At APLF, leather footwear on the rocks, but Chinese look again at Italian leather. Futurmoda on fire

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The last edition of APLF has sent comforting messages to Italian exhibitors: compared to the outcomes of the fair over the last years, vibrations are better then. The exhibition has also given one more confirmation though: as to some specific segments, Chinese manufacturing encounters difficulties while trying to keep up with its competitors, mostly old or new Asian players. APLF Leather and Materials+, being held from 14th to 16th March in Hong Kong (the exhibition ended a few days ago), is an international fair for leather, machinery, chemicals and fabrics; this year it also housed an area dedicated to cashmere. Lights and shades, like we said. The good news is that China is looking again, to some extent, at Italian leather, after the first positive trend throughout 2017: waiting for orders and deliveries now. The bad news, most of all, is that Chinese leather footwear is in trouble while facing two major problems: on the one hand, they have to compete with alternative materials; on the other hand, they have to deal with new competitors, such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, and, in a short while, Ethiopia. As a result of it, they have been losing some market shares, especially in terms of volumes. On March 15, Futurmoda, the exhibition dedicated to leather and components for footwear and accessories, on its 39th edition, closed its stands in Alicante. Over the last 5 editions, the fair organizers enlarged the exhibiting area by 70%. They now delightfully enjoy the growing success of the event.

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