18 hours ago | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
Feb 16, 2016
Footwear is so much more than the shoes on our feet, shoes can make a statement, they can make us walk taller and with more confidence; the appeal of footwear is endless. Each February and September WGSN gets to celebrate the magic of footwear at a key tradeshow in Milan called TheMICAM.
More than just your average tradeshow, this one is a hub of activity, centered around theMICAM Square, the heart of the tradeshow and home to WGSN’s Mindset team for a week. Each season Vanessa Belleau, Head of Consultancy EMEA,WGSN MINDSET heads to the Square to deliver seminars and catwalk shows on the future of footwear using the intensive intel we create at WGSN. It’s a chance for the trends to come alive, and for everyone from key buyers and retailers to see.
Here in her own words Vanessa explains the magic of theMICAM square and why she doesn’t mind missing Valentine’s Day to be at this tradeshow:
VB: Ah that’s an easy one, it feels like family. We’ve been working together for over four seasons now and each time I arrive it feels like connecting with old friends. As a consultant you live for those opportunities to really connect with clients, and theMICAM are great clients because they always try to push the bar, each season we’ll brainstorm ways to do something different, fun and innovative, it’s a real partnership.
What can visitors expect this season?
I’m presenting for the full four days ( from Feb 14-17). I present the seminars looking at key trends for AW16 and forecasting forward to SS17. I love it because it’s the chance to showcase the talents of the WGSN footwear and accessories team, I also like that the seminars are engaging, we have everyone from the footwear trade come and ask us questions afterwards, I like building a real connection with the audience.
Is it just seminars?
No, the biggest part of the day is the catwalk shows we produce. We work with an amazing stylist called Rosemary Ferrari who helps bring the ideas to live. Everything that we’ve forecasted makes it down the runway, and it gives the audience a chance to watch the show, pause, think and relax as we take them on a journey. That human touch brings the ideas to life, and we had a buyer just today come over and say how much she appreciates being able to see the footwear trends being paired with full head-to-toe looks, seeing it all together really helps.
Everything you create at the trade show is held at theMICAM square, what’s the importance of the square?
Yep, the idea behind theMICAM square was to work to create a space that brings people together, much like a square in a village where everyone gathers, that was the plan. It’s the perfect place to catch up with friends, network, get excited by the catwalk, snaps some Instagram images and get educated on the key trends. It’s a fun, intimate space and each year the momentum has been growing, around 200 people head over to the catwalk shows now, and this year we even have cute WGSN Instagram-worthy floors, so you can snap your shoes and the key footwear looks for AW16 in action.
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