The Footwear Eye

5 Questions: Belinda Pina

We speak with the Head of Footwear Sales, MICAM Americas.

On the heels of February’s announcement that Informa Markets’ FN Platform show would be rebranded MICAM Americas under a new partnership with Milan’s longtime MICAM show, the show announced the departure of longtime head Leslie Gallin. Now with new leadership under president Kelly Helfman, MICAM Americas is planning ahead for the August show, set to once again take place under one roof at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (The show has an agreement that will see the show staying put, through the Convention Center’s rennovation, for the next five years.) Footwear Insight caught up with Belinda Pina, Head of Footwear Sales, MICAM Americas, to talk about the show’s new identity and what retailers and brands can expect.

It’s only been a few weeks since the show’s new identity was announced. What should attendees expect?

“The fun and exciting part is that this is a launch of a new show — this is not just a rebrand. We’re looking at the big picture: The amenities people want, programs to help retailers and take care of them and understanding their concerns and needs. It’s a time of construction, and we’re reaching out to everyone to see what they need to strengthen our partnership and take them to the next level. We’re not just approaching things as doing them the way we’ve always done it. This is a blank canvas and a fresh start for everybody.”

What direction have you been getting from MICAM?

“MICAM wants to have a higher profile for the event on a global scale. Their plain priority is that they have a brand identity that they’ve created — a strong one — and a reputation in the industry with a lot of credibility. Moving forward, the way we brand the event will be MICAM Americas alongside MAGIC and Project. It’s not a neighborhood, it’s not the shoe show at MAGIC, it’s a standalone.”

“We’re looking at the big picture: The amenities people want, programs to help retailers and take care of them and understanding their concerns and needs.”
What will that look like for August?

“MICAM has an Alice in Wonderland annual theme for the shows in 2020 — it’s a fun one. And the great part of working with them has been finding out that they’re flexible. They give us the theme, but they say, what’s best for your business, what’s best for your customer? We can take a lot of those creative elements and we get to envision them and roll them out on our floor. We work in tandem, but we’re going to run and operate as our own business.”

What plans have been set for the show?

“We’ll be working with MAGIC and getting that crossover so our brands can have exposure to ready-to-wear retailers in a new way. We’re creating a women’s campus between the North and Central Halls, with all women’s footwear, clothing and accessories. In the South Hall on the Lower Level will be all men’s clothing and footwear. Ultimately, it all comes down to attendees, and bringing opportunities for new business and major retailers to the fold.”

Are you anticipating any changes to show planning due to the COVID-19 outbreak?

“We’re planning for [the show to go on] — the hope being that whatever business opportunities some of us may miss in the more immediate two to three months, this will be the perfect time to bring everyone together so we can ensure all of our businesses go forward. Right now, August looks like good timing.”

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