The shape of things to come - Lineapelle New York14 February 2017
The biggest international names in leather flocked to Lineapelle’s New York show on 1–2 February. The first edition of the biannual event focused on forthcoming trends in high-end fashion and retail as the industry looked towards summer 2018, and considered how advances may be made in sustainability throughout the supply chain.
As the final preparations for Lineapelle and Tanning Tech in Milan in February are laid, the industry can reflect on a successful New York outing for the show and look forward to summer 2018. Launched in 2001, Lineapelle New York has become one of the pivotal shows for luxury and exclusivity.
Held in February and July every year – to show off summer and winter collections respectively – at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, which is recognised as the city’s premier neighbourhood for fashion and artistic innovation and inspiration, this edition hosted a broad spectrum of European and International producers of leather, textiles and components for shoes, handbags and leather goods, leatherwear, upholstery and car interiors.
The two-day event’s high-quality, cutting-edge collections made it unmissable for producers and designers of luxury and contemporary items.
A dedicated ‘trend area’ at the entrance of the fair provided visitors with an immediate and comprehensive summary of the latest collections, and directed them to the most suitable suppliers on site. Plus, seminars and previews were given through a series of presentations, the topics of which included sustainability and key objectives in risk management in globalised fashion supply chains.
It’s imperative that retailers, international players and local producers understand the various interpretations of ‘sustainability’, and how these relate to their business specifically, as well as to the industry on the whole. Of course, this requires investment, and the development of informative systems to guarantee uniform consistency, correctness and responsibility of production.
Pressure to be more transparent and environmentally responsible is partly a reaction to more educated and discerning consumers, as well as to more high-tech, clean synthetics that closely mimic leather, but cost much less.
The upshot is that retailers and their customers now have new requirements that must be implemented throughout supply chains and auditing procedures. Issues to be considered include human rights; health and safety in the workplace; environmental protection, fair trade and operating practices, consumer safety, and chemical management.
This ‘command and control’ approach to implementing sustainable practices has so far proved effective. The proliferation of requirements and the inherent complexity of setting up proper global control measures, however, may increase costs along supply chains, causing a parallel drop in the effectiveness of the strategies.
Against this backdrop, Lineapelle organised a workshop to propose and share ways to surpass traditional approaches to sustainability, and provide new visions for socially and environmentally responsible supply
chains through new management tools and innovative business models.
Another event focused on trends for winter 2017–18. Called New Sensorium, this seminar served as an inspiration to explore new horizons of perception through colour and materials.