For years, the German Wortmann Group has been among the most important players at Expo Riva Schuh, and its Managing Director, Giovanni Lacatena, is certainly among the people who know best the fair's evolution over time and the changes that have taken place since the advent of the pandemic. We met him during the last edition in June, and his overall impression was strongly positive.

How did this latest edition of Expo Riva Schuh go?

"Compared to the editions immediately after Covid, we notice a definite return to normalcy and a general optimism. In visitors, moreover, a double interest emerges: certainly seeing the new collection and fashion trends, but also being able to finally meet again in person after so many years. If, in fact, Covid has given a decisive boost to digital, however, the importance of flanking digital with physical contact, meeting in person, has emerged more and more. Expo Riva Schuh is a unique opportunity to combine both needs. As always, the fair inaugurates the fashion season and is a key appointment for large groups that need to plan purchases well in advance. In this edition, however, we noticed the presence of buyers from even smaller chain stores alongside the big groups."

What are the trends in the new collection?

"After a long period dominated by sneakers, we are seeing a return of elegance. A trend that has been talked about for at least a couple of seasons, but seems to be fully materializing only now. This new orientation outlines a sample collection basically divided in half between sporty proposals and more elegant and ceremonial ones. New trends are also emerging in the area of materials. If up until the past few seasons leather actually dominated, with the rise of a growing 'green' and vegan sensibility, it is being joined by many textile and synthetic proposals."

Expo Riva Schuh is, as always, a very international fair. From which countries do the buyers you met come?

"All the countries that traditionally visited this fair were also present in this edition. We can say that the event is now returning to pre-pandemic levels. I would say we are at a good 80 percent!"