Arts & Tannery 2011. Italian Leather Seduces 5th Ave
Italian comedy queen Luciana Littizzetto once said it in her mordacious style, that bunches of roses and violets are outdated: women, today, prefer bunches of shoes instead.
Luciana would have definitely enjoyed her time paying a visit to “Arts & Tannery”, the biannual boutique-expo held by the Italian Leather System Consortium in partnership with the Italian Trade Commission that welcomes top-notch tanners and fine leather producers to an exclusive loft showroom location in the heart of Manhattan, on trendy 5th Ave, at Midtown Loft and Terrace.
The fall/winter edition of “Arts & Tannery” took place on September 7th and 8th, right before the beginning of the Fashion Week, warming up the atmosphere in Manhattan with a touch of Made In Italy awesomeness. It featured the presence of ten Italian leather and textile manufacturers, all members of the Italian Leather System Consortium, presenting their exclusive collections for Fall/Winter 2012/2013 to an audience of American leather goods producers and fashion designers.
Habitués of the expo and newcomer buyers were able to test sample raw materials, request information and network directly with the exhibitors: Ausonia, Gemini, M2, MB3, New Pelli, Pellegrini International, Sanlorenzo, Tuscania, Valvibrata Ornaments and Vesta Corporation.
The guests also had the chance to participate in a presentation of the new trends and styles in the tannery industry, varying from prehistoric sensations inspired by the rich textures of dinosaurs’ skins, the shapes of plants and fossils and scaly and flaky materials, to the revival of classic styles, to the urban fascination with materials such as concrete, subway pavings, or construction sites equipment and attires, to a po-mo attitude towards reinvention and decontextualization of shapes and materials for the creation of unique styles and visual suggestions. The presentation was held by researcher and cool-hunter of the Italian Leather System Gianluca Gori.
Gori, a proud Tuscan and a fine connoisseur of the latest fashion trends, tells i-Italy that the competitive advantages of Italian researchers in the tannery sector are an “extreme receptiveness and creativity” paired with “strong ethics and environmental sensitivity,” motivating them to back their creative proposals up with sustainability studies, in order to obtain the best qualitative results not only as far as products go, but also as far as production processes are concerned.
Aniello Musella, Italian Trade Commissioner, who organized and participated in the inauguration of the expo, also stressed the importance of the environmental consciousness of the Italian tanners, and how it supported by a continuous investment in technology that is made possible by the Consortium, a successful business model for the tannery sector, where small enterprises are prominent.
“The Italian Trade Commission,” Musella explains, “in a joint effort with the Ministry of Economic Development, supports industrial clustering with incentives, and the Italian Leather System Consortium, with ten factories producing complementary goods, demonstrates that the clustering model works perfectly, producing economies of scale for all the participants and bringing each manufacturer’s traditional expertise and top quality products to a very competitive market such as the American.” What it takes for the winning formula to work are “the right management, and the right enterprises,” Musella adds.
Exhibitors are thrilled and satisfied too. Donatella Starnotti, of Vesta Corporation, believes that participating in “Arts & Tannery” is “a precious occasion to develop new business opportunities, in a city so important for fashion and trends such as New York.”
Donatella, in her pleasantly Tuscan accented Italian, tells i-Italy that what distinguishes Made In Italy products from competitors’ is “the expertise acquired in years of trials and errors.” An expertise that emanates (smell-wise) and glows (sight-wise) from the leather samples exposed behind her, while she chats with us.