Momad continues to search for answers
It was an audacious move. The latest edition of Momad, held at Ifema on 6-8 February, not only marked the debut of Julia González as the new event director, but was also a return to a joint format, combining clothing and accessories with footwear. These key strategic developments resulted in a subdued winter edition, underlining the fact that Momad is still in a transition phase.
“It’s not easy to compare our data with last year’s February edition because it was held from Friday to Sunday,” González told FashionNetwork.com before the official footfall numbers were released. As in September, the latest winter show took place from Thursday to Saturday to ensure the dates were “more balanced”. According to a report from Ifema, the Spanish trade show welcomed 15,225 visitors through its doors this month, showing no signs of growth from previous seasons. 15,200 visitors attended the event in September, while the February 2019 edition drew 15,250 people. Meanwhile, the number of exhibitors remained the same at 800.
With the aim of improving the event’s international credentials, the fashion fair brought together brands from France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Colombia. The latter was represented by Studio F, which made its debut in Spain at the event. “We attended the fair to grow market awareness in Spain. The response has been positive and we think our product will perform well in this market,” Juan Aristizábal, in charge of the brand in Spain, told FashionNetwork.com.
International buyers accounted for 32% of the total, with buyers coming from 64 countries. There was also a high number of national and international media representatives, coming from Italy, Germany, France, Portugal and Turkey. “We want to strengthen our international buyers programme. Up until last year, the event was strongly focused on Latin America, so we decided to focus all efforts on Europe,” said González. Russia and the Baltic countries are being targeted.
Many industry events have seen their visitor numbers falter due to the coronavirus outbreak, but Momad was not one of them. “If we had held the event later in the month, maybe we would have seen a bigger impact. There were no cancellations from exhibitors or buyers,” said González, relieved. Other events have had worse luck. On 13 February, just five days after Momad ended, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona cancelled its upcoming edition due to the epidemic.
Footwear and men’s fashion
Taking place in Halls 12 and 14 at Ifema, Momad was held once again alongside Bisutex, MadridJoya and Intergift. Julia González said this was a bonus for visitors: “They can come and see everything at once. The idea is to continue with this trend,” she said. In the future, the show will try to expand the footwear category and add more names. Only 29 shoe brands had a presence at the latest Momad, and these were presented throughout the space alongside fashion exhibitors.
Although the idea to integrate Momad with the footwear show was supported by exhibitors at the Federation of Spanish Footwear Industries, the initiative failed to draw the same number of participants as Shoesroom by Momad, which had 112 brands at the September edition. “It happened very fast and we barely had enough time to promote it,” Julia González. The decision to bring Shoesroom by Momad under the Momad umbrella was taken in December.
“We can't complain, but it could have been better. For us, Micam Milano remains the most important fair in Europe and that’s where we sell the most," said a representative of shoe brand Alma en Pena. And while other shoe exhibitors said they were happy with the results and the return to the joint format, the general feeling was bittersweet, confirming that the event is still far from becoming Europe’s second largest footwear show - Charo Izquierdo’s ambition for the conference before she left her job as event director.
For its organisers, urban fashion and men’s clothing will be key drivers of growth going forward. But the latest brand line-up included just 11 men’s fashion labels. Meanwhile, while the leather segment featured just 15 exhibitors, it emerged as one of the most dynamic areas of the show. And sustainability was once again on the spotlight with a sustainable experience and a ‘green’ conference day featuring talks with experts from ModaEspaña, Slow Fashion Next, INESCOP and Fashion Network. Next season will see more sustainable collections added, particularly from traditional brands.
As Momad starts preparation for the next event, scheduled to take place on 3-5 September, organisers will have more time to smooth out the edges into a solid strategic plan. Next season will see Momad take place at the same time at MBFW Madrid, which has moved its date for the Spring Summer 2021 edition to 2-7 September. The date clash could be a good thing for Momad, paving the way for long-awaited synergies between the industry and the market. “At the end of the day, it’s about putting Spanish fashion on the global stage,” said Julia González.
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