Mamma mia how cool! I will remember this experience in Kastoria all my life.
I am on the plane and it’s 8 in the morning, I was up at 4 to get to Salonicco, leaving from Kastoria the fur city. I went to sleep – so to speak – at three, so forgive me if there are some mistakes. In the end I only slept about 60 minutes.
In those sixty minutes I think I spoke in my sleep.
In fact yes,
Matteo can confirm, I said YAMAS YAMAS YAMAS.
Yamas means “Cheers” and it’s the way the Greeks toast…
I NEVER drink alcohol, not even wine (I am boring i don’t drink, I don’t smoke etc..) but when I go to Kastoria it’s practically impossible not to drink. It would be rude towards them so I conform and I drink, but at the third sip of of wine I am already gone…
After fur, I think the word Yamas is the most used word by the Greeks of Kastoria =)
All kidding aside.
I love Kastoria, I love the Greeks that work with so much love in this sector and the fair was a real surprise.
What a transformation!
Kastoria fair, the International Kastoria Fur Fair, has become something surprising compared to years ago when I did my first video at the fair in 2013 (click here to see it). Despite everything I immediately fell in love with this magic atmosphere even if the fair was aesthetically a mess. Those were the golden years for fur, I was doing my first video in the fur fair world and so I couldn’t have been more enthusiastic.
It was like being in a container. Internet didn’t work, the stands were modern but there was a bit of confusion because the big brands of Kastoria didn’t want to take part in the fair with the excuse that being from that place and having shops and factories there the clients could go to their companies without going to the fair. Visitors were lost in this way, the fair didn’t get support from the big brands that would have been added value. Moreover for three years there was competition with the Athens fair that I don’t think is there any more.
It was a pity because there is strength in numbers and in a fur community like ours and theirs you always need to support each other above all when you are competitors you need a leader that knows how to make you dream, influence, resolve even other people’s problems, make decisions that make a difference, innovate etc..
The leader arrived and the new president Mr Ioannis Korentsidis that managed not only to bring the top brands of fur to the fair like Avanti Furs, Di Cara, Manakas, but who also changed the target of visitors. Up until a few years ago there were only Russians (suddenly they almost disappeared and it was dramatic) while this year there were visitors coming from England, China, Turkey, Italy and 13 different nationalities … The fair was beautiful. Beautiful aesthetically, functional, internet worked everywhere, the stands were modern and the food at the bar of the fair was delicious and typical of the place even if I didn’t take advantage of it much because at all the stands I went into my Greek friends with a shout of YAMAS YAMAS offered me a drink
It’s not the quantity of visitors at a fair but the quality that counts.
The fair was neither stressful nor dispersive. I can’t wait for November to go back to Kastoria for the Fur Shopping Festival 1-3 November.
During the days of the fair I also organized a little event of my blog welovefur but I will talk about this a little later.
I am very fond of Kastoria. I believe that my old videos and the one in this post and the photos prove it.
I have also supported Kastoria in my own small way as they have supported me from the start.
For me many of them are allies, part of my fur community, friends, some clients but what we share is the similarity with us Italians: before work there is friendship but it’s not fake…it’s the real deal…
I didn’t organize a party in Kastoria for commercial reasons, and I didn’t intend to sell anything either and the brands of Kastoria that are reading my post know that well.
I went to the fair in Kastoria for them. To meet them again and keep growing with them.
Well, after that sweet talk let me tell you how I dream of seeing Kastoria International Fur Fair in a few years noting later what I think could help the fair to grow exponentially, based on my experiences in other sector and fur fairs:
- ALLIANCES WITH THE OTHER FAIRS OF LEATHER AND FASHION TEXTILES (exchanging visitors, buyers, exhibitors) in this way the brands of Kastoria that are famous also for production will gain greater visibility, maybe they will find companies that will be interested in buying the garments or having them produced. You in Kastoria are strong above all for the production – you have potential that others don’t have – move out of Kastoria, go and kick ass abroad and then bring visitors to your fair. I believe this is the best moment to push and show fashion brands your potential. Even Brand Managers of big fashion brands, designers of fashion brands that do research go to textile and leather fairs…maybe they are looking for new producers and who better than you can respond to their requests?
- TREND BOOKS AREAS LIKE EXHIBITORS: trend books that show colour trends attract loads of new clients..propose trend books a special project dedicated to fur… In many fashion fairs the trend zone is the most important and attracts a whole lot of people. Also at the Linea Pelle fair it’s like that….
- TECHNOLOGY: look for sponsors like Samsung that can install led touch screen walls where you can collect your visitors data and do data collection and feel- good activities like how to take photos in a fair, 3D games… Two years ago I launched this project with Samsung... If the fair becomes technological it becomes material for the press and the brand awareness will explode…. It would be a great contrast: the most technological fur fair in the world.
- FASHION SCHOOLS: do an exchange with the most important fashion schools in the world like Marangoni in Milan, Parsons, Paris… some of you go to do a free course in the school in exchange for a visit of the students at their expense to your fair and advertising on the sites of the fashion schools – exchanges always work…
- MODEM ONLINE: modem online is the guide for fashion buyers – we could think of a project.
I have other ideas like doing Facebook Ads campaigns using Audience Network: you know how Trump won the elections? Well you can do something similar but legal…
Today the web, and social networks in particular, allow you to use incredible tools that can help you to reach people who are really in target and convert them into clients.
I hope you will find my ideas useful.
MY PARTY WELOVEFUR IN KASTORIA THE FUR CITY
A few days after my arrival in Kastoria I decided to organize a small event. The idea came to Matteo at 10 at night: “Send a newsletter and ask your followers who wants to come.”
Despite the fact that the party was at the same time of another important party, many people came (not everyone I expected because many were busy following their clients) but it was a great evening.
The Kastoria Hotel where I have been going for years helped me to organize the party. I offered appetizers and wine, projected fifty of my videos with more than a million views and put my playlist of my favourite music.
Matteo shot the photos that will be sent printed with a message for my guests.
We had fun
The photos are here below
Special thanks to the Kastoria Hotel for helping me and all the participants: I love you all very much!
See you in Novembre per il Fur Shopping Festival from November 1 to 3 2018 =)
PHOTOS PF MY WELOVEFUR PARTY IN KASTORIA
And now the photos at the Kastoria International Fur Fair 2018
To see all my past posts of Kastoria click here