6 May 2022
These ‘special’ circumstances were due to the ongoing pandemic and the consequences on the leather industry were outlined at a press conference held by David Bondi, Director of APLF and Senior Vice President at Informa Markets Asia and Grace Lee, Event director of APLF. The current Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has an increasing impact on the global economy was also discussed.
“The Russia-Ukraine conflict could change the relatively optimistic outlook following the recent recovery from the pandemic, which could be skewed by inflationary pressures sparked by the rising energy costs”, warned Bondi. However, he reminded everyone that APLF had taken place in adverse market conditions in previous years, the most recent one being the 2009 global financial crisis.
A Wide-ranging Programme
As in previous editions, the fair was preceded by a leader summit, this year the conference, co-organised with International Leather Maker (ILM) conference, focus was the Future Trends in a Post-Covid Leather Industry.
The fair would not have been complete without the traditional Design-A-Bag Competition which rewards young upcoming design students; and the Best-of-APLF Awards which rewards participants in six different categories ranging from Ethical Leather Collection to Best in Marketing. These trophies are highly prized by their recipients who can use them as a marketing tool, as attested Jerome Verdier, Director of the French Tannery Arnal: “Our future plans are to get closer to the Fashion world and this award, for Best Luxury Collection, will help us to reach our goal”.
Where will APLF take place in 2023? This is the question in everyone’s mind. In Hong Kong, in Dubai or in both? While the majority of participants highly enjoyed meeting face to face and while the Dubai show was considered a success, the organizers will study the survey the participants were asked to fill in and weight the pros and cons. Given the sheer size of the fair and the amount of planning and organization it requires, the suspense should be over soon, definitely before summer.
However, it was highly appreciated by the industry that APLF pressed the re-set button and gave leather players the chance to reunite as well as to widen their horizon: exploring new markets; discovering fresh opportunities; getting closer to fashion and understand its needs were part of the reasons why many participants attended and the vast majority was satisfied by the outcome.