Eighteen delegates from leading tanneries in Thailand attended the recent week long ‘Fashion Seminar’, held in Bangkok and organised by Stahl in conjunction with the Thai Tanning Industries Association. The theme of the seminar, ‘Translation of a feeling into reality’, enabled John Schoemans from Stahl Holland and Steve Apps from Stahl Thailand to teach the delegates how to understand their fashion dreams and convert them into attractive and saleable leather. They used the concept of a dreamer, a watcher and an achiever as the three steps needed to convert an original idea into the reality of a leather that will attract the eye of a buyer.

Of the reasoning behind the seminar, Schoemans says, ‘we set out to help the delegates answer the question: ‘How do I put my fashion ideas onto leather?’. Among the important points that were emphasised was that of using their own tannery’s brand strength and linking it with a fashion creativity that helps to improve brand image in the market place, essentially creating their own place in the market and encouraging its recognition among existing and potential new customers. Schoemans and Apps also showed how necessary it is in today’s markets to improve both quality and performance of leather and used the seminar as a forum to show how this could be done in Thailand for both home and export marketing.

Stahl’s colour forecast for autumn and wWinter 2003 and 2004 was used as a background to the practical work. Delegates were set the task of making a presentation of a saleable collection of leathers for this season. Schoemans says: ‘Considering the short time available, less than a week, the results were truly amazing. They reflect the abilities of tanneries in Thailand to produce beautiful, high performance leathers.’