Who Knew!

What a jam-packed day! The morning started off with another metro trip to a new part of the city. We visited Lineapelle, a local leather consortium, to learn about sourcing various type of leather and how the consortium operates. The presentation opened my eyes to the production of leather and the vast collection of leather. According to Lineapelle, 99% of the leather they collect comes from animals that are first and foremost butchered for food purposes. Only 1% of the animals are killed with the intent of leather production. This fact eased my mind slightly, but it was definitely still hard to think about dead animals being used for fashion. We then proceeded into passing around many, many different types of leather. I did not really understand the concept of leather before this site visit, and how many skins are considered leather. The furthest extent I knew were classic leather jackets that come from cows. However I came to learn that skin from snakes, sharks, alligators, ostriches, eels, horses, stingrays, and more are all types of leather. And we got to see them all! After awhile, I got pretty good at guessing which animal the leather was when I was passed a new sample. After a small lunch at a cafe, the group headed off to another site visit to the Milan Fashion Library, an incredible library with a Historical Collection of Fashion Marketing Materials & Current Fashion Magazines! To get into the building, their front door was from an opening in between classic Italian buildings, but to get to that opening, we went through a wicket door, which is basically a very small door inside a huge door. Super cool to find a door my size! The library is a significant historical archive and acts as a meeting point for fashion editors. There were tens of thousands of vintage magazines just piled and stacked everywhere; it was pretty cool to see. Once we made it back to the hotel from the library, I took a nice nap to refresh. We’ve been going and going since getting here, and that nap was quite necessary to get off my tired feet and feel recharged. Following my nap, we had a presentation by another company, Velasca, in our hotel (extremely convenient). Velasca’s primary product is shoes. The presentation focused on their creative take on supply chain management from a Velasca representative, Paola Parolo, who is the Head of Digital Marketing. The company aims to be in the mid-priced market, and they achieve it by selling directly to the customer as opposed to going through a middleman. When discussing their social media presence, we also learned how different the platforms are across the world. For instance, Snapchat is not as strong in Europe as it is in the US, and Facebook seems to beat out Instagram in Europe as well, which at least for younger audiences in the US, we prefer Instagram. Even China, being a commercial economy, block access to some of these platforms, so the Italian company struggles to get their product in Chinese markets. It was a very interesting and enlightening presentation to end the day. Another free evening to enjoy the city!

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