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Design Trade


factories left to sell to in the U.S. What to do? Another world appealed to us: the world of architecture and interior design. Designers looking for special quality items for homes, restaurants, offices, airplane interiors, yacht interiors, etc. We started making leathers in such quality and feel that architects and de- signers succumbed to us, and we to them.


How did Andy Warhol come to be the graphic designer during those early years? In the fashion business, change was an im-


portant factor. With four collections a year, flare, advertising and designing colors were a big deal. Andy was working in New York sketching shoes for fashion magazines and shoe manufacturers where our leathers were used extensively. We met outside a mutual customer’s office and he came back with me to the office and saw our leathers (crocodile leather, snake and lizard) and said, “Wow.” Twice. He then did all our graphics, our ad- vertisements and a great coloring book us- ing the animals we tanned into leather as his subjects. Today we are resurrecting one of his drawings, a drunken crocodile (Croco Loco) for furniture.


What resources do you use when seeking inspiration for new collections? Inspiration comes from life — a beach in Mexico (the color “wet sand”), the Louvre (Matisse colors), a spice market in Istan- bul, the design in an Art Deco building or a great designer’s use of leather, among other things. Inspiration comes from an accident in a tannery when leather picks up the grain of small pebbles after being dropped on the


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