STYL and KABO opened the expo season again a year on
STYL and KABO fairs took place at the Brno Exhibition Centre from 21 to 23 August 2021. Professionals and traders from the textile and footwear industries confirmed that these fairs are an important trade tool for them. They mostly appreciated the opportunity to meet partners and customers personally. Collections of more than 250 brands were presented at the expo.
Hall P treated professional visitors to the latest collections of clothing, fashion accessories, footwear and leather goods represented by 112 companies from 9 countries. Not only manufacturers and dealers from the Czech Republic came to Brno, but also from Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria and Portugal."STYL and KABO are crucial for the footwear industry. The time influenced by covid in particular has shown that these fairs have their unique position. Every trader needs to touch the products, make sure of the craftsmanship and design, and assess the quality and materials used. These are very important parameters for retailers in particular when ordering the entire collection. The purchaser must be convinced that the ordered goods are of high quality and the company is able to guarantee the collection in the required quality," stated Vlasta Mayerová, director of the Czech Footwear and Leather Association.
"STYL and KABO contracting fashion fairs aimed to support an industry that is facing negative effects of the long-term lockdown of clothing and footwear retail. The participation of exhibitors and visitors in the post-covid season corresponded to the current status of the industry and the restrictions on international travel. I believe that the February edition of the fashion fairs will already take place on the scale of previous years, including greater international participation. It turned out that hygiene and safety rules are not a fundamental problem for the participants and the fairs are feasible," said Jiří Kuliš, CEO of Trade Fairs Brno.
Symposium focused on healthy footwear
On Sunday 22 August, the 2nd international podiatric symposium took place, bringing together doctors, podiatrists, footwear manufacturers and retailers. Its organisers were the Czech Footwear and Leather Association with the Czech Podiatric Society. The main topic was Healthy Foot and Healthy Shoes. The symposium focused mainly on children's feet, which is the basis of the musculoskeletal system. Experts agreed that the basic point for the observing of the healthy development of a child's foot is the family. An international project was also presented at the event, which aims to increase awareness and knowledge about the specifics of diabetic foot and the important role of footwear in the prevention of ulceration and other adverse effects on diabetics' feet.
Personality of the Year awarded virtually for the first time in history
The Personality of the Year 2020 for the textile and clothing industry has become Ludmila Hálkovová, the Personality of the Year 2020 from the leather industry is Václav Staněk. The jury was composed of representatives of the Association of the Textile, Clothing and Leather Industry, the Czech Footwear and Leather Association, Trade Fairs Brno and the editorial board of Svět textilu&obuvi ('the World of Textiles & Footwear') magazine.
Sustainability and natural materials
Current trends include collections made from recycled and ecological materials that are environmentally friendly. Materials with a higher content of natural fibres, which are comfortable to wear, are also in demand for the summer. Lightness, lightweight elastic soles and soft insoles are leaders in the area of footwear. All this allows for comfortable walk even after all-day wearing. Earthy colours and colour combinations with brown are popular in leather goods.
A year on, exhibitors met up both with existing and new customers
The August fairs were among the first to take place after a long break, so companies' expectations were not too optimistic at the beginning. Nevertheless, the expo reaffirmed its role, business talks were held for the whole three days at the stands and a number of exhibitors gained completely new customers, while some of them also noticed larger orders and interest in new prestige brands.
Czech and foreign fashion found its customers
Among the satisfied exhibitors of Styl there was, for example, Texart, supplier of denim clothing of the Pioneer brand that comes regularly to the expo. "We are satisfied, almost all the customers we had invited actually came in. The purpose of the fair has certainly been met," said Vladimír Zitka. Jopess, a Czech manufacturer of women's clothing, is also a traditional exhibitor; its representative Josef Šimáček was glad that STYL took place this year: "The number of visitors met our expectations. New customers also came to see us."
