An Interview With A Leather Fashion Designer
Considered a fashion statement by many people, leather goods are in high demand all over the world. Leather is very versatile and there is no denying that leather garments add to the look of any personal style during the day or evening, whether casual or formal.
Over the past 12 months I have been working with fashion designer from DEA The Label and Texas Johnny, Julian Ferro.
Julian’s love for leather goes back to his primary school days. When he was eight years old his Mum started her own leather bag Company, Pelle di Ferro. He travelled with her to an Australian bag factory in Melbourne, and to leather hide wholesalers in Kensington, a suburb of Melbourne. Hide comes in many categories and at the wholesalers he remembers learning how to choose an A-grade hide, as well as which leathers were for fashion, for horse riding equipment or for furniture. Memories of the distinct smells stayed with him, as did the passion of the people he met through his Mum’s business.
One was them was Guy Feria, who handcrafted Scanlon and Theodore’s bags and belts, including Julian’s mum's bags. He told Julian an important tip, which he still uses today:
“There's something in leather that's similar to gold: put it on something and you immediately have a valuable item, made to last forever.”
On Friday and Saturday nights in winter Julian loves going to Brunetti’s on Lygon Street, Carlton, a famous Melbourne coffee and cake hot spot. He doesn’t only go for the cake and coffee though, but for leather inspiration for his upcoming Collections. Amazingly, he says that in winter up to 7 in 10 people will have a leather garment of some sort on, which tells him that the Melbourne women (and men) have class and will still dress up for a coffee and cake.
If you are one of those who think that leather garments are too expensive and spending your hard-earned money on a leather purchase is no more than throwing away your money, I would like to convince you that this is not the case! What you are actually getting a fully sustainable product that will last a lifetime in your wardrobe.
It is true that many people oppose the use of animals and their skins for manufacturing products, but Julian only use sustainable animal hides, e.g. sheep and goat, and he is completely opposed to exotic skins and furs being used for only garments, with the meat discarded.
A lot of thought and effort goes into beautiful leather goods. For example, in China and India, the craft people making the stunning pieces have been handed down their knowledge through generations of leather cobblers. These craftsmen are paid generously for their hard work, skills and talent. When making a jacket you need up to 23 panels cut out of leather hides by hand. As no two hides are the same, they must have each side of the panel scaved and glued before being stitched together on an extremely powerful sewing machine, not to mention the fusing within the garment to keep it from crushing.
Julian has just launched his new range for Autumn/Winter and it is one of the best I have seen. The quality and prices are on point and our clients are blown away with the styles.
One last thing I would love for you to remember is to wear your leather and wear it often. Make the most of your investment pieces - don’t put it to your “best” side of your wardrobe, but put it front and centre. Wear it out for breakfast (I have leather pants on now while writing this over coffee!)
Attached are images of some of my favourite pieces from the AW18 collection, modelled (or muddled!!) by moi.
All pieces can be purchase online at DEA, or pop into the store at 23 Napier Street, Essendon.
Use code CAZINC10 for a 10% discount.
Carolyn Rowland is a qualified NLP Master Therapist, Advanced Practitioner of Matrix Therapies, Time Line Therapist, Practitioner of Hypnotherapy, has a Diploma for Business and Life Coaching and A Professional Image Stylist. Carolyn is happily married to her husband Simon, and raised four beautiful children, who are now young adults and a teenager.
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