It’s no wonder then that major industry shows in the clothing and accessories sectors target Brazil when it comes to showcasing new trends that reach consumers throughout South America. Look no further than January as two outstanding trade shows, one celebrating nearly four decades, kick off the new year.
The first, Rio-à-Porter, returns Jan. 10–13 during Fashion Week in Rio de Janeiro. More than 160 exhibitors from all over Brazil are expected to unveil their winter and beach collections for men, women and children at the Cais do Porto warehouses.
The merchandising event combines the vision and business sense of four promoters—Luminosidade, led by Paulo Borges, an experienced producer of major fashion events in Brazil; Francal Feiras, one of the country’s top business-event promoters; Sistema FIRJAN, strong in the fashion-business sector; and InBrands, an operating holding company that invests in fashion-related companies.
More than 3,000 attendees are expected to peruse the latest styles, including an estimated 450 buyers from Brazil and 50 international representatives from countries including the United States and Japan.
Fashion Rio, the city’s weeklong showcase for new, established and emerging labels, runs from Jan. 11–15.
Later in the month, Couromoda—the largest trade fair for leather goods and footwear in all of Latin America—returns to the Anhembi Exhibition Centre in São Paulo for its 38th edition. More than 1,200 exhibitors, representing upward of 3,000 footwear and fashion accessories brands, will cover the 85,000 square meters of convention floor space from Jan. 17–20.
Many in the industry consider Couromoda the World Cup of trade shows when it comes to footwear. Sales during this event generate the equivalent of 25 percent of Brazil’s entire annual footwear production. That figure only begins to tell the story. In 2009, footwear sales in Brazil grew by 8 percent—with another increase of 10 percent expected once the final figures are tallied in 2010. In sheer numbers, that translates to some 630 million pairs of shoes purchased by Brazilian shoppers last year—all but 30 million of which were supplied by the country’s footwear industry. All told, approximately 1,500 large-, medium- and small-sized footwear companies operate businesses inside Brazil; the industry as a whole generates upward of 1 million jobs throughout the country.
It’s no wonder that some 70,000 professionals—buyers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, journalists and others—from 64 different countries will descend on Couromoda. The show promises collections that satisfy the tastes of all types of consumers—from the sophisticated fashionista to the person who values comfort over style.
In addition to footwear, Couromoda features handbags, accessories and even sporting goods. Over the course of four days, visitors experience the footwear and leather industry in all its splendor as major manufacturers in more than 20 Brazilian states take center stage.