The leather industry in Italy generates more than €30 billion turnover per year. The forward-thinking attitude of its members along the supply chain are also pushing the industry towards a digital and sustainable transition. Which is why one event in Milan is perfectly placed to showcase the best of leather to the world.

Leather is big business, and nowhere more so than Italy. Let’s look at some of the numbers:

  • More than 130,000 people (4% of the Italian manufacturing sector) are employed by the Italian leather industry;*
  • More than €30 billion in turnover per year is generated by the aggregate leather sector (tannery, footwear, leather goods and technology);
  • €27 billion of exports were generated across the supply chains in 2022 (up 15% compared to 2021);
  • About 45 percent of exports were footwear and 40 percent were leather goods.

Aside from the sheer scale of numbers, what makes the Italian leather industry so unique and in-demand?

Leather: An Italian “national champion”

The Italian leather industry is the only one that encompasses, at the highest level of excellence, the entire value chain in a single territory, within specialized districts.

In 2022, Italy reconfirmed its position as the leading exporter by value in Europe in terms of technologies across the supply chain, tanned leather, leather goods and footwear. Europe, the United States, South Korea and China are among the top destinations for Italian leather exports.

The trade balance is around €15 billion, with:

  • €1.7 billion for tannery,
  • €7.2 billion for leather goods,
  • €5.4 billion for footwear,
  • and €300 million for technology.

So, what could be a better destination for a showcase of the best innovations and services happening in the leather industry right now than Milan, Italy?

Milan, the destination for the world’s leather industry

The Simac Tanning Tech trade event took place from Sept. 19–21, 2023 at Milano Rho exhibition center. Visitor numbers were up, with over 6,500 certified attendees, including operators and delegations; a 37 percent increase on 2022. And the event was truly international, with 40 percent of visitors from outside of Italy. Turkey, France, Germany, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Tunisia and the return of visitors from Asian countries were all among the 96 visitor-nations represented.

The number of exhibiting companies taking up one of the 15,000 sqm of slots available was also up 14 percent on 2022. This year’s Simac Tanning Tech hosted 320 exhibitors, brands and institutions. A return to pre-Covid levels.

Simac Tanning Tech trade event 2023

Source: Assomac

Simac Tanning Tech trade event 2023

Thanks to the collaboration with ITA-Agenzia, the Simac Tanning Tech exhibition benefited from the presence of 18 international delegations with about 100 buyers, institutional delegates and foreign press; a significant number of whom were also present at the 21st UITIC International Congress of Footwear Technicians.

A leather industry event reflecting drive for sustainability

The Simtac Tanning Tech is also the event to see the leather industry’s commitment and willingness to innovate, particularly when it comes to sustainability.

The 2023 event saw plenty of interesting innovations and application services, presented by companies that are increasingly aiming to create production ecosystems under the banner of sustainability.

“The attention of technology manufacturers towards process organization and digitalization confirm a significant change of pace towards a sustainable transition,” said the President of Assomac and Simac Tanning Tech, Maria Vittoria Brustia. “We are certain that this road, shared by all operators in the sector, will soon generate satisfying results.”

At Simac Tanning Tech trade event 2023

Source: Assomac

(l-r) Mauro Bergozza, Vice President Assomac, Maria Vittoria Brustia, President Assomac and Simac Tanning Tech, Maurizio Forte, Central Director for Export Sectors of Agenzia ICE, and Bruno Bettelli, President of Federmacchine

Simtac Tanning Tech confirmed for 2024

Following the success of 2023, the 50th edition of Simac Tanning Tech has now been confirmed for Sept. 17– 19, 2024. It will once again be held at Fiera Milano Rho, Milan. Find out more and register as a visitor at

* Figures from TEHA-Assomac