The genuine Italian vegetable-tanned leather consortium welcomed London’s design community to its ‘Natural Sensations’ event at the Natural History Museum on June 26.

President of the Consortium, Andrea Ghizzani, of Conceria Montana, gave a presentation on the unique qualities and advantages of veg-tanned leather. Stylist Diane Becker presented her trends collection for autumn/winter 2008-09 entitled ‘Random Bars’ which uses the metaphor of travel, whether real or virtual.

The latest collections of the 26 Tuscan member tanneries were on show alongside an exciting range of footwear and leathergoods hand-crafted by Andrea Pietro Traina. Footwear designer Aki Chokolat spoke of how he discovered Andrea Traina’s workshop in Fano. Chokolat’s collection is simply lasted onto a sole, even the boxes the shoes come in are in veg-tanned leather. He believes that veg-tanned leather lends itself to the production of hand-made articles.

Nadia Minkoff showed part of her lifestyle range which she describes as ‘passionate and timeless’. The designer has to work around the characteristics of veg-tanned leather, therefore items are kept simple to best display the beauty of the material as it changes with age. As the bags are cut and sewn by hand, the range is called ‘One at a time’. Minkoff showed the collection at London Fashion Week and received a positive reaction from buyers, particularly from the USA.