At a time when fashion brands are trying to do everything – from stylish gadgets to scented candles –, Loewe stands out for its simple ability to create smart, memorable designs.

It’s not as easy as you might think. Fashion and furniture crossovers are a dime a dozen these days, but Loewe unveiled a stunner of a collection this year at Milan’s Salone del Mobile fair that is still talked about months later. The luxury Spanish fashion house showcased the age-old technique of leather marquetry through this vibrant collection, layering inlays and cutouts on oak furniture in decorative motifs.

This is meticulous and complex work, a testament to the brand’s remarkable expertise in manipulating leather, and the attention to detail is even more evident when working with smaller accessories. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how they create the popular T-pouch with a carp motif – inspired by a Japanese screen by creative director Jonathan Anderson found in Hong Kong, and a design that is as visually stunning on a screen as it is on your bag. 

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In order to produce the shimmering effect of the fish, the craftsman carefully chooses several layers of leather in different hues and textures. Each piece of leather is cut by laser and cleaned to remove unpleasant odours from the burning.

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A special tool is used when cutting each part of the design. The tool is placed under the leather and the industrial laser cutting machine makes a clean cut in the leather.

Each piece must be of the same thickness for a smooth and even patchwork, so the process involves complexity and patience.

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With the silhouette and the detail pieces ready, the craftsman begins the painstaking process of assembling each piece by hand like a puzzle. Careful attention must be paid to ensure that the quality and thickness of the leather are flawless, and that the cutting process, bonding technique and application of plastic all create a seamless fit.

Loewe’s stunning leather marquetry is a blend of craftsmanship and technology. The process involves a meticulous form of inlaying, and the craftsman uses various leather colours and shapes to create the layered effect. The final product is a rich patchwork that conveys depth and beautiful intricacy. 

This article was originally published in Destination Macau