Leather Technology

Footwear & Accessories Design

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Leather Technology is a learn and practice program for shoes, bags and accessories, and is appropriately held Florence, the production capital of leather goods for the most important brands in the world. This undergraduate course forms a well defined professional figure; one who can apply traditional skills of craft together with conceptual, avant-garde research, and one who can run a laboratory to create the latest fetish object of desire in fashion.

Leather Technology’s first year gives the basic knowledge to create a pair of shoes and a bag. From the second year students are able to choose a specialisation between footwear, bags and accessories, including small leather- and metal-goods. In the third year they develop a personal portfolio and a final project that includes an iconic product and its packaging to be presented as an installation in Villa Favard.

Courses are all run by teachers from the industry in the new open space Design Lab. Students receive a welcome kit with tools and materials to begin, and have access to expert guest lectures, an immense library, the computer lab, as well as production machines. This course has an intense program of reviews, workshops, field trips and collaborations with companies organised throughout the three years.

Candidates with a secondary-school (high school) diploma or equivalent are eligible and selected after the admission process. English language proficiency is required. Lessons take place from October to June, and amount to a total of 600 contact hours. The course is completed with an internship in a fashion company at the end of the third year. Each academic year is worth 60 credits.

Study Plan

First year
Contemporary Fashion; Leather Materials I; Leather Design Technology I; Pattern Making I; Prototyping Atelier I; Drawing I; CAD Design I; Product Development; Craft to Business.

Second year
Sociology of Imaginary; Leather Materials II; Leather Design Technology II; Pattern Making II (specialisation); Prototyping Atelier II (specialisation); Drawing II; CAD Design II; Product Industrialization (specialisation); Laboratory Management.

Third year
Fashion Design Technology III; Pattern Making III (specialisation); Prototyping Atelier III (specialisation); 3D CAD Design; Industry Project; Materials Purchasing; Product Development; Product Communication; Portfolio and Presentation.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the undergraduate course, students will be able to:

  • Develop a research methodology, envision and produce creative content that informs their creative design and aesthetic point of view.
  • Master artisanal shoe production techniques.
  • Develop complex patterns and realize a set of shoes and accessories including finishing, detailed technical specs and specific feats.
  • Design a merchandising plan scaled to marketability, targeting and positioning objectives to optimize sales within a brand’s or brief’s framework.
  • Create a professional portfolio.

Career Opportunities

Based on the student’s abilities, experience and the skills acquired, graduates of Leather Technology qualify for creative jobs such as Shoe Designer and Accessories Designer, technical jobs such as Materials Purchaser, Quality Controller, and Leather Technologist, managerial jobs such as Technical Director, Product Development Manager, and Head of Innovation, or alternatively for pursuing a freelance career as a consultant.