A leather entrepreneur's point of view by Nuova Overlord Tannery



We took stock of the leather sector with Giancarlo Tentella of Nuova Overlord Tannery S.p.A. Established in Santa Croce sull'Arno (PI) in 1972, the company boasts fifty years of experience in the production of high-end leathers for the footwear and leather goods sector. A history characterized by the combination of craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology, together with the careful selection of raw materials and a production process that controls all stages of processing to guarantee the customer-especially luxury griffes-a result of sublime quality.


From your point of view, how do you "photograph" the leather goods and footwear sector at the moment?


After the worldwide crisis given by the pandemic, it seems to me that the footwear market is recovering fairly well, fortunately, perhaps it is the type of product perceived as more "necessary"? Instead with leather goods there is this peculiar feeling of superfluous luxury, as if it is a frivolous purchase that can be put off until better times. So at the moment I can report to you that the accessories leather scene is stagnant, certainly partly because of the crisis in the markets due to the war in Ukraine and the increased cost of energy. Those who were working mainly with markets like China and Russia are unfortunately suffering big losses. 


And how have these factors affected your company?


Let me preface this by saying that for us, cooperation and dialogue with the customer are always fundamental, the basis on which we build fruitful relationships. However, at the moment, the fashion brands we work with (to name a few: Celine, Tod's, Ferragamo, Bulgari, Burberry) are reluctant to place large orders. Right now, I could not tell you exactly what the new trends in leather will be partly because of the caution-perhaps too much? - of the brands. It must be said that we have been producing a-seasonal collections for years, we are constantly investing in research and development on processing and finishing but we do not chase the trends of the moment. For example, at Lineapelle New York, which we are attending in the next few days, we are bringing several bestselling leathers and a couple of new products.


How central is the issue of sustainability to you?


In our own small way, Nuova Overlord has been pursuing a corporate philosophy directed toward environmental sustainability for years, with the adoption of increasingly advanced plants capable of enhancing the highest qualities of the leather combined with an ethical commitment to reducing our impact on the environment more and more. We also make investments in process sustainability and corporate welfare, with a reorganization of work areas to manage it more efficiently in the well-being of employees. In addition, we have introduced advanced management in the company that will also allow the customer to track the status of his order in the future, in the name of trust and transparency in the supply chain.


Government and leather entrepreneurs: what support do you think would be needed to help the supply chain and companies? What could be a solution for you to get out of this moment of crisis?


Definitely, more investment should be made in youth training and professionalism. In our specific field, there is a lack of artisans, cutters. Examples of innovative and rich schools such as Polimoda in Florence are a beacon in the dark. More investment should be implemented in this regard because there are traditional professions of excellence in made in Italy that are gradually disappearing. One of the main objectives of our government should be to be able to merge the needs of young people, who are trying to enter the world of work, with the needs of businesses, which need new recruits and creativity to carry on traditions and, why not, even renew their way of producing.