Spotlight on La Maroquinerie Philippe Serres
Philippe Serres might have become an international rugby player like some of his former classmates, who are also from Graulhet in the Tarn, but he preferred to defend French colours on another playing field. For 20 years in this small village, between Albi and Toulouse, he has managed the leather goods company founded by his great-grandmother. La Maroquinerie Philippe Serres (Kiplay Maroquinerie), has been labelled a Living Heritage Company since 2014.
And his way of singing the Marseillaise is to proudly claim that his products are 100% made in France. At a time when competition is all too often centred on price, the strategy followed by La Maroquinerie Philippe Serres is deliberately focussed on quality. Recognised quality too, as the majority of sales in the business are conducted with major customers, iconic brands or big internationally renowned luxury houses, which only associate their brands with very high-end products that are custom manufactured, often from a simple sketch.
Quality, advice and know-how are the essential ingredients to meet the demands of this clientele, as Philippe Serres tells us.
None of the tasks are mechanised in the workshop. When cutting, the expert eye is able to identify almost invisible traces of a spot or a scar on a skin and decide to place it in a hidden area, in this way making use of virtually all of the skins, all of which, of course, come from animals reared and slaughtered for their meat. When slitting and trimming, the sections are evened, each specifically according to its place in the finished product. Then comes the finishing and assembly.
According to Philippe Serres, the future of his leather still is and always will be founded in quality.
Focusing on quality has opened doors to markets in the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States and Japan where the Living Heritage Company Label is gradually becoming the mark of excellence of know-how.