The 100th edition of the Lineapelle trade show takes place this month at the Fiera Milano Rho exhibition grounds on the outskirts of Italy’s second city and its leading centre for business and finance, Milan.

Lineapelle, along with its sister trade show Simac Tanning Tech, is by far the largest leather industry trade show in the world today with the largest collection of tanners as well as a significant presence of sector-related machinery, raw materials and chemicals suppliers.

In ILM’s annual tanner business confidence survey for 2022, which we conducted in late July, Lineapelle was the most popular show to attend according to the tanners that completed the survey, especially while the fairs in Hong Kong and Shanghai have been put on hold because of China’s zero-Covid policy and its subsequent lockdowns and forced visitor quarantines.

Although Lineapelle is firmly an Italian and wider European trade show, there are also a decent number of non-European tanners exhibiting and visiting the show and, as we all know, it is a fair that leads the way when it comes to future fashion trends and colours. The organisers have announced there will be 1,100 exhibiting companies from 38 countries during the 100th edition.

These more specific leather industry shows overlap nicely with two further important leather-related fairs this month, which are MICAM, the largest footwear trade show in the world, and Mipel, which is a showcase of the latest accessories including leather goods.

Logic would suggest that this means that many leather buyers will already be in Milan and therefore it would be sensible to visit their suppliers while they are on-site or after their own shows are complete. Effectively, between September 18 and 26, a major part of the global leather supply chain from raw hides and skins through to fashion brands and retailers will be centred around Milan.

Industry conferences and events

Aligned with the trade shows are a number of key meetings, product launches and conferences. The week kicks off with the III IULTCS EuroCongress in Vicenza, approximately 200km east of Milan and close to the largest tanning cluster in Italy centred on Arzignano.

The congress brings together the scientific and academic leather communities and the organisers, AICC (Italian Leather Chemists Association), have confirmed a high local and international attendance at the event with a focus on commercially viable science and data to help the tanning industry reduce its environmental footprint and enable it to become more modern and efficient with increasing competition from other materials.

The Leather Working Group (LWG) is hosting a member meeting at the Rho showgrounds alongside Lineapelle and ILM will be hosting its 2022 Automotive Leather Supply Chain conference at the NH Collection President Hotel in central Milan to coincide with people travelling into Milan for the other events, the day after Lineapelle has ended.

Opportunity to meet against a challenging market

The timing and backdrop to these events come at a very challenging period for everyone. Businesses of all types in the leather supply chain are being hit with soaring energy costs, higher inflation, increased labour costs, reduced activity caused by on/off covid lockdowns in China, and weakening consumer confidence and spending caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

These global political and economic problems are exacerbated by increased shipping costs and a breakdown in global supply chains caused by the fallout from the pandemic. It feels like a very turbulent time for consumers and businesses alike.

The Italian industry events may come at a very difficult period for the leather supply chain but they do offer an opportunity to meet with customers, suppliers and peers to discuss face-to-face the challenges and opportunities we all face as we all look to steer a course through to the end of 2022 and into 2023.  

Dates in the diary

September leather industry-related events taking place in Italy include:

III IULTCS EuroCongress – Vicenza – September 18-20

MICAM – Milan – September 18-20

Mipel – Milan – September 18-20

Lineapelle 100 – Milan – September 20-22

Simac Tanning Tech – Milan – September 20-22

LWG Annual Meeting – Milan – September 22

ILM Automotive Leather Supply Chain Conference – Milan – September 23

Milan Fashion Week (Spring/Summer 2023) – Milan – September 20-26.

We hope to see new and existing industry friends across the various events in Italy this September.

Martin Ricker, Content Director