Leather : vying for fantasy and technology.
Technology, eco-responsibility and creativity are the three pillars driving the leather market. These are also the main focus of buyers, who are “increasingly committed and passionate about the new technologies found at Première Vision Leather,” according to exhibitors.
“This season, there’s a new wave of visitors, with young entrepreneurs just starting out. It’s an even more informed new generation,” says the French manager of Italy’s Ecopell.
Leather specialists are thus showcasing their full creative wealth. “It’s really here in Paris, more than anywhere else, that we have to show off our know-how and exclusivities,” said Antonella Mattesini, co-director of GiancarloCaponi. This Italian company presents lamb skins of a particularly refined sophistication: hand-painted, embroidered and beaded. One of a kind pieces take centre stage, from Cornely embroidery updated in leather, all curves and arabesques, to dévoré leathers in an ornamental textile vein.
Fantasy draws all the attention. Calf is particularly prized when perforated (Tanneries Du Puy), elaborated with a honeycomb aspect (Tanneries Hass) or worked with a “pool mosaic” effect (Bassols).
“Today, the market is competitive and erratic. Some brands are doing well. Others are suffering. There’s a multiplication of capsule collections and small series that demand reactivity,” says Michaël Perez, General Manager of France Croco. Digital printing is making a remarkable debut in their collection. Milan’s central station appears on a snake skin. Another skin boasts an Amish carpet design. In another creative inspiration, alligator skins reveal luminescent pigments or hand-drawn tartans. “Being proactive in terms of suggesting proposals for designers and couturiers is an absolute necessity,” continues this leather expert. Meantime, new technologies – screen printing, laser cutting, high frequency (Nuti Ivo, France Croco) – are drawn on to add to this direction.
Another market trend is vegetal tanning. “Demand is growing”, confirmed exhibitors at the stand of La Tannerie Arnal, which specializes in cattle hides for saddlery and harnesses, leather goods, footwear, decoration and leather interiors. “Today, we can attain the same degree of suppleness as other tanning processes, which really motivates buyers,” says Olivier Raynaud, director at Raynaud. Chrome-free proposals are also being developed at Dani, New Pelli, Olivenleder and France Croco. A “green” awareness extends beyond the product stage, and encompasses the entire manufacturing process. The green revolution is underway at Nuti Ivo: the latest machines save energy (-20%), chemicals and water (-30%). “Today, consumers expect guarantees of safety, transparency and eco-responsibility,” summed up Mario Donati, manager.