South African & East African Footwear and Leather Goods, Leather and PPE industry news.
You'll have to choose - Lineapelle or Micam/Mipel - after organisers announce a 3-week gap
Milan, Italy – On Wednesday last week, footwear fair Micam, leather goods fair Mipel, and haut-à-porter show The One Milano, announced they had changed dates from 20-22 February to 13-15 March 2022. They said the new dates would partially overlap with the fashion jewellery and accessories fair Homi Fashion & Jewels, on 11-14 March. All fairs will be at the Fiera Milano Rho exhibition centre.
Lineapelle also referred to pandemic regulations: "Besides, the community of Lineapelle buyers and visitors is composed by the middle-high segment of the fashion industry, which has operational and commercial offices in Italy and in Europe, and whose participation in the event is not prevented by the current management of the pandemic. In addition, we are also asking with extreme urgency the authorities in charge to solve the problem of access of foreign operators who have been given vaccines not recognized by EMA (European Medicines Agency)."
Casual will still dominate men's footwear in SA, but formal making a strong comeback
On 04 January, Footwear News surveyed US retailers about trends expected to dominate the men's market there this year. Their picks suggested footwear, dominated by sneakers, will remain mostly casual, whereas formal clothing is making a comeback. Read the full article: HerernLocally, last week we asked a dozen men's footwear suppliers for their forecasts. 4 - all importers - responded:
Michael Craft, Dangee Carken
Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA – Nothing pleases South Africans more than a fresh pair of kicks.
Men’s footwear for 2022 is a hard one to pinpoint any specific style or shoe. My favourites for this year are the more 'out there', rough looking rebellious shoes with a modern twist. The grungier the style as well as thicker soled shoes are definitely expected to take off this year with the trend to decorate shoes being widely represented this season.
Where I believe sneakers will keep their momentum, the likes of formals are slowly making a comeback in the first quarter of the year with an anticipated increase in the following quarters.
These days people want to make every moment count so making a statement when going out is big deal, it’s out with the basics and in with the new fashion!
Bring out the rebel in you.
Nas Kokoroyanis, Florsheim SA/Derek Brown Agencies
Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA – Based on my recent experience, I believe we are mirroring what is happening in the US and Europe. Sneakers are still a feature and growing amongst the younger population. But, in saying that, we have experienced a large growth in formal sales in the last 4 months of last year, and going into this year too. This seems to be for the following reasons: one is the increase in numbers @ formal functions, and functions themselves, and secondly, more people are returning to work. I also, personally, believe that SA men are sick of dressing casually for the last 2 years (working from home), and now want to dress up again.
Laurence Lotzoff, Dale Footwear/Hush Puppies SA
Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA – We have seen an uptick in demand across all our categories and noticeably in our new waterproof dress range, our beach sandals and sneaker categories, and most definitely in our new slipper/lounge collection.
I think consumers are in a state of flux ranging from going back to work in an office environment to still work-from-home so the demand for related footwear is showing.
Even though COVID meant a lot more stay at home situations, our response in the slipper category was well-timed and it seems despite the changes in work environment, the category is here to stay and growing!
Brian Carmichael, MTL Trading
Cape Town, W. Cape, SA – Despite the visible presence of relatively inexpensive men's flip flops, sneakers and trainers in store-branded retail, we are also experiencing a renewed demand for formal and more structured smart casual footwear in our markets.
Formal inflows retailed very well last year leading to shortages which are currently being replenished.
Sneakers - Follow-up to last week's 'local manufacturers must make sneakers' article
In the January edition of S&V Footwear & Leather Goods last week, the lead article was that if the SA footwear manufacturing industry is to grow, it must start making sneakers. Here are submissions from 2 people who say it can.
Shannon Proctor, BLP Rubber & Plastic Supplies
Cato Ridge, KZN, SA – Barrier to entry for most footwear developments in respect of rubber components remains the tooling cost.
BLP Rubber has and will continue to take a partnership approach to all new business whereby we can amortize the cost of the tooling over 24 months or finance the tool entirely based off a supply agreement. This has been done extensively where the volumes allow and the footwear manufacturer has faith in the future of the project.
The issue remains that the footwear manufacturers are not able or willing to commit to projects. BLP invites any manufacturer to engage with us on this front.
BLP has an in-house design team and a full CNC-equipped toolroom capable of making a range of footwear tools.
We are able to design the tool, compound, process and characteristics of any product to meet and exceed specifications.
Jirka Vymětal, SAFLIA
Cape Town, W. Cape, SA – I was with Conshu and when it acquired Sportshoe form the late Ben Stoltzman. Sportshoe mainly produced sneakers with Adidas as the main customer. We're talking of thousands of pairs a day. Some of the styles I recall were the Adidas Seattle, TRX, TRX Special, Boston, etc. Today these shoes would be classified as 'vintage' or 'retro' sneakers. Later Sportshoe was merged with Jordan (now part of Bolton) where this production even increased to include other brands such as Asics, Nike, Pony, Saucony, etc.
We also produced the Police and Prisons PT tender shoes, which would fall into this category.
Over the years I would say millions of pairs were produced.
The skills and capacity is still out there.
My opinion is that sneakers, by their nature, are not highly technical footwear - as opposed to serious running shoes which fall into a different category.
Surely we can make them locally again.
Revomec is platinum sponsor of the III Eurocongress IULTCS 2022
Milling drum manufacturer Revomec is the platinum sponsor company of the III IULTCS EuroCongress Vicenza 2022, to be held from 18-20 September 2022.
Trissino, Vicenza, Italy - Milling drum manufacturer Revomec is the platinum sponsor company of the III IULTCS EuroCongress Vicenza 2022, to be held from 18-20 September 2022.
Back to school - Palm: Raring to go - Gem Schoolwear: Positive response
Are you having any issues with logistics or anything else? Fortunately Gem Schoolwear, being a local, hands-on manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer we have pre-empted any possible delays and geared up very early with raw materials, trims, generators, etc. so that we can be ahead of the curve. With all the shipping crises we can say that our delays have not been more than 2 to 3 weeks.