Tapas to Bottom

by Harry Sheff

With MR’s November deadline hovering over my head, I have abandoned Karen, Nicola and Kionna and jetted off to Madrid, Spain, to cover the spring-summer 2007 SIPIEL show, Spain’s Footwear and Leather Goods International Week. And I thought we were done covering Spring 2007!

Well, I made it here. The flight was smooth, and I guess I slept some… that would explain the big drool mark on my sweater, anyway. But the driver who picked us up (I was paired up with an editor from Footwear Plus) didn’t know our hotel at all, and apparently, he had been instructed to bring us directly to the fair. So imagine what it would be like to take the redeye to Vegas, instead of back from there, and then walk directly into MAGIC in the morning. That’s how I feel right now. I did manage to find a bathroom to at least clean up a little and change my shirt. Yes, I hid in the press room for a few minutes until the caffeine kicked in.

There was an official fair opening at noon, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. But whether it’s in Spain, Las Vegas or Manhattan’s West Side, a trade show is a trade show is a trade show. The smart vendors packed their booths with snacks, sandwiches or champagne to keep people coming. There’s lots of kibbutzing in the aisles. And you could spot the disgruntled vendors in the back corners of the halls, napping or Web surfing because their locations weren’t optimal. I already watched one fashion show – the first time I ever remember seeing a show where all we saw of the models was from the knees down – and the shoes are fabulous.

I’ll try to get some pictures downloaded and blogged here later. For now? I gotta go check out the press cocktail reception!