Today was our busiest day yet, but it also has been one of the most fun days in Italy. Our first activity was visiting Lineapelle which is n exhibition dedicated to leather, accessories, foot wear, and leather goods. I did not really know what to when we first entered the building and were led to a room to sit down. Unlike the other companies visits that we have done, this time they did a presentation about the company for us. The last exhibition had 1,245 exhibitors come to it. This space was created by Lineapelle to show 4,000 samples of accessories. They have a digital archive that can be accessed on their website. You are able to download all the information about the product which is not common with other companies. We then learned about the Italian tanning industry and UNIC which is a private non profit organization that represents 65% of Europe’s production of leather. I was shocked that it is estimated that the leather from the slaughterhouse could cover the cities of Milan, New York and Paris. A fun fact that I learned was that kangaroo leather is the most resistant kind of leather. Lineapelle also does a lot to ensure that they are following all of the sustainability guidelines. They are an example of a circular company due to the fact that they use everything. Something that was a pleasant surprise is that 99% of production comes from animals destined to food industry so no animal is kill specifically to make the leather. They also return 92% of the water they consume to make their leather products. Overall it was an interesting visit that involved a lot of leather touching but I left knowing way more about leather and how each kind is so different than I ever thought I would.
We were then set free for lunch, and a group of my friends and I went to this small restaurant called Pasto. They make the pasta fresh every day, so everyday there is always something different to try. The staff was all so nice and explained everything in english to us. They were also very interested in talking about the United States because they had never been. When we got our pasta we all got excited by how good it looked. After tasting it, I can honestly say that this is the best meal I have had in Italy. The pasta being fresh truly made a difference. This was the meal I envision when I think of Italy. I am so happy that we went there because it truly felt like an authentic Italian meal that was not for tourists.
Once we had all met back as a group we headed to the Milan Fashion Library, which is a private fashion library for students and other companies. The library had books from as far back as the 18th century, which was very interesting to look at. They also play a big role in the fashion industry in Milan by organizing runways for fashion weeks as well as hosting dinners for clients. The fashion library allows designers to look at what was popular in the past, and helps them to predict what will be popular in the future. This is also the place that designers will go to prove that they indeed have started a new trend, as opposed to bring a something from decades ago back in style.
After the fashion museum we went back to the hotel and went to a lecture about the company Velasca. Velasca is a shoe brand and was founded in 2012. They produce handcrafted shoes for men. They wanted to create handcrafted shoes for men at a reasonable price. They have a direct-to-consumer business model which allows them to keep all of the profit which is better for their business. It is revolutionizing the men’s footwear market with being the first handmade made in Italy affordable shoe brand. They rely a lot on digital marketing as well to get their products out there and allow a wider range of individuals to purchase their products. It is interesting to see a how a relatively newer company navigates the fashion industry, especially one that relies on digital marketing so much.
That is all for today, Ciao!!