why not start doing July as well. “It is mainly the same brands showing, but it gives them the chance to exhibit their new collections.” At the July show there were 19 exhibitors, with most of these showing upwards of ten brands and the next shows will be taking place January 22-24 and July 16-18

2011. Conrad added: “Our aim is for the shows to be informal, social events, mixing business and pleasure. It is a comfortable relaxed show that the customers enjoy attending and many visitors make a weekend of it and stay overnight. “This is obviously a popular approach as there has been a lot of demand from new exhibitors wanting to get involved – we are now fully booked for January’s show and are still getting requests.”

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Business and law Retailers can breathe a sigh of relief following the latest conclusions from the industry experts at Retail Think Tank. The commentators have claimed that next January’s VAT rise should have a minimal impact on the health of the sector but have also voiced a warning about the possible consequences of wider economic change.

VAT rise is the ‘least worst’ option for sector claim commentators THE New Year’s VAT increase to 20 per cent will have a relatively small impact on retailers and should even provide a short term boost to the sector – these are the latest finding s from the KPMG Synovate Retail Think Tank. However, the panel of retail industry commentators has also warned that the real danger for the sector is that the increase could trigger wider economic changes, which would adversely impact consumer spending. According to the RTT, the rise in VAT is preferable to a sharper increase in direct taxation, making it the ‘least worst’ option for the sector. Even though the early January timing will present an extra burden for retailers at their busiest time of year, it does mean that they have valuable time to plan and allows pre and post-Christmas promotional strategies to be implemented. If done correctly, this could provide a short term boost to sales and make a positive short term impact on margins, although some of this will be offset by the cost of making the change.

Spending threatened: January was chosen for the VAT rise as it was hoped that by then inflation would be under control and falling, with the recovery gathering momentum – however, the RTT has warned that this may not necessarily be the case. Helen Dickinson of KPMG said: “Retailers’ need and desire to increase prices in advance of the rise, in order to protect margins which have been severely affected over the past two tough years, may have an impact upon the headline inflation figures.

“This, coupled with rising food prices and the additional supply led pressures already in the market, will create pressure for interest rates to be raised. “Such a scenario would create a far more dramatic squeeze on consumer income which in turn would threaten spending levels far more significantly than the VAT rise in isolation.” According to the RTT, retailers, suppliers and consumers are all set to share part of the pain of the VAT rise, either through margins being squeezed or, in the case of consumers, through lower disposable income, reduced volumes or quality of products consumed. Retailers will have no choice but to pass more than half of the cost to consumers and, due to the highly competitive nature of the industry, absorb the remainder themselves or share it with suppliers. The commentators have concluded that, overall, values will hold up well but that volumes will be impacted to an extent, although some groups of consumers will inevitably be hit harder than others and, in turn, some businesses will be affected more, particularly where markets are already weak. Tim Denison of Synovate said: “VAT is likely to be considered again in the budgets of 2011 and 2012 – particularly as a number of other countries in Europe have higher rates – with an extension to other categories of products a possibility, or the re-introduction of another band on luxury goods, last seen in the 1970s. “The January 2011 rise is unlikely to be the end of the story.”

The New Year’s VAT increase will add new challenges to the January sales

Peter Busby, partner for the retail team at Thomas Eggar LLP, provides advice for retailers to help them plan ahead of the VAT rise in January next year.

Rise could be costly in time, compliance and tax “HAVE you entered into any leases since 3 January 2006? If so, a recent announcement by HMRC means that the VAT rise due to take effect on 4 January 2011 is going to cost you in time, compliance, and possibly tax. Under the legislation, Stamp Duty Land Tax is calculated on rents payable under leases. The regulations also provide that if

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the rent is uncertain or otherwise due to vary in the first five years, then, when it becomes certain, or is varied, a new tax return has to be completed, if appropriate, and any increased SDLT paid. The announcement by HMRC clarifies that they regard the increase in VAT taking effect next year as being a variation of the rent which triggers the obligation to file a return and to pay any increased

duty shown. So, what should you do? First, identify the leases you have taken since 3 January 2006. Then, by using the calculator on the HMRC website, input the figures including the new VAT rate from 4 January 2011 on an apportioned basis and see whether the recalculation triggers a liability for SDLT.

If it does, check whether the lease previously did so and if not, there will be an obligation to file a return and pay the duty. If a return had previously been filed, file a new return, and pay the increase in tax, giving yourself credit for tax already paid. You can see that all of this incurs management time, and is a compliance risk, so needs to be taken into account.”


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Business and law

Should retailers deal with debt through pre-pack administration? By Danielle McCormick MERVYN King, Governor of the Bank of England has warned that it will not all be plain sailing for the economy during 2011. With the forecast for the economic growth now revised from an optimistic 3.4 per cent to a more realistic 2.5 per cent, retailers in particular are left with the dilemma of how to deal with the expected further slow down. Over the past 18 months a popular way for struggling retailers to burn off those excess calories (debt) has been to go for a pre-pack administration.

Pre-pack: The pre-pack is essentially the business equivalent of a diet pill, enabling those who dare to take one to trim down on the unwanted calories in order to fit into next season’s mini, or ‘newco’ (new company).

By ditching the excess weight a retailer can arrive in ‘newco’ leaner and fitter, ready to take on the challenges ahead. This has had particular advantages for the retailer with multiple outlets, with the pre-pack proving to be a pick and mix exercise enabling them get rid of shops in underperforming areas whilst leaving behind those in markets showing signs of growth. However, this method of binning excess debt leaves in its wake a path of unfulfilled customer orders, unpaid suppliers, landlords and the tax man. So although the pre-pack may look like the smart solution, like the diet pill, it should only be used with a well thought through exercise regime, especially as those left in its wake are now fighting back.

