NEW YORK — Designers preparing for next spring will have plenty to choose from in the leather arena.

The Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium recently held a trend preview called Natural Sensations to showcase leather styles for spring 2003. A number of styles are on tap for the season, which the consortium broke down into three main themes it labeled Incisiveness, Gracefulness and Radiance.

The first trend category includes darker colors and neutral shades and has features such as metallic highlights and oxidized leather as well as leather with raised textures, blotches and stains.

“Colors are burnished and feature dark neutrals with tones of sepia,” said Angelo Ushlenghi, a European trend forecaster who presented the report.

The second trend category includes brighter hues inspired by nature. The leathers are extremely soft and feature grainy and embossed surfaces.

“The inspiration here comes from wildlife and the colors are aquatic,” Ushlenghi added.

The third category is comprised of leathers with satiny finishes and pearlized features.

The Consortium, which was founded in 1994, includes about 30 firms from Italy’s Tuscany region. Tanneries that belong to the Consortium now use a trademark that identifies their products as “Genuine Italian-Tanned Leather.”

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