Lineapelle 103 closes growing on 2023: now let the market grow

Lineapelle 103 closes growing on 2023: now let the market grow

There was traffic at the booths. Asian buyers hinting at the revival of eastern manufacturing, too. North American and British visitors comforting local markets as well. In the halls of the 103rd edition of Lineapelle, in short, there was a lot going on. From 20 to 22 February, 25,376 trade operators entered Fieramilano Rho, a result that higher than that of 2023: both on the similar February edition (when the summer collections are presented) and the September edition (dedicated, instead, to winter). As we have told you, the fair took place against a complex market backdrop. The wish of the 1,167 exhibitors is that the liveliness at the fair translates into the market.

A growing edition on 2023

The last edition of Lineapelle also exceeded expectations, as in the case of Conceria Tari. “We saw quality in visitors’ research”, says Andrea Giordano Orsini. “We were surprised by the intention of small brands to include leather in their collections to raise their positioning. There is attention to natural materials, covered only a little, that enhance the characteristics of the material”. Admittedly, there is a gap between trade fair visits and the signing of purchase contracts.

And the tanners are not ignoring it. “We must always be honest: a booth that is always overflowing does not automatically mean orders”, recalls Franco Dalle Mese of Conceria Montebello, “because the economic situation is difficult on all fronts. We are well aware of this, as we have customers in the luxury sector in our core business. There are volume problems, and uncertainty generates fear. From many quarters there is talk of a recovery by mid-2024, but we need to get there”.

The need for feedback

Matteo Mastrotto, managing director of the Rino Mastrotto Group, is on the same wavelength: “We have observed a great deal of attention to the product, much more research than visitors have done in previous editions”, he says. “The objective has also changed: we are moving towards more natural leather. Because our customers are moving towards luxury, they are less interested in volume. It means that we, too, must change our approach: we must be less industrial and go back to being artisans”.

“Let’s hope we have sown well and reaped better”. In these simple words by Massimo Sartori, president of TreEmme Conceria in Zermeghedo, there is the synthesis of the sector’s hopes and aspirations: “We invite our historical and important customers, but there are also other smaller ones who come by looking for something special. Furniture and footwear are our main areas, but these days we have had a good response for a nappa leather that can also be used for leather goods”.

International perspectives

Leather for safety footwear is what they ask Caroline Zargar, sales manager of Idea Pelle from Verona: in particular from the USA and Canada. “Here at the exhibition, I had one customer after another and the historical ones came back: there is uncertainty, in 2023 everyone had a drop, but you have to be confident otherwise you stand still”. But as Zargar explains, for leather destined for safety footwear from sampling to final order it can take up to two years: “Sometimes it takes a month, sometimes much longer, because of the tests required for this type of PPE”.

At Lineapelle, there are also those who have chosen to take new paths: “We have bee established recently, and we mainly offer suede and nubuck”, explains Ivano Peretto of Arx Company, based in Montecchio Maggiore in the province of Vicenza, “and, so far, at Lineapelle we have only had contacts from foreign customers. The sampling is promising on the US and European front, we must be confident”.

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