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Gallery Shoes Bets on an Intimate Location

Igedo Company is revealing clues about Gallery Shoes, the new footwear show launching Aug. 27-29 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The trade show is replacing GDS, which ended its run last month, and will be cross-promoted with its fashion sister, Gallery. The shoe show is expected to draw 500 labels and will divide product into five categories—premium, contemporary, urban, comfort and kids—in an intimate setting at the Areal Böhler.

Compared to the airport hangar-like atmosphere of GDS, the new venue plays a large part of Igedo’s plan to appeal to a more fashion-savvy, international base—a crowd many griped that GDS lost over the years.

“The Areal Böhler conveys a totally different charm to that of the old location. The curated feel of the halls in industrial design gives it a unique value and sophistication,” said Ulrike Kähler, project director of Gallery and Gallery Shoes.
Unlike the big trade fair halls, Kähler said small booths don’t “look lost” at the Areal Böhler.

“So, it’s more of an advantage as the total financial burden will decrease for a lot of exhibitors, which is what a lot of them want these days,” Kähler said. “A lot of brands cannot or don’t necessarily want to present their collections in huge booths. But they still need, and want to profit from an international order platform. As the subsidiary of Messe Düsseldorf, we are still offering the full international service, making use of our international networks and still addressing all significant international markets.”

The show finds itself trying to make good with former GDS exhibitors that were unhappy that they were not informed of the launch of Gallery Shoes in advance of the February show, but Kähler remains optimistic that the new concept will renew the international shoe community’s interest in Germany.

“No matter when we would have chosen to announce the new Gallery Shoes, it was always going to create a stir because it’s of such importance to a lot of people. We tried to approach it in a way that would ensure continuity and convey a sense of calm to the market,” Kähler said.

“We’re offering something different, but also very decisive: a new start for the international shoe business in Düsseldorf with plenty of new ideas and inspiration—basically, a breath of fresh air.”