held at the Kensington Close Hotel from March 16th – 18th 2014
It was business as usual at the Kensington Shoe Event this season. On the day that I attended independent footwear retailers were in attendance and orders were being placed on the stands. Clearly, the Event’s reputation for good quality products remains undiminished.
The newly refurbished Kensington Close Hotel, a prestigious London venue, attracted comments of approval from all the exhibitors and retailers that I met at this season’s Event.
The three-day Kensington Shoe Event has become a popular show for medium-to-high quality footwear, but it still remains delightfully compact and customer-friendly. The timing of the Event, held after the major European shows, allows buyers, namely boutique, department stores and independents, to have a clear mind on what to buy in an informal environment. They also enjoy its luxurious surroundings and complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits, as well as its underground car parking.
Buyers could not fail to be excited by the mix of products on show last month, with a particular eye to the medium to high end footwear market. Offering classic chic alongside urban attitude and style. Besides Pons Quintana, Marco Moreo, Gino Vaello, Pretty Ballerina, Jaime Mascaro, Draper of Glasonbury and Amalfi, this season at the Kensington Shoe Event buyers saw a return of the revamped Rebeca Sanver, plus To Be and Pimientos.
Event organiser, footwear agent Renato De Angelis, commented: ”Footfall was slightly lower than last time, which was to be expected considering the season and the fact of having fewer exhibitors.. However, business was good. The varied blend of ranges on show tempted the visiting retailers, who felt at ease in the well organised and pleasant environment. Feedback from some visitors has been very positive in this regard. We expect the show to increase in exhibitor numbers next season, following various enquiries from the UK and abroad.
“My two Winter collections have been well received. Pons Quintana has innovative and attractive designs this season, combined with high quality and flair. This time the sales were not only for the high wedges, which is a strong signature of the brand, but also for fabulous flat boots and booties on original rubber units.”
Marco Moreo, the Italian brand, which once sold very well in the UK is now enjoying a resurgence. The new range is striking and commercial, with an excellent quality and reasonable price points. Their sporty boots and shoes, on wedges and uppers, featuring a combination of stretch and suede, have been particularly popular.
What the exhibitors had to say about The Kensington Shoe Event:
“Our name is well established already in the UK for top quality branded products aimed at the medium to top end market, so it was very encouraging to meet several exciting new customers who appreciate our collections and aims’, says Andrew Lynn who is responsible for sales of the Draper of Glastonbury and Amalfi collections in the UK. “Our branded Draper sheepskin business is well established but this year we have added several new styles which will appeal to a slightly younger market, looking for style as well as quality and comfort. We are featuring a new range of exciting new outdoor boots, fully sheepskin lined and water resistant. This range is an excellent complement to our core boot collection with our customers being able to retail many of the styles at under £100′. Nicolas and James Draper have worked extremely hard on developing these products and it is satisfying to see the effort beginning to pay off.
“To complement the Draper collection we also offer the superb Amalfi range, a collection of fine Italian made shoes crafted using the best materials available. Amalfi specializes in narrow width fittings for the discerning lady. Most styles are offered in AA, B, and C fittings and are aimed at this vital, yet neglected market. I think most of us know someone who has suffered with this problem at some point. Well, here is the answer!” adds Andrew.
Andrew concludes, “To sum up, whilst we have experienced low footfall at the show it has been more than made up for by the quality of customer we have seen. We believe is is an exhibition that other manufactuers and distributors should get actively involved in. That can only benefit everybody.” Draper act as exclusive agents for Amalfi shoes in the UK and Ireland.
“The decision for us to come to The Kensington Shoe Event was for Rebeca Sanver a come back to the English fashion world. Our prestigious brand Rebeca Sanver with avant-garde designs and superior quality finishes has created two more names under its own umbrella: To Be and Pimientos. To Be caters for the trendy, active woman looking for style and comfort. Pimientos it is a special brand that creates unique espadrilles made by hand in Spain.
“Our experience during the past three days has been excellent. The venue proved an ideal location for receiving our customers in a comfortable and relaxed environment. We had big clients as well as boutique owners, and their own feedback showed us that this show is not to be missed by anyone in this industry. We will be here next season.” Cristina and Carmen Martinez, Export Managers, Pimientos. Enquires to organiser Renato de Angelis, mobile: 07931 774410, email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thekensingtonshoeevent.co.uk