Mipel is an international leather-goods trade show, which is based in Milan and occurs twice a year and has over 400 exhibitors.

I took a 7am flight from Gatwick on Sunday, and flew into Malpensa Airport, Milan. From there I was able to get a bus direct to the impressive Fieramilano exhibition arena. I had been told by another handbag designer to go to the overseas area, as this is where the majority of manufacturers are. 

The manufacturers came from either India, Thailand or China and all were very eager to talk about their products and about what they can produce. Being able to see their handbags gave me an idea of the standard and cost that I could expect if they were to produce my design. 

The main area of Mipel is taken over by handbag wholesalers, exhibiting their products towards prospective buyers from the retail industry. It was interesting to see what other designers had produced and in what colours and materials.

There is also a catwalk show, showing pieces from various designers, a good chance to see the collections and a great opportunity for a sit down.

I took an early evening return flight and was back in London by 8pm. I felt very excited and slightly nervous, as this was another step forward with my design.