Spanish brand Loewe has become more than one to watch. With heavy hitters in the realms of designer handbags, and sleek European flared ready-to-wear garments, this storied brand has swung right back around to current. Often seen on the bodies of the fashion elite - editors, influencers, models, and the sort - the brand's momentum is set to continue building.
Correct pronunciation: Lew-ay-vay
While considered to be a Spanish brand, the name itself is actually German, after the founder Enrique Roessberg Loewe. A simple word with a complex pronunciation, the German 'w' actually reads as a ‘v’.
The foundation of the brand has always been craftsmanship, artisanal techniques, and modern design. Adapting throughout the years, Loewe has stayed true to their love of material and form, creating timelessly chic pieces made with the utmost attention to detail.
Founded in 1846, the brand began as an artist collective that focused on the creation of perfected leather goods. It wasn’t until 1905 when Spanish royalty King Alfonso XIII and his wife, Queen Victoria Eugenia made Loewe the official suppliers of the Royal Court. Securing their status as a true luxury brand, notable figures began favoring the Madrid-based fashion house, including Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich, and Sophia Loren.
Having lost a little of its buzz, the brand re-established itself as key player in the luxury arena in 2013 with the appointment of fashion designer Jonathan Anderson, primarily known for his eponymous label JW Anderson, as the new Creative Director.
Under Anderson’s leadership, the Loewe logo, a quadruple-L insignia originally designed by Spanish artist Vicente Vela during the 1970s, got a notable re-design. Graphic designers Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak of M/M (Paris) streamlined the logo for a more contemporary feel. The duo also updated the typeface to reflect modern aesthetics, while still paying tribute to the brand’s heritage. As quoted by Anderson, “for something to be contemporary, it needs to reflect both the past and present.”
Bringing the heritage brand into the 21st-century, Anderson has incorporated a youthful approach to the traditional pieces, while still honoring their roots in the Arts & Crafts movement. One of his most iconic creations as Creative Director has been the instantly recognizable Puzzle Bag. True to its name, the carefully constructed silhouette is made up of over forty individual pieces of the finest leather, assembled by hand by the fashion house’s expert team of leather artisans. Perfectly explained by The Business of Fashion’s editor-at-large, Tim Blanks, Anderson’s style is both “precision and chaos.”
There is also a playful side to Anderson’s designs, as seen with his range of perfectly sculpted animal-like leather goods. From Mouse coin purses to Elephant keychains, these accessories are the perfect addition of whimsy to any outfit, while still maintaining the integrity of luxury fashion. Both stylish and sustainable, the brand's special line of Elephant crossbody bags includes handcrafted details from the women’s Samburu Workshop in Kenya, with proceeds supporting the Elephant Crisis Fund through Knot on my Planet.
His forward-thinking and fearless approach to design has catapulted Loewe into modern day, creating collections of clothing and accessories that, as the New York Times has perfectly described, “possess both a couture level of craftsmanship and a distinctly raw, handmade energy.”