“I love working with vegetable tanned leather. It is a natural, authentic and honest material, revealing its beauty while you work on it”. These are the words of Hingji Lee, one of ten students from the most prestigious international fashion and design schools in the world, who participated this year in the eighth edition of Craft The Leather. The training project is promoted by Consorzio Vera Pelle Italiana Conciata al Vegetale (Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium), and is aimed at young aspiring designers. It returns to Lineapelle with an exhibition of truly unique creations. Bags, backpacks, clothes, personal accessories and furnishings. The collections comprehend different types and are the expression of the creative freedom of the students who have completed this training path, becoming passionate about the processing of vegetable tanned leather.
The works competing are 10, they are on display and they can be voted for the entire time of Lineapelle Milano at Fieramilano Rho (Hall 15, Lane A02/A18). Participants come from all over the world. Italy: Accademia Costume & Moda – Roma. Japan: Bunka Fashion College and Hiko Mizuno. England: Capel Manor College and London College of Fashion. United States: College for Creative Studies and Fashion Institute of Technology. Spain: ESDIR. Belgium: Royal Academy of Art and SASK Sint Niklass.
In May 2019, the students participated with their teachers in a week of training workshops in the Tuscan tanning district, coordinated by a tutor, Diane Ellen Becker. They were able to explore every aspect of vegetable tanning, and select the hides to be used in the final competition.
Who will win?
Voting takes place in three ways. A selected technical jury will cast its vote during Lineapelle 98. Then there is the fair visitors vote. Finally, there is the online one. This year, in addition to voting via Facebook (/ConsorzioVeraPelle), it will also be possible to vote through Instagram (@consorzioverapelle). To choose the winner, a sum of the total votes received will be made.
The word to future designers
Testimonies from the students are the best feedback for the Craft the Leather project. “All the visits have been carefully selected to give us another piece of the puzzle, a better and wider vision of the sector – said Mariana Garcia Mejia, a student -. The visit to the tannery was another nice attraction, not only aesthetically speaking, but also in terms of full connection with the material. I think that, as a designer, you should fully connect with your material and love it. Only this way will you create accordingly”. All the students were thrilled by the potential of the material: “I was surprised by its characteristic and beauty”, said SengHuat Lee. “An incredible experience”, commented Marta de Hojas.