Young designers enthusiastic about ostrich leather
11 August 2010
THE STUDENTS AT THE ARS SUTORIA SCHOOL CREATED A MINI SUMMER COLLECTION USING THE PRECIOUS RAW MATERIAL SUPPLIED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN
SAOBC AS PART OF AN EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION CONTINUING OVER TIME
Designing and making ostrich leather footwear and bags was such a rewarding experience for the students of the last ARS Sutoria course that the school has decided renew the collaboration for next year too with the South African Ostrich Business Chamber (SAOBC), the South African orginization in charge of promoting on an international level this precious raw material, which has always been associated with the concept of luxury and exclusivity.
“Besides being extremely soft, ostrich leather is capable of giving the models a strong personality thanks to its very unusual rough surface,” said the students of the ARS Sutoria course, who were not familiar with this kind of hide and were left enthusiastic about its versatility.
“It is a very resistant leather which lends itself to the most wide-ranging interpretations, always elegant and glamorous,” was the comment of other young aspiring designers who have just created a new series of bag and shoe prototypes, this time for spring/summer.
Obviously, before being able to use the precious ostrich skins processed in South Africa, the students attended a special seminar during which they were illustrated the history and features of this raw material and explained how to recognize the differences and qualities (distances between follicles, colour and uniformity of their distribution) and how to carry out grading and obtain models.
The young aspiring designers were above all told that the prime element which makes ostrich stand out from the other hides is its unusual appearance, very different from that of calf or kid skin. The difference is substantial not only from the quality point of view, but also aesthetically: ostrich leather is in fact rich with a large number of dark follicles, the last traces of what were once the animal's feathers. Another important aspect is that ostrich can be easily dyed and therefore the colour palette is extremely vast and becomes richer every season, offering a creative freedom which has always been an exceptional incentive for stylists and designers all over the world.