Demand high for 'Natural Sensations' Japan8 March 2007
On February 20, at the Park Tower Hall of Tokyo, the 2007 edition of Natural Sensations took place. The event was organized by the Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium with the collaboration of the Italian Trade Commission. Due to popular demand, two separate sessions were held and a total of 500 stylists, designers, leather manufacturers and press attended the event. The event was opened by the new director of the Italian Trade Commission's Tokyo office, Dr. Federico Balmas. In his speech he underlined the rising importance of the Japanese market for vegetable-tanned leather, and confirmed the appreciation in that country for this niche material. This was followed by a presentation by Diane Becker, trend consultant for the Consortium, of the new spring/summer 2008 leather trends. The highlight of the event was the workshop on vegetable tanned leather which was directed by Simone Remi - vice-president of the Consortium - and by Michele Ciampalini - member of the board. The workshop focused on the wonderful collections created by the students of the most important Japanese fashion institutes - Bunka Fashion College, Hiko Mizuno College of Jewelry, Sugino Fashion College, and A-Dash Work. The designers displayed well-crafted and extremely innovative objects. In addition to shoes and bags with a particular oriental fascination, special articles such as a wedding dress, created by a student of Sugino Fashion College, were also shown. The collections were all made in Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather sourced from the Consortium's member tanneries. In addition, 26 panels with leather samples from each member tannery were displayed around the hall. The event was well received by participants and represented the first step towards a wider project of collaboration with the most important international fashion institutes, to raise awareness and appreciation of the possible combinations of an ancient leather with contemporary ideas. The Consortium presented each student with a leather together with a certificate 'First degree of vegetable-tanned leather master artisan.'