It's Hard To Believe It, But Loewe Baskets Got Even Prettier
For its fifth participation at the annual Salone del Mobile this year, Loewe presented an instalment focused on age-old traditions and the craft of basketry. With the help of 10 artisans from around the globe, a series of objets d’art created using time-honoured techniques such as weaving, quilting and calligraphy was exhibited in Milan.
Each artisan basket maker was challenged to add a contemporary light to his or her traditional craft by incorporating the Spanish house’s signature medium—leather. Taking the theme of basketry but replacing commonly used materials such bamboo, willow and straw with natural leather, these artisans—from Japan, South Africa, Ireland and the US—created a gallery of limited-edition sculptural pieces that marries the luxury house’s material of choice with time-tested artisanal skills.
For those who missed out on the limited series presented in April, fret not. In collaboration with Spanish artisans, a commercial collection of handcrafted bags and accessories using the same techniques exhibited at the presentation will be launched online and in selected stores on 30 May.
Rich artisanal weaving skills and basketry techniques are applied to icons such as the Puzzle, Gate, and Cushion Tote. The Puzzle is dressed with hand-stitched threads and a spiral woven top handle; and bamboo is incorporated into the Cushion Tote.
But the real standout pieces are the new silhouettes, which integrate artisanal craftsmanship with functionality and creative expression. Baskets, which we commonly see made out of rattan, straw and bamboo all around us, are intricately woven into organic shapes—bringing forth new leather making techniques to light.
(Related: Loewe's Latest Capsule Collection Is A Childhood Dream Come True)
We’ve narrowed down five star pieces from the collection, and why we love them. Whichever you choose, purchasing one of these bags helps preserve and conserve centuries-old craftsmanship and traditions which might otherwise be lost in time to come.
Loewe Mesh Bucket
At a glance, one can tell that this bucket bag takes its inspiration from fishing nets. Using thin calfskin strings, the bag is intricately hand-woven by Certaldo artisans of Italy.
Loewe Bamboo Bucket
The bamboo top handle and its bucket shape are reminiscent of the bamboo water buckets seen in Japan.
Loewe Fringes Bucket
An interpretation of Galician artisan, Álvaro Leiro’s reed basket design, this bag’s sturdy structure is created using a cross-cross woven motif. The same technique gives the bag its open body and fringed detailing.
Loewe Laundry Hobo
This slouchy knotted tote bag is crafted using a signature weaving technique developed by Certaldo artisans of Italy
Loewe Square Bucket
Inspired by traditional Asian bamboo vases, the bag is crafted using a single calfskin panel, hand-stitched together with knots and threads of the same material, and finished with a spiral knotted woven top handle.