Yesterday, the International Leather Goods fair (I.L.M) in Offenbach (Germany) closed its doors. From 8-10 March, 2014, the trade show presented major upcoming FW ’14 trends and collections of bags, backpacks, luggage and leather accessories. This time, about 282 companies from 22 different countries have participated in the fair. The show records an exhibitor increase of 8%, in comparison with the previous I.L.M winter edition in March, 2013. Foreign brands made up 47% of the total number of exhibitors.

Well-established brands such as Desigual and Guess are satisfied with the outcome of the fair. “Offenbach offers the possibility to target our accessories collections directly to all interested retailers; our stand has always been busy!” said Tanja Wiesent, area manager of South Germany and Austria. “As some of our potential partners can’t visit our showroom in Munich, I.L.M provides a platform to present our products directly” asserted Melanie Drews from Tradingpool, distributor of Guess in Germany. Nevertheless, some representatives have shared their discontent, regarding the fact that the event only allocates one weekday (Monday) for trading purposes. For instance, Laura Gisbert, marketing director of Joumma Bags, distributor of Pepe Jeans London’s travel products and accessories, thinks that I.L.M should have included another weekday for trading: “We are looking for big retail distributors and I believe there are more chances to find those distribution partners on weekdays, rather than on the weekend.”

Among the women accessories trends for the next Autumn/Winter season, we have spotted brands such as the German Blutgeschwister, continuing with their characteristic colorful and adventurous prints. Desigual resumes its floral pattern, available in different color combinations, complemented with the addition of fur, tacks and golden embroidery. Bruno Banani presents a natural-colored collection where fringes, leather and canvas characterize the trends. For men, classic and practical leather goods dominate the trend, with an occasionally addition of small details in bright colors.

Casual and sports accessories manufacturers could also be found at the I.L.M., showcasing the next season’s trends. For the next A/W season, Eastpak introduced novelties, such as the comeback of a retro military-inspired canvas bag, which emphasize the brand’s origin as a bag and backpack producer for the US army. Another line shows their vintage bags, featuring backpacks with leather ribbons at the bottom, retro silhouettes and the old labeling of Eastpak in black and white. Psychedelic, multi-color prints and animal-inspired pattern are still among the designs of the American manufacturer. Brunotti, another bag, backpack and luggage manufacturer, was increasing its brand awareness at I.L.M, due to competitive prices: “We approach a younger client, looking for easy-wearable unisex sportswear goods with a focus on design and a limited budget” stated Laura Krienen, member of Fashion Solutions GmbH, Brunotti’s German distributor.