Launched in Milan in 1961 as a vehicle to promote Italian exports of furnishing and accessories, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile is the global benchmark event for the furnishing and design sector. It is therefore widely considered to be the most important international stage for designers to show their latest homeware collections with over three hundred seventy thousand professional visitors attending the fair each year.
More and more fashion brands partake in the event every year presenting collections of home and furnishing design especially projected for the occasion. “It feels like every fashion brand has finally woken up to the wonders of the home”, said JJ Martin. While Loewe focused on a global celebration of textile craft last year, in its fifth edition the house turns the spotlight on basketry, hand quilting and calligraphy being this year’s display their most ambitious project so far.
Entitled Loewe Baskets, the exposition draws on the brand’s commitment to craft across all its activities. The Spanish luxury house recognises the special importance of artistry in today’s culture and it is celebrated by engaging international artists whose talent, vision and innovation are setting a new standard for the future.
Loewe has challenged eleven traditional basket artists from around the world to work with a new medium in their creations: leather. Jiro Yonezawa, Joe Hogan, Asako Sato, Hafu Matsumoto and Jennifer Zurick among other masters of handcraft have produced a series of exclusive objets d’art that reflect their own contemporary interpretation of basketry using traditional skills.
The artists, who hail from Japan, the United States, South Korea, Ireland and South Africa, share a deep knowledge of their disciplines and bring their own distinct style to the project. In parallel with the leather pieces, Loewe also commissioned Yoshiko Ichinose and four other artists to create additional designs in textile. The result is a gallery of one-off works that are both decorative and practical in their application, available to buy during the design week.
In addition, Loewe has commissioned leading Spanish artisans Idoia Cuesta, Álvaro Leiro and As Radeiras to design and manufacture a collection of leather goods, accessories and charms inspired by this year’s theme that will be available for purchase at selected stores and online. Each product in this line is woven from leather and following the same techniques found in the artists’ Loewe Baskets series.