I am not one to take “vacations” and in the beginning this trip to Italy was solely for work. I decided to take about 2 weeks off for myself but the main reason for coming to Italy was to go to Lineappelle. Lineappelle is a bi-annual event where Italian vendors gather in a huge arena to display their newest leathers and hardwares for bags, jewelry, and anything else you could think of that takes place in the process of making something ‘fashion-related’. This event takes place in Bologna, Italy, I was commuting from Florence because I couldn’t book a room at a hotel in Bologna, so many people from all over the world come at one time to a small city so hotels get booked very fast. Many well- known designers come here to buy materials- there is another popular event in Paris called “premiere vision” that is similar to Lineappelle (I’m sure many of you have heard of that)..I was specifically here during this 4-day convention to source hardware and leather that I know I can’t find in New York.
As a designer, Lineappelle is where it starts. I couldn’t say that for all designers but I’m directly inspired by materials-if I can’t get excited about the material then I know I won’t get excited about designing. This place isn’t open to public, designers must be working for a company or they need to have both an importer’s license and their businesses registered. I actually took a million photos but I decided not to post anything too revealing because it opens up too many “industry secrets” and I also want to be respectful of these vendors who’ve worked hard to develop special materials, to open up their work in photos would be rude…I have to admit I was tempted to post these photos, I had about at least 20 ‘money shots’ but I’d rather be safe than sorry, the photos I’ve posted below don’t even scratch the surface of the many amazing things I saw…I thought it would be nice to share general photos anyway without all the closeups because for me this is where the design process begins. *All photos are taken with an iPhone so please excuse the shoddy quality of these images.
This arena is so huge, there are several stadiums taking up acres of space and each area is sectioned off by numbers and letters. I got lost several times.
A slanted bird’s eye view, areas are divided into rooms, where each vendor sections off their space and displays their goods. Vendors don’t reserve these spots for free, they have to pay for their space. Some vendors take up four cubes while others have 1 tiny cube. The size of a vendor’s space indicates how big their business is and how powerful they are within the industry. The vendors who work with big luxury conglomorates always have huge spaces. Smaller vendor spaces are great too, they sometimes provide niche and avante garde materials.
This booth specialized in hi-tech fabrics, Lineappelle doesn’t only feature leather and hardware, they do fabrics too. Some of the new fabrics here were stunning.
You can see lots of men in suits, they are purchasers for major companies who come to buy for next season, so this event is not only for designers but purchasers as well. I could see that quite a few who came worked for sneaker and sportswear companies where hi-tech fabrics are needed.
One of my first stops was at a business that specializes in high quality shearlings. They cut out swatches for you after you pick out which pieces you want and they take orders. They require minimums so you can’t just buy one piece of each.
High-end fur booth. There weren’t that many people in this booth, I think the use of real fur is dying down.
This photo below is a closed off wall of a vendor and the name of what they specializes in (Reticube Technology). It is a booth that closed off at least 4 booth spots for themselves. Again this indicates how established the businesses are- this doesn’t mean the vendors with bigger booths have better goods, I saw some of the most gorgeous materials in tiny booths by companies who are just starting to display their work. You may remember those CAGE HEELS that YSL designed many seasons ago. Well I would normally go with the term “CAGE” OR “GRID” to describe those heels but this company actually developed the technology for that shape, and they have dubbed their technology something way snazzier and it is called “RETICUBE TECHNOLOGY”. I was shocked when I saw the cage heel separated from the shoe itself, and I was also in heaven. I couldn’t believe I found this amazing vendor who developed the cage shape! They showcased many other amazing heels this season (they also do door knobs, furniture related goods, bag and belt closures etc- everything is designed in the unique cage shape they are known for) that I did take pictures of but I don’t want to post them because again, that would be too revealing not only for the company but for any other designer who came here and bought materials for their collection next season. I went a little crazy at this booth and placed orders not only for designs but for the shop as well. More soon & thanks for reading.