On 15 July at the Tannery Museum of Santa Croce was held Prossimapelle, the first post-pandemic appointment of the leather industry organised by UNPAC (National Union of Italian tanning auxiliary Producers) in a reduced form in compliance with anti-Covid regulations and permitted as considered “Museum Exhibition”. Eighteen exhibitors were present divided among manufacturers of chemical auxiliaries and tanning technologies. As always, a useful confrontational moment with the market to view fashion trends and create new business opportunities, especially important now after the long layoff period due to the health emergency. The turnout of visitors was not particularly high given the difficult time both from a social and market point of view, but the tanners and tanning technicians who presented themselves at the exhibition have shown that they appreciate the content of the event and the quality of the proposals.
In the suggestive museum setting, each chemical company exhibited 12 leathers inspired by TrendLab Prossimapelle and 12 free ispirational leathers, with reference to the focus on Metal Free Technologies and Sustainability. A high level offer both in terms of fashion trends and technical innovation. To amplify contact opportunities and constructively address the stagnant market demand, the organisers have also implemented a strategy that amplifies the physical event through social networks and Prossimapelle’s direct channels, primarily the one of Youtube. Even after the event and at a distance of time, the visitor can in fact attend “live demonstrations of the proposals made, merging the visual and sensorial concepts through an augmented reality, for an engaging, intimate and immersive experience”, explains UNPAC. “The format chosen is similar to that used by TV platforms for TV series, with a teaser that resumes the presentation of the trends directed by Arianna Mereu, and subsequently the episodes of the series, with 5 minutes of video dedicated to each company, where, with a mix of filmed footage and vocal tracks, the mood and technological aspects of the leathers produced are explained to the user, as are mechanical and service technologies”.
As for the trends developed by Arianna Mereu for the AW21/22 season, three macro themes have been identified that range from minimalism to unbridled luxury. Here they are in summary.
Less is better
A very hot minimal theme in which the tactile pleasure, the extreme softness and the immediately perceptible quality of the leathers are key points. Luxury is sustainable as long as you buy less and in a more targeted way, favouring circular and timeless materials. Reassessment of retro aspects and tastes not precisely related to a certain historical period but that are classic and timeless and of the highest quality.
Folkloristic aspects are proposed that recall the craftsmanship, the aesthetics of recycling and reuse, however combined with increasingly less impactful, innovative formulations, the result of cutting-edge technologies. Globalized luxury and excess marketing as an end in themselves will bring the value of local and visibly handmade artifacts enhanced by increasingly sustainable modern technologies back into vogue.
As a reaction to the continuing sense of fear and anguish that is becoming the new normal, consumers will seek relief from alternatives made of luxury and opulence. Unbridled but hidden luxury, exhibited only in exclusive and secret situations, imagined at night at the boundary between the darkness and dreams. Overdecoration, eclecticism, exaggeration, all made less noisy by very dark shades illuminated by golden sparkles.