Non-US/Canadian Companies, please click here

August 2014

Press Contact:

Anne Meerboth-Maltz
Tel. (312)781-5185
Fax (312) 781-5188

Messe Düsseldorf North America
150 North Michigan Avenue
Suite 2920
Chicago, IL 60601


The new concept and earlier dates of GDS - global destination for shoes & accessories, was very well received: over 900 brands presented themselves at GDS 2014 and an additional 370 exhibitors participated in the parallel staged tag it! by gds - the show for private label in shoes and accessories (another new concept). The two events attracted visitors from over 100 countries, who gathered information on the latest trends at the beginning of the new footwear season and were enthusiastic about the new trade show concept. According to a representative survey, especially foreign visitors stated that the trade show was more beneficial for them due to the new concept.

The early dates proved to be the right choice and the updated segmentation of the halls into three themed worlds was also popular. Many exhibitors used GDS as a stage by organizing fashion shows at their stands, causing members of the press to rush from booth to booth in order not to miss any of the highlights. In addition, celebrities such as Eveline Hall, Bonnie Strange, Marcel Ostertag and Leo Bartsch as well as the spectacular catwalk shows on the GDS show stages attracted crowds and the press. GDS started with a glamorous party on the evening before the show opened with U.S. star Beth Ditto entertaining the guest with the song “I Love Shoes”.

Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, saw the encouraging feedback from both exhibitors and visitors as confirmation for himself and his team: “Our shoe trade show has kicked off to a good start! Many exhibitors have given us very positive feedback about our concept and the quality of the visitors, including some who were quite critical until recently. We were aware that the early dates would come with special challenges, which is why we expected visitor attendance to drop slightly. But we are confident that from February 2015 on the response will be even better because in our visitor survey satisfaction levels were as high as 91%. A great result that reflects the good atmosphere at GDS.”

It seems as if the visitors’ high satisfaction levels can be attributed to the new positioning of GDS: according to a survey, 73% of the attendees – most of them with purchasing decision authority – used the trade show specifically as an information platform to gain an overview of the market. And about 50% came to GDS with the intention of placing orders.

“GDS is set to become the trigger for the new season and will, first and foremost, whet people's appetite for new products. Now it is key for exhibitors to present themselves perfectly because one thing has become clear after this event: due to the early dates of GDS, many retailers will already decide at the trade show which suppliers they take into consideration for future orders. I was delighted to see orders already being placed at GDS,” stated Kirstin Deutelmoser, Director of GDS and tag it! by gds.

This is precisely where GDS confirms its status as a leading trade show by presenting the most important footwear trends at the beginning of the season. The focal themes for the Spring/Summer 2015 season were already evident at GDS. Very important will be sandals with profiled footbeds, in a cork look or leather covered. Most of the uppers consist of exquisite leather with various material effects. New interpretations of classic espandrilles were presented with extravagant new uppers and shapes and with soles ranging from flat to 0.2 inches and from wedges and platforms to fancy profiles soles. A wide variety of T-strap styles was also on display. Various brands showcased a multitude of Mary Janes, expertly staging women’s insteps both with flat sandals and elegant, high-heeled pumps.

Overall, it became clear that the new hall segmentation offered visitors the orientation they needed while looking for trends in the three themed worlds of GDS 2014.

The Messe Düsseldorf team in charge of organizing the trade show was pleased with the successful start of GDS but still sees noticeable development potential for tag it! by gds. “The basic idea is on the right track but regarding implementation we will analyze and re-adjust the format together with the industry after the event. The first decision already decided upon is that next time tag it! by gds will also be held for three days - from Wednesday to Friday,” commented Kirstin Deutelmoser.

GDS reaches End Users

In addition to pleased exhibitors and visitors, the goals of the GDS team also included addressing end users of shoes and accessories on an emotional level. This included the numerous PR activities of the exhibitors, which were presented for the first time in a concentrated manner in form of a guided Press Walk and the premiere of the Fashionblogger-Café “shoedition”, operated in cooperation with styleranking. Over 100 fashion bloggers accepted the invitation to experience the trade show and its exhibitors with the latest footwear trends and introduced them in their blogs and on social media. GDS also presented a guest blogger for the first time: Maja Wyh took photos of her personal fashion highlights at GDS for her blog.

