Italian leather goods at Mipel’s doors: good, not great

Franco Gabbrielli nuovo presidente MIpel e Assopellettieri

An event that will host over 350 brands and welcome around 12,000 visitors from 96 different countries. The 116th edition of Mipel, “the most important tradeshow for B2B handbags and fashion accessories at an international level, was presented yesterday in Milan. It will open its doors on Sunday, September 15th, and close on Wednesday, September 18th. It will be the first edition run by the new president of Assopellettieri Franco Gabbrielli (in photo). But we pose a question that has more to do with the economic aspect of this current year, rather than the fair itself. In what conditions is the Italian leather goods’ segment showing up to Mipel?

Export and Switzerland

In the summary note sent out by Assopellettieri, one may read that export grew by 27.5% in value. And yet, they only grew by 3.1% in quantity during the first 5 months of 2019. A number “misshaped” by the flux to Switzerland, traditional logistics and distribution hub of international fashion powerhouses (+112.7% for a 38.5% quota). Without Switzerland’s contribution, inf act, export would have only grown by 2%. The USA perform well, Russia does not, and China and Hong Kong are stable.


The material’s analysis highlights a 22.8% increment in value for leather accessories that cover ¾ of national exports. The same segment though, loses in quantity (-2.4%) with a 0.3% decrement for handbags and small leather goods (wallets, mini-bags, keychains, and pencil holders and similar).

Italian catastrophe

The first semester of 2019 pointed out a new decrement for the domestic market: -4.8% in quantity and -3.1% in value (data from Sita Ricerca). The second quarter was worse than the first, in which the performance was already negative. The online segment continues to grow (+9.2% in quantity, but only +0.2% in value, a clear sign that buyers are focused on price), and now accounts for 12.5% of the total volume of purchases made.

Less work

The ones gaining from this situation are almost exclusively the larger and well-structured entities. Smaller businesses suffer more, which is why it isn’t by chance that Infocamere-Movimprese recorded, for the end of June 2019, a decrement in the number of active businesses equal to 78 units in comparison to December 2018, between industrial and craftsman operations.


Choose one of our subscription plans

Do you want to receive our newsletter?
Subscribe now