Ready, Lineapelle, go. The New York spinoff of the most famous business show for the global leather industry opened its doors yesterday. And the first signals open up interesting aspects for the exhibitors present at the Metropolitan Pavilion: 131 total, 99 tanneries, 13 accessories’ manufacturers and 17 makers of textiles and synthetic materials. Input: the style of Winter 2020/2021 which, according to Lineapelle’s Fashion Committee, can be summarized by the EQ – Emotional Quotient concept.
We must admit, that if the US market was represented by the number of visitors present at the fair yesterday, there would be nothing to worry about. In fact, it was a particularly interesting ‘day-one’, characterized by promising positiveness. “A positive start”, admits Marco Masini (Conceria Conti), who continues: “We expect the big clients to arrive today, even though a few of them arrived yesterday along with a number of smaller clients”. We are in the USA, so “smaller” is a relative word: we aren’t talking about one-person shops. “Rather manufacturers that focus on leather goods and locate production processes in China or Asia”. “Necessary” clients that, as most US-based customers do, think mainly in terms of “prices and business”.
Optimism is Leather’s salt
The price-oriented approach is well known to those used to exhibit their products at Lineapelle New York and one that, on some aspects, doesn’t create concern. This approach was made even clearer at the fair, where visitors moved around stand by stand to compare samples and prices. As Gianfranco Dalle Mese of Montebello says, “tanning can no longer allow itself to be pessimistic. It needs to be positive, change the way it sees things”. Being able to remain positive, even in challenging times, pays.
The year doesn’t have, contrary to popular belief, shown specific positive signs. Focusing on the reference market of Lineapelle New York, it is obvious that the start of 2019 was opaque all over. Operators active in the bovine raw material segment, signal that the USA is showing a turn in the negative trend it was experiencing (though they are relating it to physiological reasons such as “It can’t get worse than this”). Lineapelle’s Economic Service shows that, in the first part of 2019 (January to March), the performance of “finished leather exports from Italy towards the USA is still fairly uncertain, with a 7% decrease on the same period of 2018”. In details: “Significant decreases for large bovine hides, better performance for smaller ones. Persistent difficulties of ovine hides. Painted leather performs significantly better (+15%)”.
The second and last day of Lineapelle New York, taking place today, has a particularly rich program. Beside from the conclusive stylistic presentation, attendees are waiting for the two seminars included in the program (events that Lineapelle already exported to Shanghai, Madrid and Stockholm), titled Smart Sharing and StoryTechTelling. These two seminars are programmed to be “engaging sharing routes characterized by the smartness of leather, materials and by the way in which accessories carried highly innovative contents”. Another meeting “will rotate, on the other hand, around the need to define trusted tools and platforms for the certification of businesses operating in the leather industry”. Last, the (“hot”) topic of certifications will take the stage. ICEC, LWG and CSCB will discuss “the need to create tools and platforms for the certification of businesses operating in the leather industry”