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July 5th, 2009

Shoe Buyers Flock to Vegas for WSA Convention

An exhibitor at The Collections at WSAEver wonder who gets to choose which shoes appear on store shelves?   Those lucky individuals are called shoe buyers, and a whole flock of ‘em will descend on Las Vegas for the World Shoes Accessories show from July 29th through August 2nd.  How I wish I could be there! Here’s my daydream itinerary for a fabulous WSA weekend:

Friday, July 31st: Wander the convention center, jaw permanently open in awe at the variety and quantity of shoes.  After a couple of hours of shoe-joy overload, remind yourself that you still have two more days of shoe shopping. Keep repeating that to yourself as you get lost in 6000 brands of shoes from 90 different countries.  Take a class or two on everything from how to sell shoes online, to hot colors and trends for the next year. Around 4, decide a trip to the pool is in order– complete with pedicure and Malibu Shoe cocktail.

Saturday, August 1st: Be dazzled by The Collections at The Venetian.  Like a shoe show within a shoe show, The Collections at WSA is where luxury shoes reign supreme. Write a string of blog posts from the floor of the Venetian, outlining what’s hot and what’s not for the next year.  As Michael Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst for the NPD Group says, “There are designs that emerge from the design studios, from many of the brands, but until it comes to this event, no one really knows if it’s hot or not.”

Sunday, August 2nd: Buy a new suitcase to fit my Imelda-sized array of new shoes!

What would you give to be able to wander through Sin City that weekend? Daydreams aside, the WSA is a powerhouse professional event for footwear industry professionals from across the globe.  Ed Habre, CEO of Shoe Mill, explains the value of attending the show, saying,  “When you see one line at a time, it doesn’t give you the same perspective as when you see an overview of what’s available in the industry from a competitive standpoint.”

If you’re going to a convention this summer, you’re probably looking for a pair of comfortable shoes that will keep your feet happy even when they have to walk on convention-center concrete.  Here are a few shoes I would pack for the long, delightful days at WSA– if only I could go!

Chapora by Puma-- with magnetic inserts for holistic benefits.

Chapora by Puma-- with magnetic inserts for holistic benefits.

Garland by Sam Edelman-- a gladiator for the true glamor-puss.

Garland by Sam Edelman-- a gladiator for the true glamor-puss.

Mollie by Joy Chen--elegant height without extravagant pain.

Mollie by Joy Chen--elegant height without extravagant pain.

Top photo courtesy of The WSA Show

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