Lineapelle96, day three: time to meet the brands that are breathing new life into clothing

The word on the street for some time now, driven by fashion shows and, even more so, by the styles that celebrities parade in public, is that leather clothing is making a comeback. “The high-end brands have always offered it, but it is true that as a product it’s coming out of a few slow years,” admitted Simona Cecere, of the tannery Carisma. “It’s clear, however, that the presence of leather items, from trench coats to shorts, has gone up in recent seasons. Brands are rethinking their mood, starting with clothing, and leather plays a central role in this.” “In that sense, the revival of fashion from the 80s and 90s, when leather clothing was huge, is positive,” said the managers of the Romano tannery in Solofra. Lineapelle96, which opened to the public on February 20 in the pavilions of Fieramilano Rho, is on its final day today. For the exhibitors, it’s time to start taking stock: “We’re happy with the meetings we’ve had so far”, said Rolando Pagni, from the Pagni tannery in Tuscany. “Maintaining relationships with established clients is very important from a strategic viewpoint.” “We take comfort in the fact that the people we met at Lineapelle were really interested: the brands that are doing well are working hard, especially on quality,” explained Samuele Maccanti of the Capital tannery. “The cause for concern is that the mid-range of the market is struggling.”

The energy of fabric
If Lineapelle acts as a thermometer for the market, then expectations for 2019 are running rather high for both accessories and for the alternative materials industry, which includes leather substitutes and textiles. A piece of positive insight that helps explain some of the optimism among businesses, which nonetheless remains muted, is the ongoing appeal of sneakers to consumers young and old. Malaspina, a business from Marche specialising in soles, backed up this impression, saying, “We used to make products just for children, but about five years ago we started making products for women too, so we could catch the trend for sneakers.” And the trend is still going strong. “It’s too early to say how the year will play out because orders will be placed later on, but this edition of Lineapelle went really well,” the business reported. “Excellent feedback, above all from foreign visitors, particularly Europeans. The new development is that this trend that started as a thing for young people is spreading to an older market too.” Giardini, a Vigevano-based business specialising in synthetic materials, also weighed in on sneaker trends: “We recorded excellent attendance, particularly on the first two days,” explained Michela Bonasegia, the business’s export manager. “There’s a lot of interest in synthetic materials because they can handle lots of creative applications, particularly in sports shoes.” The textile group Limonta also reported a positive outcome. “I don’t have the numbers yet, but the stand was full over the days of the exhibition and there was a lot of interest in the textiles on offer,” emphasised Celestino Panzeri, the artistic director of the group’s accessories arm. It’s not really a big surprise. “There are two ongoing trends in footwear and leather goods. For shoes, it’s the sneaker boom, while for bags it’s the tendency to use textiles that talk, with logos, which can make the products iconic, like a status symbol. For these types of products, the fabric is the key material.”

In the picture: Alberto Bonisoli Italian Minister of Culture

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