Highest quality and personalization of products are the winners of PRIANTE tanning that focuses on growth in the leather goods sector through continual research and innovation

Head of this tannery founded at Arzignano in 1956 by his father Lino, Luigi Priante has imposed significant innovation, basing the work of the firm on a philosophy characterized by creativity and experimentation, while keeping it rooted in the best Italian tanning tradition.
Specialized in aniline treatment of bovine hides, once destined only for the furnishing segment, for some years now the Priante tannery has been enjoying success in the market of quality leather goods also, where it plans further expansion thanks to continual investment in fashion and technical research.

– What is Priante’s mission today?

We want to be known as a partner of excellence also in the leather goods sector, able to offer innovative interpretations of leathers, personalized and of high quality, with a strong distinctive value.

– What are the main innovations for S/S 2015?

The new collection is inspired by the elegant travellers of yesteryear, the legendary fascination of the Orient Express and its wonderful destinations. We have interpreted this trend by developing very high quality traditional leathers that emphasize the essence of the raw material like the very new Bespoke solution.

– What is this?

Bespoke is our latest novelty. A leather tinted and washed as though it were soft fabric but, above all, an actual system of creative and productive personalization developed in partnership with the client to produce an exclusive product.

– Hide is an increasingly scarce and costly raw material. Some experts believe that in future it will be used exclusively in the luxury segment. Do you agree with this?

The growing difficulty of sourcing raw hides increasingly swell the costs of finished leathers but in my opinion this way they will begin to assume the value that they should always have had. I’ll explain: compared to fabric, leather still costs relatively too little. A beautiful fabric can arrive at a price of over 120 euro per metre, while our leathers are never more than 60/70 euro. So it’s clear at this point that to obtain just recognition on the market we must first manage to change consumers’ conception of this prime material. Unfortunately it must be admitted that in the last twenty years we have seen a lot of “rubbish” passed off as leather, particularly in the furnishing sector and this has damaged the image of leather a great deal. Then, when sourcing is difficult there is a risk of having to adapt to raw hides of poorer quality leading progressively towards a lower standard. We must manage to avoid this and safeguard the intrinsic value of the material.

– There is a lot said about sustainability. How do you face this issue?

This year we have obtained UNI EN ISO 14001 environmental certification and completing the procedure for SA8000 ethical certification and OSHAS 18001 on safety. Furthermore, the market is very differentiated: there are parts of the world, United States for example, where this is a very topical issue, while it is decidedly less in other places. In my experience, I don’t see great demand from clients. There are few big names asking for white or chrome-free.
The Kering luxury group, that the Bottega Veneta brand belongs to, has nevertheless declared it wants to be using only metal-free leathers by 2020…
Apart from the fact that the use of chrome in tanning is totally innocuous, I myself would be happy to start processing only white leathers is chrome became officially outlawed. All the same, I don’t believe this will happen also because the variety of articles one can obtain with chrome is currently not replicable with any other tanning product.

– What direction is your research taking as regards technology?

We are moving on some very innovative fronts in collaboration with chemical producers, also partners outside our sector but there is a long way to go and we prefer not to make advance forecasts.

– Lineapelle anticipates its dates by a month. What do you think?

For many years we tanners have asked for earlier dates and therefore are in favour of Lineapelle’s decision. All the same, it’s a shame such decisions come pretty late in view of our requests: although they wish to be seen as a service to the sector, it is only a battle between fairs.

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