The Coll Fashion brand also appealed to new clients with its range of women's fashion. "We have exhibited our products at the fair for the seventh year in succession, we were satisfied every year and we have not seen any decline this year either. The existing clientele always comes in and we also get 10–20% new customers," said its representative Kateřina Sklářová. The Polish company WIBS noticed great interest already on the first day of the expo. "There is a lot of interest in our stand, we actually make contracts for 20-30 models," appreciated Dagmar Ponechalová, a co-organizer of WIBS participation. Petr Hovorka from the company HOTEX, which offered underwear and nightwear and other ready-made clothes, sees this year's expo just like any other: "I think the attendance was similar to other years, sales went on as usual."
Magdalena Petruželová, representing also the German fashion brand Hegler Fashion, is convinced that the pandemic does not have a major impact on the sales of goods at this year's Styl: "We sold as many goods at this expo fair as we did before the covid period. On Saturday and Sunday our stand was full all the time and we could not even take a break," she says. The H+D brand, which specializes in flax products, certainly cannot complain about lack of interest. "This expo is good for us. We bet on a material of the future, which is flax, so our sales have been rising for the third year in a row. Enough visitors came in to place orders, so we are satisfied," commended the brand owner Monika Havlová. Men's fashion also met with acclaim in Brno, at least as far as the Casa Moda stand is concerned. Once again, this prestigious brand could not be overlooked at the expo. "We definitely do not save money on the stand, we are a large company and we want to present ourselves on the same level as at other trade fairs in the world. We perceive the expo well. Although we had some worries this year, they did not materialize at all and the clients came," concluded Pavel Trněný from Casa Moda.
Traders appreciated new trends in footwear and handbags
The importance of the event was also evaluated by Kabo exhibitors! Would you believe that the company SENDI DESIGN has been exhibiting leather goods in Brno for 28 years now? This year, for the first time, it also represented the Mustang brand, which met with great acclaim. "For us, this year's expo was unexpectedly good, in one word: great," summarised Senad Bijedič and Dražen Džidžanovič on behalf of SENDI DESIGN. The JUNI Export company is also one of the regulars at Brno's KABO fair. Their stand, full of handbags and bags, literally burst at the seams for all three days. "At the beginning, we had some concerns worried about whether visitors would come to us. Fortunately, these did not materialise and traders found their way to us. We expect to participate in the expo next time as well," said the company's co-owner Lana Deučman.
The expo will also be remembered by Axel Accessories, a supplier of leather goods and fashion clothing and accessories from Greece. Among other products, it presented bags made of recycled PVB material at the fair. "We rate our participation in the fair positively. This was the first show after coronavirus, so we didn't know what to expect. One third to half of the visitors to our stand were new clients," says its representative George Gatos. A newbie in leather goods was the Polish brand Militu Bags. Nevertheless, it turned its first participation into success. "We are exhibiting here for the first time and we have established contacts with thirty clients. We made four contracts directly at the event," praises the brand representative Erik Navrátil. Iberius, which supplies a wide range of social and sports footwear from various brands, certainly cannot complain about a lack of interest. "Thank God this fair was even more successful for us than last time. We received a larger number of orders and, most importantly for us, customers report to us that they have very good sales of our collections and are happy to place orders for the next season," said Iberius sales and marketing manager Martin Palman.
New trends in materials, colours and production technologies with a focus on the most comfortable footwear were presented also by the Wortmann KG holding company. In their exposition, individual brands followed and complemented each other. And how do their managers rate this year's participation? "We are very satisfied. We have also heard from Germany that, according to numbers, this fair is going very strong. We hope that next season we will meet again here at the Brno Exhibition Centre," said Marcela Zábojníková, representing the Caprice brand. Markéta Janíková, on behalf of Marco Tozzi, is of a similar opinion: Customers kept walking in and we were satisfied, we could not even take a break on Saturday." The largest space of the entire holding was occupied by the Tamaris brand, presenting the latest shoes and handbags: "Once again we are happy to have participated. There may be somewhat fewer exhibitors, but the good ones remained. I like to see there are a lot of Czech companies. All our customers arrived, even those from Slovakia," concluded Iva Macháčková on behalf of Tamaris.