Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Recycled Leather

Speaking of recycled materials, ever wonder who buys, or better yet, where do all of those puffy, patchwork, or wide collared leather jackets that line the walls of most salvation army stores and vintage boutiques end up? On opposite sides of the globe, a young designer and one design team are creating super hip handbags from just this, old leather jackets.

Representing the west coast, from Vancouver, Canada, is artist and designer Ashley Watson. Watson, who studied fine art at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, uses pieces of leather jackets including pockets, creases, studs, and seams to create each unique purse or wallet. Having both a background in art and an interest in using materials that might be responsible to the environment, she started playing around with used leather in 2005 and today creates a spring and fall line of accessories, each piece one of a kind. Earthier tones such as brown, black and grays dominate by the very nature of material, but there are pieces made, thanks to the 1980s no doubt, in royal blue and red. Her large bags are slouchy but sleek, boho-chic as it were, resembling that all-to-famous Balenciaga phenomena, but cooler. She sells in stores across the USA and Canada, and hopefully soon in Europe. Check it out: www.ashleywatson.net

Across a lot of land and the Atlantic Ocean is Paris based, Matèries à réflexion, a design collaboration that is comprised of Laetitia Azpiroz, a native Parisian who studied art and fashion, and Cyrille Raillet, an artist who has traveled extensively, living in New York and Belgium among other places before settling in Paris, where he met Laetitia. She started Matières à Réflexion in 2002, with a line of women’s bags and accessories and in 2006 they launched a collection of men’s bags, called MAR (Urban Bags). Like Ashley Watson, each piece is unique. Items are made from individual leather jackets and can be made to order with a coat that you specifically bring into the store. I learned recently about them because of a comment on my blog about Aesa Jewelry, (thanks!) and I hope to get over to visit their boutique in person. I can’t believe I have not seen it earlier! The boutique is located at 19, rue Poitu or check it out online, www.matieresareflexion.com

1 comment:

Matieres a reflexion said...

Hello !

Thank you for the nice article - do not hesitate to come and see us (the new collection will be in the store after the 'soldes') when you wander around in the area !

PS : We physically discovered Ashley W.'s bags in NY last week - we were featured in a common article in StyleWillSaveUs earlier in 2007.