“We were already actively playing in the Spanish market: we are here to expand our business now. Here we can meet several interesting medium and medium-high segment brands. Spain’s footwear business looks more rewarding than the one in Italy or in the United States”. Luigi Barone, from Barone Pellami, based in Naples, shows his interest in Futurmoda, and the same goes for many other Italian leather professionals, who came over to Alicante to participate in the exhibition. The footwear materials and components fair, on its 40th edition, which kicked off yesterday and is coming to an end today, “is the ideal way to get access to Spain’s footwear market: we aim to take advantage of that”, remarks jokingly Ivan Biondi, from Babi, a leather tanning company based in the province of Vicenza. The district of Elche, which hosts most of the domestic manufacturing, is literally a few metres far from the exhibition hub of Alicante, whereas the districts of Elda (for women’s footwear) and Almansa (for men’s footwear) are placed within the range of a few kilometres. “Futurmoda, then, is an excellent end event towards a manufacturing industry that produces both for their own brands and for third parties – clears up a sales account –: there are some suppliers of Italian and French luxury fashion brands, but most of them achieve their best performance in the medium and medium-high segments. Although Spain’s leather business is not booming, and the overall industry context is facing some difficulties, we can’t overlook this element: here such segments, above mentioned, work better than elsewhere”.