LOEWE PRESENTS WEAVE, RESTORE, RENEW AT SALONE DEL MOBILE IN MILANO
Salone del Mobile has always been a main creative drive for LOEWE. It allows us to delve into projects that bring my interest in craft towards progressive and unexpected directions, igniting collaborations with artisans of unique flair, inventiveness and technical ability.
After two years of full stop, LOEWE finally presents a new Salone del Mobile project in real life. This fact alone fills me with energy and anticipation. For our seventh installment at the annual furniture fair, we developed Weave, Restore, Renew: a poliform project that revolves around the idea of giving new life to things that could maybe be forgotten or discarded, and turn them into new, unique pieces by repairing and reviving them through crafty interventions. An act of manual labor gives another meaning to each object, honoring the object’s history and value and preserving it for the future. Such a way of approaching the artisanal process sits right at the crossing of respect for the environment and respect for the product. It is the opposite of senseless consumption, and an acknowledgement that things done with love and attention retain a human quality that lasts over time. We looked at traditional crafts both from Spain and abroad, turning ages-old techniques into something unexpected: an expression of the now, with a soul. LOEWE WEAVE, RESTORE, RENEW explores leather weaving, the Galician straw-weaving tradition known as Coroza and the Korean technique of paper weaving known as Jiseung. Weaving is seen as a way to mend or create new surfaces.
Repaired in Spain is the core of LOEWE WEAVE, RESTORE, RENEW. We gave 240 existing baskets, coming from all over the world, each one with its peculiar shape, function and level of distress, to artisans Idoia Cuesta, Belén Martìnez, Santiago Basteiro, Juan Manuel Marcilla, who mended and repaired them using leather strings. The result is a series of unique baskets that are a testament to invention, and very playful and surprising for that. Authentic craft, for me, is sustainable: the concept of repairing is fundamental in this sense.
Coroza is an ancient Galician technique which consists in weaving straw, reeds, briar and other natural fibers to create raincoats, hats and baskets. The striking fringed capes have been used by locals up until a few years ago, the coroza tradition dating back to thousands of years. We created a series of bags and basket bags that retain the distinctive tiers of fringes of the coroza, which look both practical and visually surprising, almost like sculptures.
Then there is paper. Together with Young Soon Lee, LOEWE Craft Prize Finalist in 2019, we created a series of jars using the traditional Korean Jiseung technique, which consists in finely weaving strings of paper to create household objects. We extended the same technique to recycled newspaper paper, with which we made a series of sturdy totes.
‘Across this whole project, we celebrate the regenerative power of handwork. I am proud we have created a series of items that rewire the relation with time, wear and tear, delivering a message of evolution and transformation which I find progressive and uplifting. ‘ Jonathan Anderson