This time GDS did not only offer trade visitors and multipliers to opportunity to gather information on shoe trends at the fairgrounds but also reached end users with the “OUT OF THE BOX“ Festival for Footwear and Accessories in the Düseldorf city center. Together with brands and retailers, the GDS organizer entertained consumers on the last day of the trade show with over 100 activities, parties and bargains in the downtown area. The visual highlights were a 6.5 feet high court shoes at the famous shopping street Königsallee and a walk-in shoe box on Schadowplatz square. Retailers including Schadow Arkaden, Apropos, Schuhhaus Juppen, Breuninger, Clarks and Emporio Armani came up with special offers for shoe enthusiasts and were pleased with the many customers.

The next editions of GDS and tag it! by gds will be held from February 4 - 6, 2015 and July 29 - 31, 2015 in Düsseldorf, Germany. For further information on visiting or exhibiting at GDS 2015 or tag it! by gds 2015, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America, 150 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2920, Chicago, IL 60601. Telephone: (312) 781-5180; Fax: (312) 781-5188; E-mail:; Visit our web site; Subscribe to our blog; Follow us on twitter at


The following brands used GDS for their PR activities

Brand Activity

Porsche Design

Product presentation with and by designer Roland Heiler. 
STUDIO Shoe "Belles Rebelles" Fashion show and interviews with special guest Eveline Hall. 
Maypol Craftsmanship – demonstration of traditional braiding and crafting of espadrilles. 
Clarks Fashion show – the outfits for the Clarks Show were provided by the famous designer Marcel Ostertag.
Belmondo Art auction for a good cause on behalf of the shoe industry featuring it-girl Bonnie Strange.
Kappa Music act and testimonials: singer/songwriter Leo Bartsch.
Camel Active Fashion show at the stand with a spectacular staging: catwalk complete with suspended bridge lowered from the hall ceiling.
SHOES FROM SPAIN Fashion show involving over 20 Spanish footwear labels. 
Caprice A ballet dancer presented special styles. 
Bugatti Magician Marc Gettmann impressed the audience with his "shoe magic" at the Bugatti stand.
Lloyd Presentation of the store concept and lunch.
Birkenstock Fashion show with individual styling.
Viking Demonstration of Goretex's Surround Product Technology using water tools. 
Wortmann/Tamaris Product presentation of Spring/Summer 2015 women’s shoe trends incl. information on matching outerwear.
Abro Onsite personalization of bracelets, key rings and  i-Phone covers.
Riscosta Presentation of how shoe and boot uppers are sewn.
Giesswein House slipper innovations: presentation of new women’s mules and a new kids’ line for toddlers.  
Fly London Company presentation with Champagne reception to mark the 20th anniversary. 
Highline United The lifestyle group Highline United presented a  ASH fashion show as a special highlight. 
Back Joy Presentation of technical innovations, especially the latest sole technologies.  
Tosca Blu Alberto Salgarello, General Sales Manager for Shoes, and Arcangelo Passirani, Export Sales Manager for Bags, were available for interviews. 
Pikolinos Presentation of the Charity Massai Collection.
Bruel Product presentation by the commercial agent  Matthias Abele.
Fitwear Presentation of the latest company news.
Sioux Sioux time travel through 60 years of shoe brand history, guided by Sioux CEO Lewin Berner.
ARA Fashion show
Manas Tasting of specialties from the "Le Marche" region
Falc/Naturino To mark its 40th anniversary, Falc organized an Italian wine tasting.
Braun Büffel Fine bag-making – crafts demonstration
El Naturalista Nat fit: a shapable insole adapts to the foot. Demo: heating in the mirco-wave.
Flipster Foldable shoes were showcased.
TEVA Trend: trekking sandals which are trendy among stars and starlets (Festival Sandals).
Messe Dusseldorf North America Located at 150 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2920, Chicago, IL. Phone: 312-781-5180. .