APLF - Hong Kong
The leather exhibition will be part of a “Four shows in One” format with each show complementing the others. It will be completed by Materials+ where materials, components and accessories for the manufacture of footwear, leathergoods and garments can be found. This year Materials+ will focus on Fashion Tech, Green Tech, Craft Excellence, Sourcing Luxury and Digital Solutions.
Fashion Access & Cashmere World
Fashion Access will display a wide range of finished products such as bags, travelware, garments, footwear and other fashion accessories and finally, Cashmere World will complete the four shows line-up as the only international trade fair dedicated to the cashmere and fine fibre industries. Both of these fairs have inaugurated pre-event Road Shows for brands in leading Asian department stores and trade fairs in major cities of the region called Pop Up by Fashion Access.
The integral nature of the total APLF event will be supported by a series of seminars and forums covering topics of interest to both manufacturers, designers, distributors and retailers. Among them will be the Global Footwear Executive Summit (GFES), which will be jointly organised by APLF and the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA).
This important footwear summit will take place on 12 March, one day before the start of APLF. With the FDRA partnership, the Summit will include topics on innovation, production and retailing. It also promised to be an event where footwear retailers, brands, manufacturers, sourcing companies, traders and trade media can gain valuable information from top players in the industry for business decisions.
The slogan of this year’s Summit is “Agility in Action” and will put footwear sustainability, production technology and retailing technology into action backed up by authoritative confirmed speakers from influential companies such as FILA, Wolverine Worldwide and Payless Shoesource.
The Leather Fair
This year’s APLF Leather will take place against a backdrop of the weakest raw material prices since the 2008 / 2009 financial crisis reflecting a decline in total leather demand of between 10% - 30% and plentiful hide supplies fueled by growing red meat demand.
Nevertheless, the five halls dedicated to the leather industry on Level 1 of the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre have been sold out for some time with minimal spaces left at the back of the halls.
The Organisers expect more than 20 national pavilions from the world’s leading leather exporting countries. This year’s fair could well set the tone for prices for the final three quarters of 2019. There is no doubt that leather must seek to compete against ever improving synthetic materials especially in the footwear sector that is experiencing a boom in sneaker sales worldwide in the context of an ongoing lifestyle shift exemplified in ‘athleisure’.
Leather Naturally Zone
After the success of the Leather Naturally Zone (LN Zone) at ACLE last fall, this sector will reappear at APLF Leather. It will highlight the beauty, longevity and biodegradability of leather to consumers wanting to learn - in contrast to plastics and synthetics that are prejudicing our environment and its marine life.
The LN Zone will certainly be part of the leather and chemicals sales story for major tanners and chemical suppliers exhibiting at APLF Leather. Energy conservation, recycling of waste and animal husbandry are all key factors to improve the image of sustainability and acceptance of leather for the fashion and footwear industries.
Colour and Material Trends for Spring-Summer 2020
There are three trend areas developed from the “FEEL” themes curated by Olivier Guillemin in collaboration with Comite Francais de la Couleur located throughout the fairground. These trend spaces allow designers and manufacturers to have a glimpse of upcoming materials and colours to start planning their future collections and the suppliers of these materials and trends can be located as exhibitors at the fair.
Sustainability cuts across all Sectors
And it is not just sustainability and leather since the four events in March are all drawn together and linked not only by materials, manufacturing, components and fashion applications but more importantly by sustainability itself. As we reach the end of the second decade of the 21st century, sustainability transverses all fashion sectors as consumers become more environmentally aware and manufacturers respond in their supply chains to satisfy this ethical need that continues to expand across all consumer groups.
APLF is now establishing itself as the Sustainable Sourcing Platform in the Asia Pacific Region and is developing a business community motivated by issues related to eco-conceptions such as traceability, sustainable production and recycling that all play a part in environmental care. In addition to a programme of conferences and seminars, a display of sustainable products from exhibitors from across the 4 fairs will be presented in the Core of the APLF Materials+ fair.
As sustainability is now an integral part of fashion and not a trend, APLF aims to continue driving and promoting it to designers, stylists and manufacturers who will visit the Four in One Event in mid-March.