On the first day of the fair, representatives from this year’s focus country, Brazil, will present a series of industry seminars on topics such as environmental sustainability issues, technology trends and process improvements in the leather industry. Also among the speakers is Mauricio Medeiros, a designer who will be speaking on “Design na Pele,” an integrated project between tanneries and designers. Articles created during the “Design na Pele” project will also be on display at this year’s fair.

Seminars and conferences continue into day two starting with a seminar on the topic of “Applying tradition & innovation in leather for interiors,” presented by Bill Amberg, founder of the “Bill Amberg” brand of luxury leather goods and interiors based in London.

“While leather has been utilised for architectural elements, furniture and decorative accessories for centuries, it has always fascinated me on how we can better combine the best of traditional leather techniques and designs with innovative and modern treatments and applications,” said Bill Amberg, “Our goal is to bring leather into the core of 21st century living.”

Environment conference

The international leather conference co-organised by APLF and BLC will also take place at this year’s fair during the afternoon of April 1. The focus of this year’s conference will be on “Leather and the Environment – Sustainability in the leather supply chain”. Industry experts such as Martin Manghelli from adidas Group, Dr Dietrich Tegtmeyer from Lanxess, Dr Victoria Addy from BLC Leather Technology Centre and Martin Berman from Micro-Pak Ltd. will be presenting.

International Leather Maker is the media sponsor of the conference.

To view the full conference program, please click here.

Leather and luxury

Mike Redwood is also among the speakers on day two and he will talk on “Leather and its levels of luxury”. Other confirmed speakers include Amanda Michel who will be speaking on “Leather basics” and Ralph Arbeid who will discuss the traceability in the trade of reptile skins. 

“As we move forward, leather will become scarcer per capita globally so it should be manufactured, utilised and consumed as an increasingly valuable item. Its utility defines many of its end uses but its emotional and sensory qualities will hold the key to its value to the final consumer. Tanners must think about the implications of this in the way that they design new leathers from all raw material types and grades, and how they can work with designers to ultimately create a better product,” said Mike Redwood.