In June, Stahl organised a fashion seminar for Thai Tanners, working in conjunction with the Thai Tanning Industries Association (TTIA). The seminar was held in Bangkok and focused on the ways in which tanners can use fashion to enhance the sales of their leather.

With the Thai leather industry growing in stature and world recognition, this was an ideal opportunity for tanners to look at ways of bringing the latest technologies into Thai markets and of using them to produce leather that meets with fashion interests now and into the future.

The main aim of the seminar was to teach the delegates how to set their own goals by reading and following fashion trends, thereby creating a new way of thinking. They learned how to develop their own marketing and product strategies to meet the needs of fashion not only in Asia, but in the global marketplace.

They were shown how to translate fashion forecasts and colour predictions, how to recognise new products on the fashion scene, and how to put these into practice. Strong emphasis was placed on the need to introduce new ideas to market as soon as they have been developed in order to create a reactive dialogue with their customers and ensure speedy reaction.

John Schoemans, from Stahl Holland bv in Waalwijk, who led the seminar, presented a novel approach to producing the right leather fashions for the market. He talked in terms of a fashion dreamer, a setter and a watcher. The dreamer thinks of the future and comes up with the ideas that enable a tannery to meet future fashion requirements.

The setter makes the dreams come true, choosing technology, processing and finishing products and all other aspects of producing the leather to the colours, effects and performance specification demanded by customers.

The watcher has an overall view of fashion and leather processing and finishing and is charged with confirming that what is being done in the tannery follows the fashion trend and that is in the right direction to ensure successful sales.