Aplf, in the spirit of dynamismAPLF: visitors grant success to the re-branding of the fair
Technological innovation and sustainability, and fashion and athleisure: these were the key themes of the 33rd edition of APLF Leather & Material+. The platform of reference for the leather supply chain in Asia returned to enliven the halls of the Hong Kong Exhibition Center from 29 to 31 March 2017, bringing together 800 exhibitors (of which 222 were new entries) with more than 16,000 buyers: numbers that are on the rise, when compared to the previous edition, and which were also the protagonists of a lively work session.
“The feeling of liveliness permeating the halls of APLF was tangible” – declares Michael Duck, Director of APLF and Vice President of UBM, the fair’s organizer, “–With years of difficulty left behind them, I believe that today people in Asia have greater confidence and are aware of the direction being taken by the industry: China, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India are going through a phase of change and development that generates opportunity. While the European and USA markets are showing signs of uncertainty, in Asia there is a higher level of confidence. And Asians have started asking themselves: why should we be worried about what happens in North America or Europe? We must develop our business, our communities, and education for our children… Ok, we can follow trends in fashion and technology, but we can also dictate them according to our own trends… What is happening is exciting: it is the start of a new cycle in Asia”.
The protagonists of the fair’s selection were tanning machines, chemical products, leathers, accessories and components: it is the latter part of this selection that was part of a re-branding in the “Materials+” area, where “materials” stood for a focus on Athleisure trends, which is a big hit among Millennials throughout all of Asia (and also beyond). Instead, the “+” of the new name introduced shoe-machinery sector technology. “We have decided to implement a re-branding of the fair for a more logical organization of the offer”, – explains Perrine Ardouin, Director of APLF, “–in Hall 1, we have placed all the suppliers belonging to the leather supply chain, including chemicals, tanning machinery, and leather. In Hall 3, instead, we proposed Material +: it was an experiment, the staging of a new idea. Highlighting not only materials, but also technology for shoes, represented by market leaders in automation and robotics, Atom and Comelz. The proposal received excellent feedback from visitors at the show and fully embraced the concept of the fair, Merging craft workmanship with innovation”.
Next to the exhibition, APLF also proposed a rich calendar of events, seminars, and conferences, which were closely followed by a numerous public. Among the “hottest” topics addressed, with the contribution of sector experts, were those dedicated to Sustainability along the entire leather supply chain, and Trends in Footwear Retail and Fashion, with a special focus on Athleisure.
Taking place in conjunction with the event was Fashion Access held in Hall 3 of the HK Exhibition Centre, with a selection of fashion accessories as its protagonist.
The next edition of APLF will be held from 14 to 16 March 2018, once again at the Hong Kong Exhibition Center.