Middle East luxury retailers, traders, manufacturers or designers looking for novel products to boost their businesses will be treated to a buffet of unique offerings at Leatherworld Middle East 2017. The trade fair will showcase the latest market innovations and products from 3D design software, Amazonian fish hides, to Saudi faux-leather bags.
The 3rd edition of the annual three-day event, which opens on April 30, will feature more than 50 exhibitors from 18 countries, as they vie for the limelight with their newest solutions in a regional market that has a penchant for high-quality, fine leather goods and services.
Strategies from France is a debut exhibitor, and will entice regional fashion designers and manufacturers with its 3D computer aided design (CAD) software for footwear and handbags.
Jean Marc Pedeboy, partner and head of Business Development at Strategies, said the Romans CAD software is the de facto standard for 3D design, and is used by major brands such as Clarks, LVMH, Wolverine, Decker, Condor In Blue and more. “When it comes to fashion, Dubai is a fabulous place, and our Romans CAD technology can allow local designers, companies, or big retailers to create and build their own brands,” said Pedeboy.
“This is the perfect hub to build high quality footwear and sell them in neighbouring countries. We’re coming to Leatherworld Middle East 2017 not only with our software platform, but with a group of talented designers who will showcase their productions and inspire others,” he added.
Elsewhere, MP Leather from Italy is another debut exhibitor and one of several tanneries at Leatherworld Middle East 2017 presenting a range of exotic leathers such as crocodile, python, water-snake, eel, and stingray.
The main drawcard though will be the Middle East launch of its Arapaima hides. The Arapaima is native to South America’s Amazon basin, and one of the world’s largest fresh water fish – it can grow up to eight feet long and weigh 330 pounds.
MP Leather’s Massimiliano Mennonna said the tannery first introduced the exotic hide in Europe five years ago, but it has only recently become a popular choice for the latest collections of luxury fashion brands such as Giorgio Armani, Givenchy, Etro, Rick Owens and Roberto Cavalli.
“The Arapaima can be used for handbags, shoes, garments, and even furniture, and we source it sustainably as it’s a staple food for the Amazon indigenous and the north of Brazil,” said Mennonna. “Arapaima fishing and trade is controlled by environmental protection agencies such as IBAMA and CITES, and only fish from designated ecological reserves can have their leather legally traded. The skins are also bio-leather because they’re chrome and metal free.”
“The Middle East leather industry is expanding, not only from a consumer standpoint, but as a manufacturing hub and we think there’re strong opportunities for our business here,” added Mennonna.
Meanwhile, Wejdan’s from Saudi Arabia is among the many exhibitors looking to expand its presence throughout the Gulf region and beyond, and will launch its first full collection of faux-leather women’s handbags along with clutches, makeup cases and totes. CEO Wejdan Sager said the company has been designing and producing its practical and stylish range in Saudi for the last five years, and now wants to introduce the ‘Made in Saudi Arabia’ brand to Europe, North America, and Asia.
“The fashion industry is greatly growing and developing in the Middle East, especially in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), where we’re witnessing more designers and brands establishing in the region,” said Sager.
“This along with the growth of the consumer base, who are interested in supporting and celebrating local production is a valuable foundation to our brand’s success. We’re also catering to the changing needs of our consumer base; women are more financially independent and leading busy lives with demanding jobs and this is translated in our creations, by making our pieces more practical and efficient,” added Sager.
Leatherworld Middle East is the region’s only dedicated trade show spanning the leather industry’s entire value chain, from semi-finished and finished animal hides, chemicals, and machinery to finished leather goods, including footwear, clothing, bags, wallets, and accessories.
The ultra-luxurious B2B platform will return with key show highlights, such as the Trend Area, an exclusive showcase of leather innovations seen for the first time; and Fashion Avenue, where the UAE’s most talented designers at ESMOD Dubai will present their creative flair with an inspiring array of leather garments, bags, and shoes.
“Leatherworld Middle East was designed to showcase innovative and novel products, ground-breaking designs and innovative inventions in leather manufacturing, design and finishing,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East. “The show’s vast reach makes it a very efficient vehicle to reach the potentially lucrative regional market.”
Leatherworld Middle East 2017 will feature national pavilions from France, South Africa, Indonesia, and for the first time, Egypt. Other features include Leather Production for tanneries and dealers of semi-finished and finished animal hides; and the Shoe Box, a dedicated section for mid to high-end leather footwear.