The message from the three finalists in the Vogue Italia competition Who is on Next?, held in July, is loud and clear: “Leather is fundamental!” for the new generation of Italian designers who are focusing on high quality and careful research into materials. The new accessory talents share a unanimous view and they are successfully making a name for themselves on the Italian and international market. Francesco D’Amico, Roman designer of the Damico Milano (2015) footwear brand; Ioanna Solea, a designer with Greek-Austrian origins who launched her accessory brand in 2013; Azzurra Gronchi, the name behind the line of bags and accessories that bears her name since 2011, which has recently expanded to include footwear. “I usually like a fairly classic, modern handle for leather; I am not a fan of vintage-effect leathers,” says Francesco D’amico. “I pay a lot of attention to touch, preferring silky and hammered leathers. In the last collection is used perforated leathers backed with other materials. I love to combine leather with fabrics”. A very large reference market decides on the selection of materials: “I have to use quality Italian leathers, with a wide range of colours, refined and never banal”, he adds. Colour is precisely what grabs this designer’s attention, also during his visit to Lineapelle: “I am very interested in the colour palettes on show in the trend pavilion,” explain D’Amico, “while it’s more a question of feeling for finishes”. Ioanna Solea is enthusiastic about Lineapelle and especially likes the chance it offers for discovery of special finishes, accessories and hardware that allow her to create unique articles: “I check out the trends to discover new tanners and get assistance on the stand,” explains this designer. “For me, leather is a fundamental aspect of a bag, a very strong perceivable value”. A leather expert since she was a little girl as she is the daughter of Conceria Samanta, Azzurra Gronchi has built her collections on experimentation with leather. “My bags are the result of enhancement of the skin”, says this Tuscan designer, “leather is part of my DNA”. “For creators and designers, Lineapelle is a functional, structured fair”, she ends by saying, “with a quality range that goes from the highest to the most economic levels and a strategic location such as Milan”.