Sateesh Jadhav, president of Chennai-based leather company Gaitonde, generously donated the leather in support of centenary celebrations during his visit to the University in December, promising a further 100 vegetable-tanned skins early in 2009. The leathers will be used by students across the fashion disciplines to create unique designs for the Hong Kong salon fashion show in March and a showcase at the University in July.
One of Sateesh’s relatives trained at an early incarnation of BSLT in the 1930s and his father studied at Nene College 30 years later. The leather businessman is proud of his connection with the University and the inspiring minds it produces.
‘Young designers hold the key to the future of the leather industry’, Sateesh believes. ‘There is a huge market in India among young people to have something funky rather than traditional and students across the world can deliver this.’
He adds: ‘Global warming has contributed to increased parasite infestations on livestock which causes defects in the leather produced. This sets a challenge for designers to work around these imperfections while still producing quality products. The world’s rising temperatures will also change the type of footwear produced in the future.’