Milan’s Salone del Mobile is still several months away, but Loewe is already busy finessing the specially commissioned tote bags and blankets that will showcase decorative panels crafted in different parts of the world. The yearlong project required Loewe to travel through Europe, Asia, Africa and South America culling artisanal textiles that bring together the traditional with a more modern flair. The furniture and design extravaganza runs from April 17-22 in Milan.
In total, the 50 styles of blankets and tapestries with 12 limited-edition-related shoppers blend age-old traditions with more avant-garde craftsmanship. The specialists have created items such as blankets with the Japanese “boro” technique; African patchwork from Togo and Senegal; India-made ribbon embroidery, and styles woven with hemp, jersey or leather. Some of the more unexpected techniques include a safety-pin appliqué, needle-punch leopard-like spots, Spanish shearling intarsia and black-and-white portrait photography printed on feathers. The assortment includes a blanket and a tote bag from India with ribbon embroidery, and another tote bag with traditional Andean imagery.
Attendees at Salone del Mobile will get a better grasp of just how all these adornments are done via videos that document the artisans making tapestries in their respective corners of the world. The Loewe-led effort is meant to preserve and celebrate craft, and extend the knowledge through the Loewe Foundation, more specifically via the Loewe International Craft Prize.
During the April event, shoppers at Loewe’s Milan boutique will be able to buy the tote bags, which are being assembled at Loewe workshops in Spain. They will have first dibs before the worldwide launch planned for October. The tapestry and blankets will be available for special order. The project’s profits will be donated to charities that support educating women in minority communities and traditional crafts.
This will mark Loewe’s fourth project at Salone del Mobile in Milan. Showgoers at Loewe’s spring summer 2018 women’s show at UNESCO in Paris were the first to get a glimpse of the large-scale tapestries that feature images that have been digitally transposed into thousands of threads before being woven into large swatches at an atelier in Aubusson, France.