Fight back: A recent example of this can be found in landlords that have fought back with a victory in the High

Court. In this instance the court ruled that administrators of collapsed retailers must pay rent quarterly in advance if they continue to occupy shops.

shedding those unwanted calories?

Prior to this ruling, administrators usually managed to pay rent weekly, making a huge difference to their potential outlay and cash flow as well as to the landlord’s pocket.

For example, HMRC has recently announced that it will continue to allow businesses in arrears for VAT to enter time to pay arrangements, but only where it considers the business is viable, in genuine difficulty and likely to be able to catch up with its VAT arrears in time.

Banks may also take a harder line which can cause difficulties. With the pre-pack requiring consent of the company’s main banker, banks could find more ways to say no to this request than yes. Also the tax man, who has not been a preferential creditor for some time, may decide it is more favourable to go for a winding up petition, than wait to be left high and dry with other unpaid creditors following a pre-pack.

Alternatives: So what are the alternatives for

It might be old fashioned but negotiation is one area where you might have some success.

With a double dip recession potentially on the way, do you look to simply swallow the diet pill and opt for the pre-pack or do you develop your own personal training regime and look to negotiate with your suppliers and develop a more sophisticated exit strategy which avoids the obvious pitfalls.  Danielle McCormick is a solicitor on the retail team of leading law firm Thomas Eggar LLP

Retail guru launches consumer-driven feedback website

Footwear distributors Silentnight recently donated 35,000 pairs of shoes to disadvantaged children in BosniaHerzegovina. The shoes were donated to In Kind Direct for re-distribution to a charity working abroad. Having been placed with one of In Kind Direct’s charity partners, Mission Without Borders, the shoes were distributed to

disadvantaged children across Eastern Europe. A Silentnight spokesperson said: “It is lovely that the shoes have found such worthy beneficiaries and we are pleased that we were in a position to help In Kind Direct and their charity partners. The shoes have gone to a very worthy cause and the children’s faces say it all.”

Trade golfers in Killarney THE 66th International Golf Championship of the Shoe Leather and Allied Trades took place at The Killarney Golf and Fishing Club in June. 130 competitors attended and played on the Killeen Course and Mahoney’s Point – the Killeen was the venue for the Irish Open in July. Richard Kottler, president of

Footwear Friends, and William Tusting, president of the LHTBI, were presented with cheques for their charities by president Gordon A Wilson. The trade banquet raised over 7000 Euros towards the annual total of donations of about £15,000. The 2011 Championship, will be at De Vere Carden Park near Chester, from 15 to 17 June 2011.

AFTER many years campaigning for change on the British high street, retail guru Mary Portas has now announced the launch of a new consumer-driven website. MaryPortas.com is her first permanent home on the web and has been designed to be a comprehensive resource for both shoppers and shopkeepers keen to improve, comment or learn about the retail experience. The site’s lead feature is ‘Search for a Shop’, where users can upload, rate and review shops from countries all around the world. The aim is to create a detailed database of comsumer insight into high street stores. The searchable directory lets users read real reviews from like minded shoppers and allows customers – from those upset by a bad experience to those blown away by

excellent service – to get their voices heard. The comments will be presented unedited and without bias, hopefully allowing MaryPortas.com to become a barometer for consumer sentiment, and providing brands with valuable feedback on what is working for them and what isn’t. In its role as a community driven site, MaryPortas.com will also aim to be a more general destination for ongoing conversations on shopping, fashion and wider lifestyle issues. To develop this, it will also feature online polls and other surveys that can be developed to gather more research and insights from the community. In addition, users will be able to follow Mary’s latest projects, television campaigns, journalism, and news Mary’s Living and Giving shops for Save the Children, as well as live agency news.

Easy guidelines for footwear industry A SERIES of wallcharts has been published by the Satra Technology Centre to provide companies in the footwear industry with easy access to clear and comprehensive information on a variety of production issues.

The first guidelines released describe substances restricted under REACH legislation, marking codes used on European CE-certified footwear products and soling types for different applications. ISSUE 61 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2010

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FOOTWEAR

diarydates Bread and Butter Airport Berlin-Tempelhof, 19-21 January 2011 (www.breadandbutter.com) A tradeshow for selected brands, Bread and Butter provides the concept of an innovative trade fair event for the progressive, contemporary clothing culture.

RETAIL SOLUTIONS

ISPO New Munich Trade Fair Centre, 6-9 February 2011 (www.ispo.com) International trade fiar for sporting goods and sports fashion in Munich. The show will feature exhibitors from sectors including ski, outdoor, board and performance. Pure Olympia and Earls Court, London, 13-15 February 2011(www.purelondon.com) A showcase of over 800 directional womenswear brands, young creative labels and footwear and accessory collections.

AGENTS REQUIRED

Moda Footwear NEC, Birmingham, 20-22 February 2011 (www.moda-uk.co.uk) Moda will include a seminar programme which will be free of charge to all visitors and exhibitors. The Moda catwalk show will present an overview of the seasons trends, providing an insight into key looks. GDS Messe Dusseldorf, Germany, 16-18 March 2011 (www.gds-online.com) Highlights will include high fashion labels from international brands and the children’s footwear marketplace. Other events will include fashion shows, trend presentations and trend vision.

RETAIL SOLUTIONS

FOOT CARE TRAINING

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Out On A Limb October/November 2010