The Accessories Council is hosting an India Factory Expo and Sourcing Fair in tandem with The Council For Leather Exports, an India based trade group funded by the Indian government. The fair means to introduce 52 Indian leather factories to a mix of American based designers and buyers.
The two councils have been working together the past four years, experimenting with a variety of events, including bringing buyers to India and having factory representatives in New York, but this iteration is their largest event to date.
“The fair creates an efficient forum for companies to take a walk and see if there are good sourcing people that meet their needs.” said Karen Giberson, president of the Accessories Council. “There are people who are suitable for a startup company that can make low minimums and are very flexible, and then there are other factories that are super well-oiled machines that can do very big volumes, including luxury goods.”
While the types of products the factories can make — footwear, apparel, luggage, bags, small leather goods — are primarily leather focused, they can also produce pieces with mixed material options.
The event has been in the planning stages for some time but it comes on the heels of President Trump following through with his threat to impose $200 Billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, including several accessories categories in September. The list of products, many of them consumer facing, will be subject to 10 percent levies and the rate will be pushed up to 25 percent by the end of the year. India doesn’t have any tax on leather bags and small leather goods.
“One thing we have seen with the China tariff is a kind of a wakeup call.” Giberson said. “If you aren’t diversifying your supply chain, than it’s time to be thinking about it. It’s definitely a good time to explore new options.”
The fair takes place at New York’s Metropolitan West, 639 West 46 Street; Tuesday, Nov. 13 and Wednesday, Nov. 14. Attendance is free.