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