I visited Moda at the Birmingham NEC at the start of August 2014 to do some research for my shoe business.
It was tricky looking around, because basically I was checking out the competition and obviously the exhibitors are there to find new business. I was looking for inspiration and information on designs, trends, branding and target audiences.
What appeared to be very popular at the show were comfort shoes i.e. shoes for wide fitting feet, comfy soles etc. There were many British brands there which I found encouraging and now I need to do some further research on the companies I thought were executing their brand proposition quite well to see what I can learn.
I was hoping to get some trend ideas but this wasn't really available - many brands had found a niche and were leading the way with their own trends like Skechers, Impanema, Fly London. I've found that by reading fashion magazines targeted at my target audience has helped a lot more when trying to learn about the next seasons trends and styles.
It was worth the visit. I believe when starting up any new business, the more research you can do the better. You really need to see what is out there and how they are doing it. It's foolish to blindly leap in to starting something with only the faith that your idea is good, without making the effort to prove to yourself undoubtedly that it is.