Interview – Magazine Leather

Hanneke Kramers: There’s a lot to be said about “leather,” do you have a moment?

by MAGAZINELEATHER March 8, 2024 Reading Time: 6 min.

“Why is leather still beautiful and part of vintage fashion years later? Just look at the proportions and you will automatically get the answer. Maybe it’s an icon?

In our Magazine Leather Academy interviews, we had an interview with Hanneke Kramers, founder of LEATHER FASHION ACADEMY in Amsterdam, Netherlands, about “Leather craft, garment and Education.”

Hanneke Kramers, can we get to know you and the Leather Fashion Academy?

With our passions as leatherworkers, we have been operating for over thirty years as independent couturiers specializing in leather under the Hanneke Kramers Couture brand. Our work has been included in the collections of several important Dutch couturiers and designers such as Mart Visser, the late Edgar Vos and Frank Govers. I am also a first-grade qualified art education teacher. We share our knowledge with a passion and mission for leather. For years I have been giving lectures, teaching modules and vocational classes in various fashion courses for secondary and higher vocational education, interested and advanced students. After years of working in this field, I felt it was the right time for a school where I could express and teach all aspects of my passion. And that’s why the Leather Fashion Academy is a great opportunity for anyone who really wants to learn about leather!

The Lfa: With us, you go from being unconsciously skilled to a consciously skilled professional/woman. We allow your talents to flourish. You will gain a wealth of knowledge and skills that will allow you to move forward independently and turn your own creativity into beautiful results.

The Leather Fashion Academy offers you personal guidance and craft mastery. It goes without saying that we will teach you to work at a high technical level. By keeping class groups small, we can guarantee the best individual guidance for everyone.

The Lfa was born out of: a lifelong passion for and extensive knowledge of the material leather. Leatherworking is a craft almost as old as mankind itself, and out of respect for this craft, the bar for craftsmanship in the Lfa is high. Complemented by over thirty years of leather couture experience, years of experience and a 1st degree teaching qualification.


What do you think can be said about leather without being a fashion icon?

There is much to say about “leather,” do you have a moment? For me personally, it is the most beautiful and finest material there is. Of course, it is important to know where it came from and how it was made, and what tannins were used. If you process your “leather” the right way, you will have a super durable and fantastic product or item that will last a long time.

What does Leather Fashion Academy produce in terms of leather and leather products?

The Leather Fashion Academy is a vocational training where you will learn at a high level how to process the material into beautiful products, such as clothes, accessories, shoes, bags, etc. The Lfa’s main specialization is in the field of clothing. From pattern drawing to crafting all kinds of clothing in “leather”. Thus, there is the students’ work, which remains their property. But by special request, there is the opportunity to have your own garment made by Hanneke Kramers herself.

Do you cooperate with universities in the field of education?

The Lfa is often asked to guest lecture at various educational institutions and industry associations, such as the:

  • High School of the Arts Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • Master training coupeur, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Styling Academy Artemis, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • B-model Netherlands
  • ‘Branch fashion and crafts’ Netherlands
  • Course bags making The Hague,
  • AMFI, Amsterdam

What do you think about Leather Fashion becoming an icon in the fashion world compared to the 1980s?

Personally, I don’t care for icons. Actually, you should first ask the question “What is an Icon”? to answer. An icon in fashion can be something or someone who is a role model or figurehead, positive or negative. If something is good and beautiful to me, it has everything to do with proportions. Why is something still beautiful or good years later and one day part of beautiful vintage fashion? Just look at the proportions and you will get the answer. is that maybe an icon?

Besides being a fashion icon, how can we judge leather in terms of sustainability?

For me, sustainability has to do with where and how and with what it was tanned. If you process, maintain and store it sustainably, it can last for hundreds of years.

Do you offer training on design and finishing as a course at the Academy?

Yes, within the Leather Fashion Academy we offer all kinds of training and courses ranging from design (pattern making) to finishing a complete garment/product. But we also offer 1-day workshops, such as Learning to Recognize.

Have you ever been sent to various major companies around the world for work or student internships?

Personally, I have several work experiences at home and abroad. At the Leather Fashion Academy, students do not have to gain overseas experience or intern at a company. This is something that often arises organically.

Who can participate in the academy and how?

The Lfa is a professional training and anyone motivated to learn more about the proper way to handle the material is welcome. An intake interview is always held prior to training and courses. No prior knowledge is required for the 1-day workshop. All information can be found on the website;

Finally, what would you say to young people who are just starting out in the craft of leather and leather products, and those who are dedicated to the craft?

To all young people who have been touched by the material “Leather,” I give the advice to learn as many different techniques as possible from as many masters as possible. Travel a lot and dare to make mistakes, you will learn from them. This gives you a broad education and eventually your specialty within the “learning sector.” My advice: choose a specialization that will make your eyes shine, your drive and passion will eventually make you a Master.

Ms. Hanneke Kramers, thank you for your precious time.