Leather’s New Look
Both luxe and durable, this natural material is taking on unexpected forms—from lamp shades to wall tiles to pillows—in the hands of innovative designers and artists.
Published Dec 21, 2016 5:00 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Playing With Shapes
Furniture designer Taylor Forrest grew up horseback riding and cleaning the tack. “I was up close and personal with the saddles and their craftsmanship,” she explains. She harnessed that passion, plus experience designing furniture at Ralph Lauren, to start her eponymous collection of hand-stitched leather sling chairs—crafted from the samevegetable-tanned hides used to make saddles. Next, Forrest is expanding into lighting fixtures with leather shades. “We’re playing around with shapes you assume would be rigid,” she says, “but covered with leather, they’re soft and pliable.”
Updating The Classics
On a trip to New Mexico, Avo designer Brit Kleinman saw a parfleche—a painted rawhide bag used by the Plains Indians—which inspired her to start hand-making and painting her own rugs, wall tiles, and pillows. The graphic patterns have a timeless feel. “I want to take traditional crafts and build them through a modern lens,” she explains.
The Perfect Hue
OAD handbag designer Sydney Suh-Lee doubles up on her favorite material by lining her minimal but very functional bags (extra pockets, no bulk) with suede. “It gives the texture and structure I want,” she says. For winter, Suh-Lee loves a bag in dark bordeaux: “It goes with every outfit.”
Slides as soft as slippers.
Lucia Flats by LoQ, $325; loq.us
Architectural details in the material of the moment.
Coffee Table by Yield, $2,670; domino.com
We want one in every color.
Bucket Bag by Building Block, $485; building–block.com
Nesting trays go ultra-tactile.
Karui Trays by Skultuna from $110; theline.com
The rugged bolo gets a modern update.
Note Necklace by Jujumade, $210; domino.com
A sleek (and useful) accent to any dining table.
Adobe Trivet by Materials + Process, $54; materialsandprocess.com
Just the right amount of flash.
Metallic Leather Pillow by Aelfie, $63; domino.com
If hardwood floors were buttery to the touch…
Midwest Rug by Claesson Koivisto Rune, $6,026; claessonkoivistorune.se
Practical storage in the chicest suede.
Suede Storage Stool by Michael Verheyden, $1,595; theline.com
The perfect pairing.
Denim Carry-on by Steamline Luggage, $730; steamlineluggage.com