Dezeen, the online Architecture and Design Magazine, has launched a Virtual Design Fair and we couldn’t help but notice how many designers use leather as their material of choice! Naturally, we’ve decided to highlight who we think has made the best and most original uses of leather. Most of our picks are from a selection of 15 designers being spotlighted at the Virtual Design Festival by Austrianfashion.net – a platform championing designers who are born or based in Austria and produce their products both sustainably and locally.
Check out our favourite pieces in the categories below:
1/ Furniture: Ritzwell
Japanese design company Ritzwell has used the fair to unveil four new pieces of furniture – all marrying wood and leather – using traditional techniques and a minimalist ethic. A lounge chair has a simple frame with a sumptuous cushioned leather seat, and walnut or oak arms that slope gently to echo the shapes of traditional Buddhist temples.
The clean design of Ritzwell’s desk is relieved by an inset leather panel and the accompanying ‘Bridge’ stool and bench both feature woven leather bands.
2/ Accessories: Wilfried Mayer and Isabel Helf
Clothes designer Wilfried Mayer has contributed ‘Kollar’, a leather choker with a mother-of-pearl button on the front. It comes in grey, black or tan calf leather.
Isabel Helf’s Portable Compulsion bag collection is not just designed to hold your belongings; it is designed as behavioural therapy for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Each handbag features the shape of a specific fixture or furnishing such as a step or a shelf. This allows the bag to fit into the surroundings it relates to, helping people suffering from the obsessive pursuit of order. The design uses a combination of solid material including brass and wood to contrast with the softness of the leather.
Isabel Helf – Cornerbag, Photography by Iringo Demeter
Isabel Helf – Portable Compulsion Collection, Photography by Iringo Demeter
Isabel Helf – Stepbag, Photography by Iringo Demeter
Isabel Helf – Framework Collection, Photography by Marlena König
3/ Shoes: Matthias Winkler
Finally, the funkiest of our picks, Matthias Winkler’s Triglav Lederhosen shoes. Made from reclaimed antique German leather trousers (yes, you heard that right!) they look like a Chelsea Boot but they feature flaps of fabric as reminders of the leather’s previous life. The soft, sand-coloured leather retains the character earned by its past life. Now that’s versatility.
See the beauty and craftsmanship behind his designs below:
Dezeen’s Virtual Design Festival ran until June 30. See dezeen.com/vdf