Stahl recently opened a design studio in Milan, Italy. This forms the centre for a newly formed Fashion Group comprising Stahl’s Fashion Consultant, Rini van Vonderen; John Schoemans, Fashion Coordinator at Stahl Holland, Waalwijk; and Peter Jessop, Team Leader and also based in Waalwijk.

The Fashion Group has been created to provide advance information on colours, textures and innovative effects that will influence all market segments of the worldwide leather industry in the future. Since colour forecast information is generally available up to three years in advance of high street fashion demands and is relatively easy to predict, Stahl prefers to predict the more important changes and to show how these will influence all types of articles made from leather. The recent distribution to customers of the first ‘Trend Book’ shows many good illustrations of how new leather surfaces may be converted into fashionable designs in footwear, leathergoods and other high fashion articles.

Within the group, the Fashion Consultant develops the concept stage for a particular fashion season in which a variety of both leather and textile swatches are combined with other materials to form the basis of ideas for new product development and production of commercially attractive and fashionable leathers. The role of the Fashion Coordinator to transfer these ideas into surface textures in the right combination of colours for making a saleable piece of leather that will fulfil the demands of fashionable apparel and interior designs during the relevant season.

Customers who have already visited the Milan Design Studio following its formation have been impressed with the fashion presentations both in the ‘concept’ form and at the stage where they have been able to include finished leathers created from early ideas conceived by experts from the fashion industry.

Visits to the Design Studio can be arranged by local Stahl companies, agents, distributors and representatives.