Craft the leather

Since 2012 Craft The Leather is a training project, upon invitation only, focusing on a group of talented young designers from the most prestigious and innovative international fashion and design institutes.

The project’s objectives are to enhance the knowledge of Vegetable-Tanned Leather and enrich the technical know-how of designers/makers longing to start a career into the international fashion system.

The didactic program is composed of three phases:

Training workshop in Tuscany

Participants are hosted one week in Tuscany, experiencing a full immersion in the life of the Leather District, following the entire productive process from the tanneries, to the state of the arts water purification plant. They come to know many types of vegetable-tanned leather, experience industrial and artisan practices, join a master class led by traditional leather craftsmen, and in the concluding creative workshop, the designers are free to experiment crafting, finishing and personalization techniques on a wide range of natural veg-tanned leathers, using traditional materials and tools. The program includes also visits to traditional artisan bottegas and to museums in Florence.

Creative phase

Back home at their schools, each designer receives leathers selected during the training workshop in Tuscany to be used for the final phase of the project. They are requested to develop and make a three piece collection of personal accessories, starting from the base of the simple, natural veg-tanned leather, using its unique characteristics as the inspiration for design.

Final contest

As a conclusion of the training program, the designers’ collections are exhibited at one of the most important international leather fairs and voted by professional visitors and by a technical jury. The winner of the Competition is rewarded with a scholarship.

The Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium appointed a professional consultant to organize and coordinate its didactic projects Craft the Leather: Mrs Diane Ellen Becker.

Creative consultant, Diane Ellen Becker has worked in the all aspects of the specialty leather business from visual merchandiser and buyer to designer of high end leather goods and shoes, specializing in international trend research and creative brand identity, consultation and formation, both to fashion/design professionals and educational institutes.


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