Falling head over heels

Shoe fair 

Falling head over heels

With bling or without, high-heeled or flat, hand-painted or handcrafted, almost every footwear that Metrolife spotted at the recently concluded Expo Riva Schuh India 2013 seemed to blow its trumpet for a new look coming into the Indian footwear market!

The third edition of this shoe fair in India was organised with the aim to showcase not just the foreign brands to the buyers but to also promote the domestic players. With this in mind, the organisers brought in more local wholesalers and retailers and also increased the visibility of accessories like handbags, via a vis last year.

Talking about handbags, the Italian brand Marino Orlandi showcased its hand painted line ‘Momart’ which included butterfly stick-ons on bags. These hi-end bags priced around € 180 sold like hot cakes. In contrast, the bags showcased by Indian manufacturers such as Alex Leather Exports from Chennai and Zafirah Exports from Kanpur were available at lesser price. The embossed designs and old look leather sold the maximum at these stalls.

The major attraction, however, remained the shoes. The Chinese brand Sharp King exhibited its chic collection of flip flops which had pictures of hollywood icons like Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor on them. A pair cost just 90 cents. But style was oozing out of the footwear and handbags displayed by Srinya Tuntirunerojchai from Amity Advance, Bangkok. “This is our second time at Expo Riva and the business has only been better,” said Srinya whose new collection comprised a lot of shimmer in high heels and clutches. The colours were stark yet trendy.

Its only competitor from the Indian arena were Trishuli shoes from Agra. A new brand, Trishuli  exhibited its most coveted bridal collection in brocades and silks, hand-crafted wooden heels, embroidered ballerinas and hand-painted high heels. All these were true head-turners! “We want to cater to people who love their shoes. Therefore, we produce less but maintain premium quality,” informed Shruti Kaul Sachdeva from Trishuli.

While the young brand managed to make a mark in the exhibition, others from the domestic front were not as happy. “We are exporters and don’t wish to sell our products to the local buyers and there are no foreign buyers as expected,” said Atal Pratap Singh from Horse Gear Enterprises, Kanpur.

A similar disappointment was voiced by reps of Giovanni Fabiani, Italy who clearly mentioned that the high price of products is pinching Indian buyers. Even Massimo Sarti from Baldinini reiterates that, “It is difficult for luxury goods to enter Indian market.” Their crystal collection was priced at a whopping Rs 40,000!

While the sales were not so brisk and the organisers mulled over their choice of exhibitors, the visitors definitely had a gala time!

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