The aim of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags has never been to simply sell exhibition space, but rather to build a business platform capable of growing the footwear and leather goods industry, and providing the market with key opportunities to expand its boundaries.

To do so, however, it’s important to know the market. Based on this premise comes Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags Around the World – a series of initiatives bringing the Riva event into close contact with the industry’s institutions, manufacturers and distributors all throughout the world with numerous targeted events, company visits and personal meetings. Spain was the initiative’s most recent focus.

The European Union is the main buyer of Spanish footwear, accounting for 77 per cent of total exports in volume and 71 per cent in value. France, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Poland top the list of destinations. Exports to the EU reached €2,168 million and 122 million pairs, an increase of 28 per cent in value and eight per cent in pairs compared to last year.

The USA, on the other hand, is the top non-EU destination, with 28.7 per cent growth. The UK is the second largest non-EU market. Italy also enjoys considerable inbound and outbound trade with Spain, with exports now worth €32 million.

This makes Spain a major player in the fashion accessories market with a strong propensity for exports, and similarly for leather goods – a segment characterised by medium/high-quality collections and competitive prices.


These figures clearly demonstrate Spain’s considerable role within the Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags offering, and during its recent trip to Spain, show organisers met a number of those who fill its trade fair pavilions with magnificent shoe and bag collections every year, finding the perfect mix of quality, carefully selected materials and details, attention to price, and innovative and sustainable contents.

Sustainability is a key focus of many brands, including Pablosky (a manufacturer from the Toledo area – pictured above), Recykers (promoting vegan shoes made from certified materials derived from recycling activities), and Bertuchi – Nex51 has similarly embraced the demands of the market, choosing to offer a product line with sustainable contents, such as soles made from naturally sourced recycled materials.

Meanwhile, XTI, founded in 2003 and today more than 20 outlets in Spain and 70 franchises worldwide, its brands XTI, XTI Kids, Carmela (leather line) and Refresh are produced in China, Turkey and Bangladesh, for an annual total of seven million pairs, 60 per cent of which are exported.

A brand that has always been a key participant at the Riva event: “Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags is crucial for testing new collections. The timing is perfect and allows us to directly engage with many international buyers.”

Sandals, slippers and moccasins for men, women and children destined for large retail chains are the core business of Pro-Contact from Alicante. A company that exports 90 per cent of its production and has been exhibiting at Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags for 35 years:


“Buyers are tired of fast fashion and cheap products,” they said. “They are now looking for truly sustainable offerings and reject those promoting operations that smack of greenwashing.”

The company highlighted one particular concern: a significant drop in sales in the German market, causing many shops to close.

With visitors from all over the world and more than 40 countries represented among exhibiting companies, Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags – organised by Riva del Garda Fierecongressi SpA – is dedicated to volume footwear, leather goods and accessories.

The next edition will be held on 17 to 20 June 2023 at the Riva del Garda Exhibition Centre.