Spared from the CRV epidemic, the 35th edition of the India International Leather Fair (IILF) took place regularly from 31 January to 3 February, hosting the entire range of products in the leather industry over an area of 10,000 square metres: leather, component materials for footwear, fashion accessories, leather clothing, machinery and chemicals. 460 exhibitors took part in the Chennai fair including 160 foreigners from 23 countries, in particular national groups from Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy and the United Nations.
The fashion show organised on February 2 at the ITC Grand Chola hotel was certainly among the highlights of the event, which attracted about 15,000 visitors. An event that allowed us to take a look at the trends of the Indian leather industry thanks to the participation of the most important Indian producers that work on behalf of international brands such as Michael Kors, Coach and Tommy Hilfiger.
Let us remember that India is the second largest footwear manufacturer in the world after China with an annual output of 2.2 billion pairs. The national leather production is just as important, estimated at around 3 billion square feet, equal to about 10% of the world demand.
Parallel to IILF numerous side events have been included in the so-called Indian Leather Week. The fifth edition of the Designers Fair organised by the Council for Leather Exports was held at the ITC Grand Chola hotel as part of the relaunch programme of national production called “Make in India” which considers leather a key sector and design a focal point for the development of the sector. This event which commenced in 2016, has grown year by year: it started with 29 designers in 2016, this year it hosted 51 designers from 46 companies/institutions in the footwear, components, leather goods and leather clothing sectors. The participants represented more than ten different nationalities, including Italy, the USA, France, Spain and Portugal.
Another noteworthy event of the Indian Leather Week was the discussion forum organised on 1 February and dedicated to the analysis of the “Global perspectives of the Indian footwear, accessories and leather clothing sector”. In his welcome speech, the president of CLE P.R. Aqeel Ahmed said that 2020 will be a crucial year for the leather sector: “Even though there are many challenges the industry has to face, exports are expected to grow by 5%”.
In the picture above Mr.P.R. Aqeel Ahmed, Chairman-CLE addressing the gathering during the inauguration of IILF 2020