Loewe mixes wickerwork, craftsmanship and regeneration to create a unique project presented at Salone del Mobile
Loewe returned to Milan Design Week and set itself apart with a beautiful basketry project that cleverly combined sustainability, creativity and commercial success. Led by its creative director, Irish designer Jonathan W Anderson, the Spanish luxury leather brand owned by the LVMH group took over the grand courtyard of the renaissance palace Isimbardi to unveil “Weave, Restore, Renew”, a carefully curated project that took two years to complete.
The brand’s aim is to once again emphasize the craftsmanship that has always characterized Loewe through a sustainable and creative approach centered on three ancestral weaving techniques. The company recovered 240 old wickerwork objects from around the world in a wide variety of styles. The baskets, bags, satchels, and other styles found throughout Europe, China, South America and Japan were handed over to Loewe’s Spanish craftsmen to reconstruct.
Idoia Cuesta, Belén Martínez, Santiago Besteiro and Juan Manuel Marcilla mended and repaired the baskets using leather straps and gave a new life to these objects, some of which had arrived in very bad condition. The regenerated products were displayed around the courtyard during the Salone del Mobile, with a label indicating, among other things, their origin and the number of hours of work employed in their restoration. The items were offered for sale between 1,500 and 3,000 euros, and almost all of them sold out within five days.
A second part of the project showcased coroza, an ancient weaving technique from Galicia in northern Spain, using straw, reeds, heather and other natural fibers to make thick straw overcoats and hats to protect the riverbank from the rain. Several examples of these heavy overcoats were displayed in the center of the courtyard. They have inspired the fashion house to turn to the designer and basketry specialist Álvaro Leiro to create a series of bags and baskets with the straw bangs that are typical of this tradition.
Finally, the last part of the project was assigned to Young Soon Lee, Korean finalist of the 2019 edition of the Craft Prize organized by the Loewe Foundation. The artist used her country’s traditional weaving technique, Jiseung, made from paper strings, to create a series of bags.
Loewe wished to illustrate the regenerative power of handiwork through this project, proving that recycling and authentic craftsmanship can be creative and environmentally friendly as well as generate business.
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