Japanese interest in quality leather6 July 2006
Growth of the Japanese leather industry appears to be continuing following a successful edition of the Tokyo Leather Fair in early July. The 74th edition of the fair attracted 94 exhibitors from around the world and a 6% increase in visitors compared with the last exhibition. Of particular notice was the 10.7% increase of visitors recording an interest in the footwear sector given that the exhibition is traditionally geared towards buyers of leathergoods. Japan is the second most important market for Italian bags, belts and cases: in 2005 exports to this market increased 19.6% by value while footwear remained at a stable level. Italian exports of finished leather to Japan increased slightly in value in 2005 but decreased in volume, except for suede which recorded a 300% increase in quantity and sole leather which remained stable. According to Satra estimate, Japan produces around 100 million pairs of shoes a year. The Trend Selection area highlighted themes for the forthcoming summer 2007 season and more than 180 delegates took part in the seminar on fashion trends. At the same time, a prize giving ceremony was held for the Lineapelle competition for young Japanese designers. Heavy casual leather, kip and sole leather were among the most sought-after articles during the exhibition.