Lineapelle report
february 2018 20/22 february 2018, Fieramilano Rho

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From 20 to 22 February at Fieramilano Rho, Lineapelle reaffirmed its international leadership, confirming its role as the first reference exhibition for global fashion & luxury, a sector constantly seeking innovative, style stimuli.

Lineapelle draws to a close after hosting 1,254 exhibitors (5% up on February, from 45 countries) on a net surface of 47,000 sqm. (+3%). Over 20,000 visitors attended from 109 countries and 45% came from abroad. This last figure is in line with that for the February 2017 edition and reiterates synergy with Simac Tanning Tech, the tanning, footwear and leather goods technologies trade fair held in the same venue on the same dates. As highlighted by many exhibitors, this result shows “an obvious high level of clients, who include, as well as established names from luxury labels to the most important brands, continual new arrivals in the form of SMEs, at Lineapelle looking for reliable partners in terms of product quality, guaranteed service and innovation.” Worthy of note is the 6% increase in French buyers and, in contrast, the expected drop in their Chinese counterparts, who were down by 30% due to New Year celebrations. Visitors appreciated, as usual, the free shuttle bus service to and from the Malpensa and Linate airports and to the Milan Centrale railway station.

Performance by Lineapelle mirrors an economic period generally characterised by extreme caution and, in particular, by clientele who choose their suppliers extremely carefully. Stands that brought evolved, innovative samples, stylistically coherent with trends for summer 2019 to the fair were very busy. They were also aggressive in their variety and desire to show visitors tangible inspiration and the opportunity to develop big personality accessories. Leather goods was again very active, from luxury to lower segments, leveraging frenetic differentiation in collections, imposing constant upgrading on suppliers to ensure flexibility and speed. Footwear confirms its uncertainties and the prevalence of sneakers, rewarding suppliers of materials for premium lines featuring accessible prices and creative added value. After a few stalled seasons, leather clothing showed interesting signals.

Among the new organisational measures: a more coordinated, effective signage and a new dimension for the Lounge Areas, transformed into promo venues for the excellence of Made in Italy (represented by a Riva motorboat in the Boat lounge in hall 9, Poltrona Frau seating in hall 24 and the iconic Fiat 500 in hall 22). From the events programme, it is worth mentioning “Tanning and Chemicals”, the conference organised by UNIC (the Italian tanners’ association) and COTANCE (the Confederation of National Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the European Community).

Interest also for presentation of Lineapelle Innovation Square, the highly selective incubator for ideas, solutions, and innovative technologies that will be hosted by Lineapelle95, in September 2018. Finally, an amazing turnout for the award ceremony (presented by DJ Francesco with participation by the rapper Moreno and Tommy Zorzi) of Amici per la Pelle, the seventh edition of the art competition for middle schools in Italian leather tanning districts, which brought over 1,000 students to the fair. The winner was the Istituto Comprensivo di Santa Croce sull’Arno Scuola Cristiano Banti with its entry entitled “From the Gallery of self-portraits in the Uffizi…”.

Big interest, as always, for the trend areas, in halls 13, 9 and 22. The summer 2019 trends celebrated the theme Empathy, the reference trend developed by the Fashion Committee and interpreted by its exhibitors, who expressed extraordinary, illuminating creativity. Glitter, laminates, iridescence, prints, beads and mirrors: a huge foray into light, dazzle and fantasy. Plus shimmering sparkly finishes, screen-printed leathers, pearly in bright yet not exaggerated shades. Soft leathers and materials in versatile colours that provide the bases for plotters, lasers, applications, and metallic glitter.” Room also for innovative combinations with leather backed in fabrics, synthetics and techno materials in unusual forms that emphasise its pliability.

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