My Métier d’Excellence
I’ve been the head of production and R&D at Conceria Masoni for 17 years. We produce different types of calfskin for luxury houses, mainly for leather goods, but also footwear. I’m the liaison between these brands and our teams. My role is to ensure that we meet their needs and that the innovations we develop are easily replicable. Sometimes designers give us an image to work from, a picture. Our job is to imagine a product that best expresses the mindset of a collection, its look, its feel, its colors and its soul…. I’m also in charge of finishing, which is the final stage in the process before the client presentation. Although all the processes, notably tanning, contribute to the end result, finishing is particularly important. It’s during this final phase that we work on the grain of the leather to protect it against water or stains, or to elevate aesthetic features, the sheen, the softness, the color, etc. We can waterproof the leather, nourish it, press it or stamp it to create an artificial grain or designs.
Leather comes from a living source, so our approach is very artisanal since we never produce exactly the same thing twice. Each piece of leather is different, depending on the season, the animal, etc.
I’ve been in this métier for years and I still love the fact that even though technical know-how is obviously indispensable, it’s equally essential to have a certain sensitivity, to know how to look at the hide and touch it to feel how best to enhance it, to understand how it can be worked to express its full potential. You also have to know how to translate this subjectivity to communicate to others, since this is definitely a team effort.
This is why being part of LVMH Métiers d’Art is a tremendous opportunity for our tannery, enabling us to engage with and share our artisanal experience with other manufactures that are part of LVMH Métiers d’Art.
What I love most about my métier
Being passionate about your métier is a great source of satisfaction, although it isn’t free of problems! We face challenges every day, and I’m continually working to find solutions. Seeing a finished product that I really like and presenting it to a client is certainly the moment I enjoy most. And it’s also very rewarding to see a product that has been crafted from one of our leathers in a store window or on the runway.
We always strive for excellence, but succeeding in making something that’s technically complex is a true pleasure. We’re particularly proud of one leather called Saddle Soft that was initially created for riding accessories. It’s not easy to get large quantities of extremely natural leather with a very soft handfeel and a certain suppleness, since we don’t have any margin for error. If there’s a defect in the hide, we simply can’t use it! So when everything goes flawlessly from start to finish and everyone has contributed to making the leather incredibly beautiful, it’s an amazing feeling. This is all the more satisfying since there aren’t that many people with this kind of expertise.
Passing on this métier to new generations
Tanning is an activity with longstanding traditions. I first became involved when I was studying industrial chemistry and then began working at a plant that made chemicals for the leather industry. That gave me a chance to work with different clients and discover different types of finishes. I’ve continued to learn new things every day since I was 16! Today we engage a lot with other companies in the industry and we’re delighted to welcome young people who bring us an invaluable fresh perspective. It’s important to find someone who can teach you the métier, but you need to have both curiosity and passion. That aspect of passing on a métier is an essential motivation for our joining LVMH Métiers d’Art. This structure created by the LVMH Group encompasses a variety of exceptional manufactures around the world, providing them with support that helps us become more attractive for clients, further develop our savoir-faire, and of course pass on our expertise to others who share our passion.