There are a few certainties in the market that inspire confidence in a calm 2019. There is also no shortage of unknown elements emerging from the international stage, where political tensions could have repercussions for consumption levels, which are already in a state of flux. Let’s start with the certainties. The exhibitors of Lineapelle96, gathered at Fieramilano Rho until Friday, February 22 to present their spring-summer 2020 collections, are well aware that the big brands have the wind in their sails and that their production programmes, both for footwear and for leather goods, slowing down. “In this respect, we are very confident,” the Tuscan Conceria Rinaldi confesses. “In our experience, leathers for handbags perform best. But certain designer labels are successful and their success then determines the success of the products too”. “The market can be very volatile,” explains Giuseppe De Maio from DMD Solofra in Campania, “but we have good hopes for the three days of Lineapelle. We’ve decided as a company to concentrate production in order to optimise our engagement with market demand. Alongside this, we’ve focused on creativity and research, including collaborating with universities, to develop ideas for greater sustainability”. But, as we said, the market is also producing some unknown elements. One of these can be summed up quite simply: if the brands that that are currently experiencing good times cement their roles as market leaders, how will the ones that don’t share their luck react?
All the talk at Lineapelle
There are positive expectations in the world of components for accessories, confirming that the market, especially the high end, is looking for those special details that make a model unique (making it attractive to consumers). “Luxury needs quality and attention to detail, especially in the field of footwear and leather goods with patches and embroidery”, explains Alfredo Ramponi, CEO of Ramponi Stones and Strass, a company from Como that works for the main French and Italian fashion houses. “We’re just back from two earlier exhibitions for the textiles and accessories sector, Milano Unica and Première Vision, where we’ve had positive results, and we expect the same from this edition of Lineapelle”. In addition to the traditional markets, the next challenge will be China, where luxury brands looking for European-produced details have already emerged. “We have already done some work of our own accord with a large Chinese group”, Ramponi added, “it is an area that we are venturing into because it has great potential for the future”. Beijing could also be a key market for the companies specialising in rubber soles, even if for the moment it is still waiting to be developed. That is the opinion of Paolo Manuzzi, Global General Manager of Vibram, an Italian company with an international reach, who said: “We expect that sneakers segment will blow up sooner or later, and it is our reference segment of the market considering our type of production. On a general level, the situation in the market is positive for us, showing that Italian footwear is looking up again, because it knows how to renew itself and adapt to the demands of the market.”