Magazine
09.14.20

3 QUESTIONS TO BENJAMIN MALATRAIT, PRESIDENT AND COFOUNDER OF ICTYOS

Created by three friends, all chemical engineers, ICTYOS is a tannery both innovative and eco responsible selling high quality sea leathers made from food industry’s fish skins. While a partnership between ICTYOS
and Maison Jean Rousseau is about to take shape, Benjamin Malatrait, cofounder of ICTYOS, tells us more about the start of its company and the link that rapidly united ICTYOS to the Manufacture.

1. What is ICTYOS’s purpose and how have you discovered Maison Jean Rousseau?

Our project was born only a few years ago, in 2016. With ICTYOS, my two associates and I have decided to use fish skins, a resource that is widely available but frequently wasted, to make high quality leather. Since the very beginning, our approach is both ethical and environmental, allowing us to support the actors of the sustainable fisheries.

But at first, we didn’t know if our idea could work so after launching feasibility studies, we contacted a hundred French leather professionals, from all professions and levels, from the solitary craftsman to the prestigious luxury Group. Among these professionals, we had immediately identified Jean Rousseau as a key player, so we reached its teams and were instantly invited to present our prototype. From this day, we entered a circle of discussion that is still going on and is now reaching a concrete partnership.

2. Which values do you share?

The dialogue between ICTYOS and Jean Rousseau has immediately started as a real human relationship based on trust and honesty. Jean Rousseau’s teams have a great expertise of watch straps and design. They are extremely challenging. They helped us direct our aesthetic choices and made us win an incredible amount of time from a technical point of view. Thanks to them, we have improved the technical quality of our leather, better defined some brightness effects, specified colours to be resistant to light, rubbing and water. There were dozens of iterations and meetings with the craftsmen to make our products achieve a premium quality level. We even went further: while we were launching our tannery but hadn’t received all our machines yet, Jean Rousseau’s teams gave us access to theirs to sharpen some of our technics.

3. Innovation also seems to link both your Houses.

Our partnership is already mature, so now we need to renew ourselves! Today, nomadic workshops are great events for us, but our clients and our teams need to be more impressed than ever! We must show that we can do what the industry can’t or will refuse to do! In the meanwhile, why don’t we organize a special exhibition with our previous creations?