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.

Studioart2016-Frammenti Urban caramel
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

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

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.