The future of leather

A hot topic at upcoming Condé Nast luxury conference

Kaylee Denmead
April 2, 2015

photos of Florence's Scuola del Cuoio by Marco Badiani

Florence is abuzz: on April 22 and 23, the city will host the first Condé Nast International Luxury Conference. Along with top fashion gurus—among them Karl Lagerfeld and Roberto Cavalli—attendees will include executives from Hermès, Tiffany and Ferragamo. Much awaited by many in the fashion industry, the two-day conference will address wide-ranging topics of the moment, including the changing role of technology.


With the fashion industry increasingly concerned about sustainability and environmental impact, one current question is whether leather might be ‘grown’ in a lab rather than processed from animal hides. Suzy Menkes gives a glimpse of this future in a short video (see The goal behind this technology is not only to create leather but, in the process, to improve it with greater durability, breathability and elasticity.scuoladelcuoio


Florence delegates will discuss the future of leather, a material with which the city has a long and legendary history. As one of its most important industries, leather—whether ‘natural’ or ‘cultivated’—is on the minds of those in Florence who are artists of it, from sales and design to passing on the art of working with leather. What do they see ahead?


Tommaso Melani of the famous Scuola del Cuoio says that while he doesn’t see the industry changing in the very near future, ‘I do hope sooner or later we will witness a reduction in the production, because it will mean better farming conditions for animals and, consequently, high quality of raw leather to be tanned.’scuoladc


Want to learn more about leather and fashion, quality and style? Head here for a glimpse into the world of Florence-based leather stylist and designer, Jennifer Tattanelli.

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