Richard Bryant and Ali Hakimi have gone into partnership with Denzil Spolander of African Gameskin Trading to form a new leather supplier, Fusion Leather in Cape Town, South Africa, which will concentrate on footwear upper leather.

Bryant and Hakimi, former marketing and technical directors respectively at Mossop-Western Leathers, will run a two-part operation; Hakimi will oversee a laminating plant, concentrating on school shoe leathers, while Bryant will sell a range of Brazilian upper leathers.

‘We foresee the laminating plant working with, rather than against, Mossop-Western’s Tek-Tan production’, Bryant said. ‘It’s a big market, but it can be quite cyclical. Also, there are some specialised areas which we believe we can explore.’

On the agency side, he said African Gameskin had been representing the Brazilian CBS group of tanneries for some time but that it had concentrated on supplying the furniture upholstery sector. Fusion will represent the tanneries, which include Corbetta and Bom Retiro.

Fusion Leather will be situated at 22 Stellenberg Rd Parow Industria, and the laminating plant was expected to be operation by the first week of June. The capacity of the laminating plant will be 200,000ft/month, or about half the capacity of the Mossop-Western plant.

Spolander, another Mossop-Western ‘old boy’, also provided a company, Tannin Trading (Pty) Ltd, which will trade as Fusion Leather.

Of their decision to leave Mossop-Western, Bryant said it was ‘just about going on our own. I would have been with Mossops for 36 years in June, and my father and grandfather were with Mossops before that, and Ali joined in 1981, so obviously it was quite a decision to make. We left with absolutely no hard feelings.’