From February 22 to 24, 2022, Lineapelle opened its doors for the 99th time in Fieramilano Rho to present the collections for Spring/Summer 2023, developed under the sign of sustainable creativity and finesse, concepts that combine aesthetic perfection and revolutionary applications of treatments, finishes and colors.

More than 960 exhibitors (spread over 6 pavilions) from 31 countries welcomed more than 13,000 buyers, stylists and creative consultants at their booths, offering a reassuring and long-awaited sign of vitality to the entire supply chain, and I was finally back at the international fashion show after a long break! Breathe a sigh of relief after a long dry spell of not being able to meet the who's who of the industry or see the new collections. All the more I was looking forward to inspiration and exchange on my favorite topic: leather!

Milan is the city where I lived and studied for a long time when I was young, and in a way it is still the highlight and has always been something more than just a trade fair city. Just the great atmosphere in the city is always very inspiring when it especially comes to fashion. It also felt really good to finally be able to touch and feel materials again. And, of course, the personal conversations that can arise spontaneously in contrast to the countless video conferences. After all, that's what our industry is all about. Pure emotion!

The exhibition halls are divided into different themes. Starting with tanneries, accessories for shoes, from leather soles to decorative rivets, furniture making. My goal was to find tanneries that produce vegetable tanned leather, and I knew that the main players would be in Hall 13. There I also met the owner and founding member of the Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium in Tuscany, from which I source the leather for my products. I had never met him before, until this time. A very humble person, approachable and full of expertise - just as I imagined him. As I was passing by the inspiring exhibition platforms, I realized that my head was already smoking and I was thinking about new ideas that were just waiting to be realized.

Sustainability was a big topic at this year's "Lineapelle". Especially for the shoe and leather industry. It is noticeable that many recycled materials were presented at the Lineapelle. The topic of Veganism was also repeatedly on the agenda. Whereby it must be said that not every plastic shoe is automatically a high-quality vegan shoe. Here it depends on certifications and seals that prove that they are indeed completely animal-free, i.e. vegan shoes. However, leather should by no means be neglected as an important and high-quality material for manufacturing. After all, leather is a byproduct of the meat industry. Recycling or upcycling is practiced here in the best sense.

For Fulvia Bacchi, CEO of the trade show and UNIC General Manager, sustainability is the driving force of current trends and not a new word for the Italian leather industry. To counter the misinformation, the organization promotes leather. There is so much fake news about leather and the main goal is to make consumers aware of what leather is. "We feel we have a duty and an obligation to defend leather. Not only for Italian leather, but for all types of leather around the world. It is a natural product that is a fundamental example of the circular economy. The message is very simple.

For me it was an impressive experience, tanneries rich in tradition pushing their old craftsmanship according to the best possible sustainability approaches next to the latest trends and a lot of inspiration.

Stay tuned, I would like to share more about my ideas and my collections with you soon.