Maurizio de Luca, creative and sales director at Italven Pelli, Première Vision Leather and his alligator overnight bag.
MY OFFICE IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FAMILY TANNERY FOUNDED BY MY GRANDFATHER IN ITALY IN THE ‘80S.
I have two jobs: one is commercial (80%), the other is creative (20%). My artistic training in painting, sculpture and drawing helps me a lot when I conduct research with the technicians into the final rendering of skins, finishes, colours etc. for the collections. The rest I learned starting at the bottom, guided by my father. He handed me the keys to this job: learning how to understand the customers. Today I negotiate contracts, I oversee sales, I manage our network of representatives in Spain and Milan. Internally, I try to maintain a constant dialogue with purchasing and production, as much to learn shipping times as to get feedback on my new ideas. (I’m not a chemist!) I travel a lot, I’m always scouting out new ideas. This is a job for extroverts. You also need to have a good ability to talk to people and understand your customers’ needs, so you can turn them into new products. We are the last independent tannery of exotic skins like crocodile, ostrich and lizard in Europe, and the leading importer of crocodile flanks from Venezuela. When you touch my skins, I hope to convey emotion, the stories behind them, not just a notion of brightness or opacity.