Geography of Fashion Trade Shows

Every year, 83 international trade shows take place in 8 specialised areas of the fashion industry, with a total of 178 editions in 4 of the 5 continents (Figure 1).

Fashion trade shows continue to have a huge effect on the international field. They are a space in which the main players of the fashion industry meet each other. Trade shows and fashion shows form an integral part in the communication of fashion. Entering into this horizon in 2017 is a real pleasure.

The type and high number of types of trade shows worldwide means that this is on a global scale – fashion retailing produces $1.1 biliion dollars annually (€0.9 billion) according to Statista’s facts of 2014 taken from the report “Observatorio de la Moda Española” (Observation of Spanish Fashion) (2016), written by ISEM Business School and ACME (Association of Fashion Producers in Spain).

Type of Trade ShowNumber of Trade Shows of this type in the worldNumber of Trade Shows of this type in Spain
Fabric and Spinning190
Lingerie and Swimwear31
Footwear and acccesories100
Figure 1: Types, number of trade shows of each type in the world and in Spain. Source: Tu look on behalf of the Guide to Trade Shows and Runways in Fashion 2016/2017 (, 2016).

On a global level, Europe’s influence is unrivalled with 67% of the trade shows taking place here, followed by the continent of America with 17% and Asia with 15%. This shows the important work that remains to be done in the African continent and above all in Oceania, which is underdeveloped in this area.

With regards to the host cities of the trade shows, Paris stands out as the epicentre of the fashion and luxury industries as organiser of 32 shows, followed by New York (14), Milan (12), Madrid (11), Shanghai (10) and London (8).

Trade shows enable us to experience fashion in its most industrial and commercial form. They are places where we encounter raw materials, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers, designers, entrepreneurs and press, which altogether form the system that is the fashion industry today.

Next, we are suggesting two sources that can walk you through the journey of the trade shows of the five continents. Firstly, the calendar of trade shows and fashion shows edited by

Guide to trades shows and runways of Fashion 2016/2017 (Modaes,es, 2016).

This guide is a magnificent tool to get to know the fast form and characteristics of the trade shows that attribute to our objectives. It contributes facts about the type of trade shows, dates that they are on, contact details for the exhibitors and visitors, and the website of the show.

It shows the journey of the development of the shows and the audience they are directed at, who are the target market of each of them, and describes the characteristics of the exhibitors. It also gives concrete facts about the last edition of each show.

Photo: Taken from with informed uses.

We can also use the website as a tool, through which once can search about all of the world’s trade shows, by sector, country and region. It gives information about the shows coming up soonest. It enables contact with the organisation and key dates.

The most recent stage of the history of trade shows and fashion shows has been marked by a tendency to fuse or overlap them, with the aim of gaining synergies of infrastructure and communication. Diverse efforts have been made aiming to discover ways that benefit the running of the trade show as a fashion show. The fashion show, nowadays, has a higher significance, from the point of view of the fashion press from the businesses. Therefore, the trade shows have to take on the attraction of the fashion shows as a tool to include them as well as the exhibitors and visitors.

An example of this is the transformation that has been produced in the financing of the worldwide fashion shows, all of which now are in the hands of an automobile conglomerate. This indicates once again its transformation in communication and marketing. This is like a window into the ways of fashion and its lifestyle.

What benefit does a visitor get out of a fashion trade show? In essence, they get an experience. It is possible that they could come across the newest trend, but what is certain is that they will see what is available in the market.

What benefit does an exhibitor get out of a fashion trade show? If in another time, trade shows were at the forefront, today they are essentially an opportunity to see the buying/selling in the industry. It is highly recommended to attend these events above all if we are looking for a market, or want to open a door to an international market. Trade shows are a place to meet professionals in the sector. However, now with virtual reality, the demand for attending in person isn’t as high, the popularity of multi-channel practices continues to emerge.


The importance of trade shows and fashion shows continues to attribute to the market. If we Google “fashion trade shows 2017” we get about 2,790,000 results (0.44 seconds) [1], and if we search “fashion shows 2017” we get about 2,980,000 results (0.53 seconds) [2]. The facts speak for themselves, from the point of view of the business the public appeal of fashion shows is higher than that of trade shows, none the less the searches are very similar.

Go trade shows!

Lourdes Delgado

(Translated by Clare Hill)

LuxStyle Consulting , Fashion & Luxury Consulting in Dublin, Madrid & Marbella, organises meeting points at trade shows and will attend in several of them during 2017. Do you want to join us?

Contact us for more information at [email protected]

Main European Trade Shows (a)SpecialtyDatePlace
InterfiliereFabric and Accessories for lingerie and swimwear 21-23 January 2017
8-10 July 2017
Première Vision DesignsFabric7 February – 9 February 2017Paris
Filo MilanFibres and spinning22-23 February 2017-
September 2017
KingpinsAccesories’ fabric y finsihed productsApril 2017Amsterdam
Milano UnicaFabric1 -3 de feb 2017Milano
Munich Fabric StarFabric and Accessories31 January - 2 February 2017Munich
ModstissimoFabric and clothingFeb 2017Porto
Pitti filatiKnitting25-27 Jan 2017Firenze
SpinexpoAsian fibres and spinning3-5 April 2017Paris
StibFabrics20-22 Feb 2017/ Sep 2017Barcelona
TexworldFabric, Needlework material and accessories6-9 Feb 2017/ Sep 2017Paris
Tissu PremiereFabricMay 2017Lille
Apparel sourcingConfección3-6 Feb 2017Paris
BestimSupply22-23 Feb 2017Igualada
FuturmodaFootwear components22-23 Mar 2017/Oct 2017Elche
Co-shoes accessoriesFootwear and leather suppliesOct 2017Elche
LineapelleUsing footwear and accessories27 Jan 2017Londres
ItmaTextile machinery20-26 Jun 2019Barcelona
Techtextil+TechprocessTechnical textiles and machinery for the industry 9-12 May 2017Frankfurt
The sourcing connectionClothingSepember 2017Paris
CapsuleMens Fashion20-22 Jan 2017Paris
CapsuleWomens Fashion2-5 March 2017Paris
CPM MoscúFashion20-23 Feb 2017Moscow
Ethical Fashion ShowEthical Fashion17-19 Jan 2017Berlin
Ispo Clothing, footwear and sports material5-8 Feb 2017Munich
ModefabriekWomens Fashion22-23 Jan 2017Amsterdam
Pitti uomoMens FashionJun 2017Firenze
MomadFashion, footwear and accessories3-5 Feb 2017Madríd
Madrid shoesFootwear4-6 March 2017Madrid
Panorama Footwear and accessories fashion17-19 Jan 2017Berlín
BaselworldWatches and jewellery23-30 March 2017Basilea
Expo Riva schucFootwearJune 2017Riva di Garda
Barcelona BridalWedding Fashion26-30 Apr 2017Barcelona
London Bridal ShowWedding Fashion5-7 March 2017London
Gran Canaria Moda CálidaSwimwearJune 2017Canary Island

[a] Search done on 14th January 2017 at 13:12.

[1] Search done on 14th January 2017 at 13:12.


ISEM/ACME. (2016). Report: El Sector de la Moda en España (2015/2016): Retos y desafíos. Accessed on 14 January 2017, via http://observatoriomodaespañ (2016). Guías de ferias y pasarelas de moda 2016/2017. Barcelona. Accessed via

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