Ode to Craft

Loewe throws the spot­light on mod­ern ar­ti­san­ship with the new an­nual Loewe Craft Prize. By Rachel Ang

Men's Folio (Singapore) - - Contents -

The new Loewe Craft Prize throws the spot­light on mod­ern ar­ti­san­ship

Span­ish fash­ion brand Loewe harks back to its be­gin­nings as a col­lec­tive of leather ar­ti­sans, and pays trib­ute to crafts­men. With­out their painstak­ing hand­i­work, it’s safe to say that many cre­ative con­cepts could not have been trans­formed into tan­gi­ble re­al­ity. To cel­e­brate and pro­mote the ex­cel­lence of such craft, Loewe has in­tro­duced a new prize, is­sued through the Loewe Foun­da­tion, to ac­knowl­edge and re­ward crafts­men of var­i­ous pro­fes­sions, dis­ci­plines, and medi­ums.

“I wanted to cre­ate a plat­form to high­light things that are en­gi­neered by hand, by ce­ram­i­cists, bas­ket-weavers, fur­ni­ture de­sign­ers, jew­ellery mak­ers, and other peo­ple who work silently and are of­ten un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated,” says Jonathan An­der­son, cre­ative di­rec­tor of Loewe. “In re­al­ity, there is noth­ing harder than find­ing a way to make an ob­ject that has its own for­mula of its own and speaks in the maker’s own lan­guage, cre­at­ing a di­a­logue that didn’t ex­ist be­fore.”

Of­fi­cially es­tab­lished as a pri­vate cul­tural foun­da­tion in 1988, the Loewe Foun­da­tion aims to pre­serve her­itage and cul­ture in the form of fine arts like dance, po­etry, pho­tog­ra­phy, and ar­chi­tec­ture, ac­knowl­edg­ing works that dis­play in­no­va­tion, clear artis­tic vision ex­e­cuted with pre­ci­sion, and a cre­ative char­ac­ter dis­tinct to its maker.

For the Loewe Craft Prize in par­tic­u­lar, the Foun­da­tion has as­sem­bled a jury from the fields of de­sign, ar­chi­tec­ture, jour­nal­ism, crit­i­cism, and mu­seum cu­ra­tor­ship. These il­lus­tri­ous in­di­vid­u­als will be look­ing at en­tries in terms of both form as well as func­tion, and re­quire can­di­dates to rein­ter­pret tra­di­tional ar­ti­sanal meth­ods to demon­strate its rel­e­vance in today’s cul­ture.

“Craft is the essence of Loewe,” ex­plains An­der­son. “As a house, we are about craft in the purest sense of the word. That is where our moder­nity lies, and it will al­ways be rel­e­vant.”

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