This year’s international leather trend workshop was held by LANXESS in Santa Croce sull’Arno in Italy from February 12-16, 2007. The event was organised by the new ‘Competence Centers Italian Innovation’ team set up in 2006 to present leather trends in the furniture upholstery and upper leather sectors. The participants included employees from the local Leather business unit, representatives from headquarters in Leverkusen, leather technologists from South America, China, Spain and Portugal and the main Italian dealers.

For some years now, LANXESS have employed the services of an Italian stylist who works for top fashion companies worldwide. This ‘trend scout’ provides the applications technologists in Italy with new ideas for developing fashionable leathers each season.

In Santa Croce, where LANXESS have a competence centre with laboratory and applications development department, raw hides were transformed into a collection of colours and leathergoods for the spring/summer 2008 season. The collection is based on two different trends:

* Past + experience + present + research = future

There is no room for nostalgia any more; it is time to look to the future.

Without the past there is no future; by tomorrow today is the past.

The past is cut up into pieces like a jigsaw puzzle and put together again differently to create a new picture.

Knowledge and ability give rise to revolutionary visions that shape tomorrow.

Colours: light, pale shades such as beige and stone are combined with dark, muted colours from night-blue and violet to agate with metallic or mirror effects.

* Air + light + energy + research = vibration

A fresh wind is blowing, bringing new ideas for the summer. This trend is characterised by freshness and lightness, like a gentle sea breeze. Clear colours dominate, bathing everything in a rich glow and tinting white clouds. Everything flows and vibrates.

Colours: sun yellow, apple green, strawberry red teamed with pale shades such as eggshell and light gray. At LANXESS, fashion ideas are translated into actual leather articles whose appearance and colour are in line with the trends and arouse the right associations The aim was to produce different leathers and work out the relevant formulations in accordance with regional market requirements so that customers in the tanning industry worldwide can benefit from the know-how acquired by the workshop participants. The Leather business unit is part of LANXESS’s Performance Chemicals which posted sales of EUR 1,977 million in 2005.