Given the current state of world trade, it was unsurprising that fewer visitors were in evidence at the May edition of Lineapelle in Bologna. However, visitor numbers are no indicator of quality and when times are hard it is more likely that the browsers will stay at home than those who need to place orders to keep their business in the forefront.

Bologna was bathed in glorious sunshine throughout the event which was the only real bright point on a generally quiet fair. Business was generally slow due to a lacklusre global economy and the ongoing SARS epidemic in China.

Asian visitors did attend Lineapelle although the numbers were estimated as lower than usual. Some Asian visitors even wore face masks during the show.

Over 1,000 exhibitors were from Italy and 446 were foreign. The largest number of overseas exhibitors were from Spain, Germany, France, Portugal, Brazil and India. From the total number of exhibitors, 633 were tanners. Lineapelle also featured the usual trend selection area featuring novel leathers for the spring/summer 2004 fashion collections.

The overall feeling of the trend area was of pastels: beige, cream, white, grey, with bleached versions of lime green and lemon yellow vying with pale pinks and blues. In this sea of pale calm, there were also brighter accent colours, orange, red, yellow, to add gaiety, and natural colours covered the spectrum from pale to earth shades.

Lineapelle is organised by UNIC, the Italian tanners’ association and the next edition is scheduled for October 28-30, earlier than usual, so visitors need to check their travel arrangements.