In November 2013, SuperyachtDesign took a trip to Vincenza in Italy to visit the Montebello tannery and headquarters of Studioart, a company that produces leather tiles for luxury interiors. The brainchild of brother and sister Nadia and Gianfranco Dalle Mese, Studioart is deeply rooted in a long tradition of leather processing at their family tannery, which was founded in 1967 and has been producing hides for high-end fashion houses for years. In 2006 Nadia, an architect by training, was intrigued by how the leather could be used in interiors.

“Leather always adds new dimensions to interior design,” Nadia says. “But we wanted to take our understanding of leather to the next level and create something special for use in interiors.” The result is a series of leather tile collections that can be used in a variety of spaces and ways.

The Leatherwall collections use different lines of the tannery’s leathers to create a strikingly contemporary take on surfaces. The possibilities are seemingly limitless, with myriad patterns, finishes and colours available in tiles that come in squares, rectangles, triangles or trapeziums in various sizes. The tiles can come padded or flat, enabling designers to create extremely tactile, textured statement walls. Studioart’s latest additions to the collection are Star, tiles featuring a full grain, transparent leather in natural shade, and Outland, a series of tiles in a natural aniline leather that has been hand-buffed to create a worn look that Nadia promises will only get better with time. The company also offers a special range aimed at the hospitality sector called Active Leather, which has been researched to be harder-wearing yet still extremely tactile and soft.

“We are constantly experimenting and innovating,” Nadia explains. “Leather is so versatile and using it on the walls can add an unexpected element to any space. It is contemporary without being something that will look dated in a couple years.”

Studioart announced that it was aligning itself with luxury Italian textile brand Rubelli, with Rubelli presenting the Studioart Leatherwall collection in its showroom in London. Nicolò Rubelli told us that by teaming itself with other brands, Rubelli is able to reach new contemporary audiences without watering down its own historic aesthetic.

For a full interview with
Nicolò Rubelli and Studioart, see In Business in Q19 of SuperyachtDesign, out now. Subscribers can read the issue online here. To subscribe, click here.

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