Studioart on how there’s more to leather than meets the eye

Massimo Brancati, the environmentally-focused creative director of Italian brand Studioart Leather Interiors, talks us through the 10th anniversary collection and why we should think outside the box when bringing leather into our homes.

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The Urban range in caramel

The leather business was started 50 years ago by my grandfather, so it’s really a family business. In the group we have three companies: Studioart, which focuses on interiors and is led by my mother; the tannery, Montebello, that is 50 years old and works with the fashion industry; and then we have Gemata, which is a company that makes tannery machines.

My background is in architecture and I graduated in sustainability and landscape so I always try to reduce the environmental impact of my work.

See more: Lori Weitzner on the transformational power of textiles

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The Losange range

For our 10th anniversary we wanted to explore some other points of view to our products. I designed a collection, drawing on nature for my inspiration. We also worked with Giorgia Zanellato, who comes from more of a fabric background and introduces a feminine touch, and with Elaine Yan Ling Ng from The Fabrick Lab, who presents a more eclectic style, more colours, sharper angles.

In the future we might continue to collaborate with other designers to bring more fresh perspectives to the company; through this experience, we realised that everyone learns something.

Ours is a product that can be totally customised. It’s very difficult to re-create the same wall in the same colour with the same finish because we have so many options – everyone is able to express their own style.

See more: How Italian designer Paola Navone finds her inspiration

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The Dett range

We can add treatments that make the leather waterproof and oilproof. But in a humid climate like Hong Kong’s, air circulation is the best way to look after leather.

Leather is like wood or stone – a natural material that can either be contemporary or classic depending on how it is applied. We try to use leather like a material, not just for what’s expected.

With my job I can travel, I can design, I can get involved in production… and I love it, which is one of the most important things.