From September 7-9, 2019 the industry met at the 151st edition of the International Leather Goods Fair ILM in Offenbach. Exhibitors and visitors were satisfied with the fair and Arnd Hinrich Kappe, managing director of the trade fair, stated: “We are delighted that the ILM is a stable and secure bank for exhibitors and visitors in turbulent times.”

The internationality of the gathering increased this year. Beyond Europe, buyers from the USA, Asia and the Middle East came to Offenbach to place their orders. In addition to the classic leather goods trade, more and more shoe and textile retailers as well as buyers from well-known department and concept stores visited the event.



Around 300 exhibitors presented their collections on an area of approximately 13,000 sq. meters. The product spectrum ranged from bags and small leather goods to luggage, business and school articles, umbrellas, belts and fashion accessories. The focus was on the collections for spring/summer 2020.

Exhibitors and visitors alike appreciated the redesigned Concept Square. “The new Concept Square is a cool thing and is well received by buyers. We have noticed that visitors here are deliberately looking for new products. Backpacks are a huge topic anyway–we're playing a leading role here,” said Adrian Goossens from Airpaq.

The Concept Square
Photo: ILM
The Concept Square

Imme Vogel from Von Rauten said: “This is our first time at the ILM. Our label has only been around for a year. The Concept Square is great. We like the networking of the young brands. Many designers are personally at the booth. In this way you can make valuable contacts. As far as visitors to the ILM are concerned, unlike many other hip trade fairs, this is a real trade audience. We really appreciate that.”

Valuable inspiration was also provided by the extended series of lectures on fashion and POS strategies as well as the newly staged ILM Fashion Shows. Exhibitors and buyers cheered the modern "Runway" concept by Bettina von Bassewitz, with its very high-quality choreographed shows.

ILM Fashion Show
Photo: ILM
ILM Fashion Show

In terms of trends the spectrum for the s/s ’20 season is diverse: monochrome looks contrast with decorated styles. Neutral, classic colors underline the trend towards cleaner, more attractive fashion. Bright colors to neon set accents. “Overall, the trend in bags is towards small and medium-sized formats,” said Peter Schwarz of Aigner.

Functional bagpacks and belt bags are in great demand in the sports sector–especially those made of hard-wearing, high-tech materials. Sustainability is also gaining in importance. Numerous manufacturers in the bag segment are also focusing on recycling and vegan processing. “However, high-quality leather remains an important and indispensable material for our products and our industry,” said Christiane Brunk from Braun Büffel. Interestingly, business handbags and accessories for men are becoming more and more important and provide new buying impulses at the POS.



Another big event was the celebration of ILM’s 70th birthday and the presentation of the ILM Awards at the Capitol Offenbach. On the evening of September 7, the coveted prizes were awarded to the “best of the best” in a festive setting. The winner in the category Best in Basics was Braun Büffel, in the category Best in Fashion Bree was awarded and the Best Newcomer prize went to the brand MDLR.


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