Fair organiser, APLF Limited, kicks off its 30th year in the service of the global leather industries with a special display, dubbed “Live in Leather”, that will show leather-based products developed by designers eager to explore new ways of using this noble material in furniture, house ware and lifestyle products. This special exhibit is intended to inspire designers and manufacturers to creatively utilise leather as a material and to stir the interest and imagination of buyers and consumers.

Hong Kong-based French designer Laur Meyrieux has been named curator of the exhibit. Meyrieux has designed numerous projects involving brand identity, interior design and exhibition design. Her extensive client list includes Hermès in Japan and Hong Kong for exhibition and show window design, as well as the prestigious retail boutiques of Restir in Japan.

For “Live in Leather”, she has invited designers from England, France and Hong Kong to create beautiful leather design vignettes. Meyrieux will be presenting 8 of her own designs in the exhibition, including furniture and objects. “I have long been passionate about leather – the quality and richness of this material, the wide variation of finishes and its special sense of touch. Leather has always inspired me in my projects,” said Laur, “leather is an ‘alive’ material offering variations of softness and patina to an object.”

Many other renowned designers / design studios have also confirmed their participation in “Live in Leather” including Englishman Bill Amberg. Bill designed leather goods for major brands such as Paul Smith, Donna Karan and Romeo Gigli before opening his own London store in 1996. He is noted for his interior design work, marked by the use of leather panelling, floors and furniture.

Timothy Oulton is a British furniture brand named after its founder and creative director.  After leaving school at 18, Timothy Oulton began working for his father’s business, “Halo Antiques”. Timothy eventually took the helm at Halo and repositioned the company to focus on the recreation of antique pieces with a modern viewpoint. Halo recently opened a store in Wanchai, Hong Kong.

Domeau & Pérès is the collaborative enterprise of master craftsmen Bruno Domeau and Philippe Pérès who joined forces in the early 90’s, bringing together their respective proficiency in saddling and upholstery. The Domeau & Pérès furniture line is made in collaboration with established contemporary designers.

For the “Live in Leather” exhibit, Domeau & Pérès will be presenting a number of interesting pieces including a bicycle in white leather designed by Pharrell Williams, a popular American singer turned fashion designer; a limited edition armchair in silver birch and leather by Nathalie Crasset, and a leather skateboard by Greg Hervieux.

Hong Kong-based designers Stefano Tordiglione, Elsa de Dieu, Mountain Yam, and Karmen from Galaxy Tattoo will also showcase their designs at the exhibition.

An interesting facet of Live in Leather is the participation of MM&T exhibitors who are providing the leathers required to create the prototypes. The leather sponsors include Atlantic Leather from Iceland, Nova Kaeru from Brazil, Zhenug-I Leather from Taiwan, Wipelli from Italy, and Leaton Leather and Fordrich Limited, both leather traders from Hong Kong. Timothy Oulton’s Halo group has signed up to provide furniture production for Live in Leather’s team of designers.