It has been an abnormal edition, this is rather obvious, in the same way as the current year, 2020, and the pandemic, which makes everything abnormal likewise. Yet, nonetheless, Mipel has supplied leather goods operators with a few responses. The fashion accessories trade show, on its closing day, yesterday (23rd September), at Fieramilano Rho, affirmed, first and foremost, the vitality of the industry, which does not want to give up.
On top of that, as pointed out by Franco Gabbrielli, president of Mipel and Assopellettieri, it provided directions on the long and difficult journey ahead of the industry.
“It was important to show we are alive and kicking – remarked Gabbrielli –. If we had cancelled the fair event, it would have been a terrible blow for the industry”. Mipel took place, on the cry of #StrongerTogether, on a revised and updated format, together with Micam, TheOneMilano, Homi and, for two days, A New Point of View.
“It would not make sense to compare attendance of visitors to the ones who showed up at the past trade show edition, in September 2019 – he continued –. We all know the obvious reasons why several foreign visitors were missing, among others. Yet, we can say that the audience was selected and well-motivated: people who turned up at the exhibition knew what they wanted and were interested in buying”.
The pandemic effects
The pandemic has been also affecting collections, created by Italian enterprises and exhibited at Mipel stands. That was quite clear. “We could see the pandemic effects not so much on style, but especially on the brands’ quality and identity – commented Gabbrielli –. Buyers are most orientated towards smart and sustainable shopping. We must strive hard, in the same way as Confindustria Moda, to make such shopping Italian, therefore supporting our artisan excellences”.
What are leather goods enterprises prompted to do then? “They are urged to focus on their own strong points – answered the president of Mipel –. It is no more time for great catalogues and special offers: we had better achieve success by carrying out what we can do best”.
After going through a difficult period, throughout 2020, Italian leather goods industry does not expect a swift recovery in 2021. “I think our revenues will keep down again, -40% compared to 2019”, confessed Gabbrielli. No wonder, then, he resigned from his position as creative director of Gabs brand: “In the next few months I shall be fully committed to supporting businesses: I shall strive to help them hold up and I will urge them to implement new synergies and talk with the Government”.
One of the next deadlines on the agenda is to develop the Miss Mipel project: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ICE Agency are actively supporting us – he wrapped up –: such project aims to deliver 30 Italian excellences around the world. Not only in pop-up stores, but also in museums, since craftsmanship is art. We are going to foster the 30 selected ones, who will really prove the best; at the same time, we are confident they themselves will successfully manage to set up a network supporting the other players”.