Yesterday, the International Leather Goods fair (I.L.M) in Offenbach (Germany) closed its doors. From 6-8 September, 2014, the trade show hosted 272 international companies from 19 countries with 156 domestic and 116 exhibitors from abroad. On an area of 12,848 sqm the fair presented the latest SS’15 trends and collections of bags, luggage and leather accessories to around 5,900 visitors. The Bag&Order, another trade fair for bags, luggage and leather accessories, which took place on the same weekend (5-6 September) at the Alte Schlachterei in Offenbach, offered buyers a more intimate alternative with just over 16 exhibitors.

Overall the exhibitors, well-known brands as well as newcomers, are satisfied with the outcome. “Sunday was definitely the most successful day, the atmosphere was great and we have been busy the whole time,” notes Karianne Hulshof of leather bag manufacturer Claudio Ferrici. And also Nicolas Neuhaus, owner of George Gina & Lucy and Tyoulip Sisters is competent: “This is our first time at ILM and it has been going great. We normally exhibit at textile fairs, but decided to try something different. The ILM enables us to come into contact with the right retailers and we were able to record good order numbers particularly with Tyoulip Sister.”  Most exhibitors reported an increased number of domestic visitors.

The fair displayed several upcoming trends
  1. Fringe is a trend that was an overall highlight at the fair. Ombre all over fringe could be found at Bruno Banani and electric green fringe accents adorned big shoppers at George Gina & Lucy. Joop! took a spin on fringe and created a feather fringe on three of their bags.

  2. Regarding colors, leather bags come in all shades of pastels and nude. Whether big shoppers or petite clutches, soft colors are the key to this upcoming season. But also bright colors such as orange, green and magenta are omnipresent. The trend color this upcoming SS ’15 season is blue.

  3. Material-wise there were three trends that stuck out. Perforated leather, washed leather and plaited leather. The washed leather gives the bags a vintage appearance and could be found in the women’s as well as men’s department. Perforated leather creates a more sportive look on bags amongst others at Gerry Weber and the plaited visual appearance at Tyoulip Sisters reminds of the weaving technique of Bottega Veneta. Also, a mix of material, such as canvas and washed leather was a topic at Brax and bag, backpack and luggage manufacturer Brunotti.
Backpack by Pinqponq
Backpack by Pinqponq

1. Sustainability:
It was apparent that sustainability has become a more considered topic. Pinqponq being one of the brands that enforces recycling as a new way of bag production. The brand recycles plastic bottles to create a new yarn for the fabric of their backpacks. Pinqponq offers a clean, unisex design paired with great functionality.
Other labels that presented their sustainable designs in form of backpacks and bags were Margelisch from Switzerland and FeuerWear with bags are made from old fire hoses.

2. Functionality:
Next to clean designs, most bags offered a lot of functionality adding zippers on purses as well as bags and a lot of storage possibilities and volume inside the bags. “Nowadays, everyone has to carry a lot of things around with them. Therefore storage capacity inside the bag is very important,” said Marco Schrod key account of Bruno Banani.

Backpacks eventually made their definite comeback. While casual and sports accessories manufacturer Eastpak expanded their collection through backpacks with vintage looking stripes, Curuba displayed slouchy backpacks with Inca inspired prints. At Bag&Order, the brand Mojo from New York offered backpacks with integrated speakers that can be connected to mobile phones and tablets.