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A Python Can Change Its Spots

by Patrick Chon 12:15 am, 24 November 2015 Source: NYTimes.com, December 2014

When a reporter dressed in a black shearling coat and a Tibetan hat edged in fox walked into Libra Leather’s pop-up store in TriBeCa, Mitch Alfus, the owner, said, “You fit right in.”

Mr. Alfus, 62, has been a tanner since he was 27. He opened the temporary shop last month to sell rugs, furniture, apparel and sporting equipment made with hides. He buys skins as byproducts of the commercial meat industry in Europe and has them reworked in colors nature never intended. (He gets python skins from Indonesia and has them finished in Italy.) A 9-by-5-foot cowhide rug in red and black is $800; a 1930s club chair in natural python is $20,000. Open through December at 72 Franklin Street (Franklin Place). From Jan. 5, the shop will be permanently installed in the company showroom, 259 West 30th Street (Eighth Avenue). Information: 212-695-3114 or libraleather.com

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