Loewe part I


The expression "Spanish Hermes" peaked my curiosity the moment I heard it. Leather goods are the core of- LVMH-owned and 166 years old- Loewe. It is obviously not as popular as Hermes and the brand's revenues are simply the fraction of Hermes revenues. The history of the brand goes back to 1846, when a group of Spanish craftsmen (joined eventually by German emigrant Enrique Roessberg Loewe) opened their first leather goods store. Since Loewe is known for its peerless expertise in leather, most of the accessories and some of the garments are made of it. One of the craftsmen described the process of manufacturing the clothes on official Loewe's website: "Making clothes in napa and suede is not something you learn quickly. About 60% of what we do is by hand, not because we are old fashioned, but for many processes there is no better way and perhaps you need 30 years to perfect these! But we are lucky. The leathers we work on are always chosen for their quality with no thought of the cost, so they are always the very best. Each garment is made from beginning to end by a maximum of three people, so the artisans have a special feeling towards their work".
Loewe only buys the top few percent of available leather. The company's extraordinary technological advances in finessing skins allow to produce paper-fine leather dresses light as silk (available at every collection). British-born Stuart Vevers has been creative director at Loewe since 2008. He designed accessories for Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs and Mullberry. In one of the interviews with Spanish flamenco dancer Maria Pages, Vevers explained: "Spain very much influences my designs. I look to Loewe's past, and the culture of the brand, which is 166 years old, but what is really important is that everything I do has to be for today, for now. That is balance for me, to be inspired by the past but to create for today". He is trying to lure younger customers, without forgetting what Spanish pedigree stands for. Created in 1975 Amazona bag can be considered the "It" bag of the brand and its sales account for 30% of Loewe's annual turnover. Amazona is the definition of quint essential classic- functional, impeccably constructed with discreet logo, consists of 200 hand-made components. It takes between 10 to 12 hours to make it. The following is French Vogue comment on Amazona: "(...) until then (1975) women's bags were decoration pieces, something women had to wear to look nice. The Amazona was created as a container, as something soft that could be worn 24 hours a day-everything needs to fit in that bag".


Kiedy usłyszałam po raz pierwszy określenie "hiszpański Hermes" natychmiast zainteresowałam się marką, porównywaną do jednej z najznakomitszych. Podobnie, jak Hermes, Loewe jest marką o ponad stuletniej tradycji, specjalizujacą się w wyrobach skórzanych o bardzo dobrej jakości. Jest jednak dużo mniej znana niz Hermes, a obroty należącej do koncernu LVMH firmy stanowią zaledwie ułamek obrotów Hermesa. Początki marki datuje się na rok 1846, kiedy kilku hiszpańskich rzemieślników otworzyło niewielki sklep z wyrobami skórzanymi, kilkanaście lat później dołączył do nich niemiecki emigrant Enrique Roessberg Loewe. Jako, że jest to marka specjalizująca się w galanterii skórzanej, nie tylko torby, ale również wiele płaszczy i innych ubrań wykonywanych jest ze skóry. Jeden z rzemieślników tak opisał proces ich powstawania: "Making clothes in napa and suede is not something you learn quickly. About 60% of what we do is by hand, not because we are old fashioned, but for many processes there is no better way and perhaps you need 30 years to perfect these! But we are lucky. The leathers we work on are always chosen for their quality with no thought of the cost, so they are always the very best. Each garment is made from beginning to end by a maximum of three people, so the artisans have a special feeling towards their work" (na stronie www.loewe.com).


Loewe wykorzystuje wyłącznie skóry najwyższej jakości. Dzięki rzadko spotykanym technologiom, marka wypuszcza na rynek sukienki ze skóry cienkiej niczym jedwab (można je podziwiać praktycznie w każdej kolekcji). Od kilku lat dyrektorem kreatywnym marki jest Brytyjczyk Stuart Vevers, który pracował wcześniej dla Bottegi Venety, Givenchy, Marca Jacobsa i Mulberry. W rozmowie ze słynną hiszpańską tancerką flamenco Marią Pages, Vevers przyznał: "Spain very much influences my designs. I look to Loewe's past, and the culture of the brand, which is 166 years old, but what is really important is that everything I do has to be for today, for now. That is balance for me, to be inspired by the past but to create for today". Vevers stara się czerpać z tradycji marki, a jednocześnie kreować kolekcje, którymi bedą się interesować młodsze pokolenia.
Najbardziej znana torba marki-Amazona została zaprojektowana w 1975 roku, a dochody ze sprzedaży tych toreb stanowią aż 30% obrotów całej firmy. Amazona jest prostokątną torbą z dwoma uchwytami, z prawie niewidocznym, dyskretnym logo. Składa się z 200 komponentów, w większości wykonanych ręcznie, a proces jej powstawania zajmuje około 10-12 godzin. Francuski Vogue opisał kiedyś Amazonę w następujący sposób: "(...) until then (1975) women's bags were decoration pieces, something women had to wear to look nice. The Amazona was created as a container, as something soft that could be worn 24 hours a day-everything needs to fit in that bag".


Ewa Bytomska


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