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APLF Leather Fair defines future material trends

Apr '08
The Maserati can wait another year: the space age kitchen can be put off (yet again). Instead, how about a new leather bag, or a pair of shoes? Leather is indeed a luxury product and, at times such as these it's one that remains affordable.

As if this was ever in doubt the 24th APLF Leather Fair, held in Hong Kong, March 31 - April 2, 2008 underscored how those in the leather and fashion accessory industry are more than holding their own despite the forecasts of economic uncertainty elsewhere. Forward orders show a buoyant confidence in the up-coming Winter 08/09 and Summer 09 seasons.

APLF - Materials, Machinery and Technology (MM&T) brought together exhibitors and buyers of leather and related products, from every point of the compass, to compare prices, discuss delivery schedules and, increasingly, define future material trends.

Fashion Access (FA), running concurrently and under the slogan 'Let's Go Winter 08/09', saw a vast array of new handbags, footwear, leather garments, travelware, leathergoods, and fashion accessories on display. Here too there was a strong emphasis on trends: trends in materials, trends in colours, trends in design and trends within the industry itself - for example, leather as a luxury product or the development of eco-friendly materials.

More than 34,000 buyers visited APLF - MM&T and FA over the three day period. At APLF - MM&T there were over 5,600 buyers from China and China-based companies, with healthynumbers from India, Japan, the US and Italy. The number of Japanese buyers, over 1,200 at FA represented a 20% increase over the previous year.

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