Il Giorno Sei era perfetto! Today we attended a presentation at the Lineapelle leather consortium, toured the Milan Fashion Library, and finished off with a lecture by Velasco.
Lineapelle has a unique position in the supply chain, as they are an international leather and tannery exhibition that holds display fairs a few times a year in New York, London, and Paris; thus, they act as a service provider because they bring tanneries and fashion designers together. I found the presentation very informative, as I did not fully comprehend beforehand just how large of a part Italy played in the world leather market. Italy produces twenty-seven percent of the total number of finished leather goods worldwide, and they import ninety percent of their raw materials from countries such as Brazil and Argentina. I also enjoyed learning about the sustainability of the Italian leather industry, in which ninety-nine percent of the hides and skins used to produce leather are derived from animals bred and slaughtered for the food industry; the other one percent comes from specialty animals such as kangaroos, deer, and various reptiles and fish. The Italian tanning industry additionally recycles ninety-two percent of the water consumer in production and, from 2003 to 2017, saw decreases of 13.5% in waste production, 16.4% in water consumption, and 28.1% in use of energy. My favorite part of the presentation was when we allowed to feel a multitude of different leather types, including eel, alligator, and toad.
The presentation was followed by a lunch break, in which several of us saw a festival nearby for Gli Alpini, or Italy’s national guard for the Alps, and decided to purchase food from there. The food stand we patronized was neat, as it contained both Italian panini and German pretzels and hamburgers; my guess is that there is a mixing of various cultures with Gli Alpini as the Alps cross through Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France, and Austria. I bought a salumi panini for lunch before our group decided to tour the nearby Castello Sforzesco, which is a fifteenth century citadel built by Francesco Sforza, a Duke of Milano, with robust, red walls and beautiful courtyards inside.
After our lunch break, we visited the Milan Fashion Library, which contains thousands of fashion magazines and catalogues all the way back from the 1930’s that are enjoyed by fashion fanatics and designers, who often use the archives to study past trends as a means to gain inspiration for new ones. As I was perusing through fashion magazines from 1952 and 1975, it was incredibly intriguing to me how fashion became more liberated and open in only a matter of 23 years.
The day concluded with a lecture at our hotel by Velasco, an Italian men’s shoe company that is a direct-to-customer retailer with locations in Milano, Firenze, and Roma. The lecture focused on the company’s business model and their digital marketing, which I found very interesting as they used social media to find and reach out to their target audience.
Buona Giornata e Ci Vediamo tutti!