Leather. Leather. More leather. In the stands at Expo Riva Schuh, synthetic materials give way to natural ones. The revenge of leather starts here. This is, in fact, one of the most important inputs provided by the 93rd edition of the show dedicated to volume footwear, which ended on January 14.
Yesterday, during the second day of the fair, the flow of visitors was particularly fluid and brilliant. Particular attention was paid to the proposals of Italian companies, while in the pavilions dedicated to Asian producers the flow seemed to be decreasing. Why?
A complex dynamic
“At this moment I believe that the price of leather is the lowest ever. On the one hand, this pushes large groups that until recently were oriented towards cheaper alternative materials to seek leather again. On the other hand, it allows us to respond to their requests”. In a nutshell, Massimo Rizzolo of Calzaturificio Luparense (Padova) summarises a complex market dynamic.
The revenge of leather
If until now leather was considered too expensive for a volume product, with very low prices it is back in the plans of shoe manufacturers. It is therefore not surprising that booths such as that of Calzaturificio Luparense, but also (for example) of Lorenzi (Fermo) or Marchesini (Verona) declare themselves “very happy”. Regarding both the performance of Expo Riva and its commercial feedback.
If all of this will result in orders, it’s still (obviously) too early to say. Among exhibitors, caution prevails with relative estimates of a 2020 “in line” with 2019. The latter year was for many not a negative one. But “stalled”. At the same time, if some dynamics bode well, others in fact raise concerns. The return of leather in the volume segment is an advantage for Italian producers. But not only. Competition, some fear, will come not (only) from East, but (even more) from European countries. Spain and Portugal above all.