BETTING ON BLACK LEATHER
Byline: David Grant Caplan
NEW YORK — Black is back and patterns are passe.
That’s the direction for fall-winter 2002-2003, according to many of the firms that exhibited at last week’s Trend Selection New York show.
Featuring 30 European manufacturers and suppliers of leather and synthetic materials, the show ended its two-day run on Friday at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea.
The exhibitors were a sampling of the nearly 1,500 firms expected to head to Bologna, Italy, for Lineapple in November.
In order to have exhibited at the preview, a company must have had at least 30 percent of its fall-winter 2002-2003 collection prepared for viewing.
Giovanna Picelli, the area manager for Italian synthetic leather manufacturer Coronet SpA, said “black is the most popular color of choice — 90 percent of the orders are black.”
Sales representative Annalisa Rosati of Italian leather manufacturer Conceria Incas said: “We’re taking many orders for black leather+40 percent of orders are black.”
Marco Marconcini, export manager for Italtessil, which produces leather and synthetic materials, said “black is coming back strongly because it is easy to match and combine with other colors.”
Barbara Mannuci, a sales manager with Italian leather manufacturer Samanta, said “darker colors, such as blue and black, are the most requested.” Mannuci added that “we have seen interest in lizard and croc, but in small scales — not big.”
At Giovanni Crespi’s booth, the Italian leather manufacturer’s designer Alessandra Castelli said many attendees were in search of darker colors.
“There will mainly be a lot of black and natural colors, such as brown and terra cotta,” she said, adding that there was little interest in animal prints, regardless of pattern size.
Thierry Alran, owner of French leather firm S.A. Alran et Cie, added that “for the moment, I don’t think prints are the fashion.” Alran said burgundy and brown were popular colors.
Franca Fratti, sales director for synthetic leather manufacturer Societa Italiana Spalmati E Coagulati, said: “There is not as much interest in prints as in the past because, last year, we had so much of it and people are fed up with it.” As for colors, she said: “What we’re seeing are dark grays, blues and earth tones.”
Gianangelo Pastori, a sales representative for Italian leather manufacturer Sovex, agreed: “It’s all about classical colors and earth tones.”
While most exhibitors maintained prints were not popular with attendees, a handful of exhibitors disagreed.
Juan Poveda, owner of Spanish synthetic leather manufacturer Juanpoveda said “people really like the idea of printed leather.” The company’s offerings included animal, floral and geometric prints.
“Being that the economy is not going well, it’s a time when novelties predominate — we are led to believe that paisley may be important,” said Lester Silverman, a New York-based sales representative for Italian Converter SpA.
Silverman said dark colors, including brown and beige, were important and that “there is a renewed interest in stretch fabric.”
Coronet’s Picelli agreed: “Stretch is one of the best-selling fabrics.”
Worn-in leather was another trend that surfaced at the show.
“Antique-looking leather is popular because vintage is a popular theme in fashion, right now,” said Alran.
Picelli added: “It is popular because it has the impression and feeling of simplicity. People want something simple and elegant.”