Corter Leather is a small, one-man operation based in Boston, Massachusetts. Every leather product is 100% hand-made by maker Eric Heins. Whilst browsing the Corter website, I came across several designs, which I think have a minimalist approach to them. Devoid of typical branding and patterns, what stood out for me was the slim and functional Field Notes Sleeve, composed of vegetable tanned leather, which features a loop at the spine for holding your writing utensil. The natural Classic Bifold featuring seven pockets is a slim, no-nonsense wallet, which has been beautifully stitched. Another distinct piece, is the versatile Folded Bifold wallet with two pouches and inner flaps for extra storage. This piece only has one stitched seam and will darken to an attractive carmel with age. I have a lot of respect for this craft and with end results like this, they are so very tempting.
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Londen based design pratice DesignWright, founded by the brothers Jeremy & Adrian Wright, created a minimalist eye catching wrist watch named NUNO for Lexon. The NUNO wrist watch is a solid Quartz analog watch with a steel case and leather strap. The Wright brothers play with the expectations of a traditional watch; the traditional hands were replaced by two rotating discs. Two markers indicate the hours and minutes. The watch is completed with a simple steel case and leather strap. The NUNO wrist watch is suitable for both men and women. Currently there are four colour variants, all of which are equally attractive in their simplicity.
Founded in 2012 and based in New York City, Chiyome is a studio focused on creating exceptional products based on a key premise: what is essential? Their designs – shoulder bags, backpacks and pouches – are continually infused with a clean and minimalist perspective, manifested through sharp lines, subtle color relationships and smart proportions. HOVER, their Spring/Summer ’14 collection, is all about harmonizing dissonant materials, fusing high (leather, marble) and low (rubber, vinyl) into a sophisticated, luxurious blend. The brand is also committed to designing through social efforts and radical means, sourcing materials from minority-owned local businesses in order to strengthen the social fabric of NY and reduce their carbon footprint, intrinsecally bringing minimalism to all aspects of their practice.
It is difficult to fuse the concepts of luxe and youth into a collection, but I believe Christophe Lemaire had successfully done so for Hermès Autumn Winter 2014. The designer rethought the concept of “youth” and its association with streetswear. Here, he took us to a direction of a mature young woman — graceful and feminine. The appearances of materials such as silk, fur, and leather amplifies the richness of the deep earth color palette; however, it’s the tailoring and cuts that redirected the show toward a younger audience. Pieces like the seamlessly monolithic coats contrast the inner garments’ flow of draperies. Minimally, the collarless shirts gives off an Eastern Asian influence that Lemaire has always had — now a signature trademark. Buttonless, pocketless, and almost non-utilitarian, majority of the looks acts as an experimental ground for the harmony of the “young” and the “old,” complemented with small bags and thin belts. Overall, the production was dark, but not sinister; simple, yet not boring. It stirred away from the “cool” trend, only to turned itself to a new identity that ladies can grasp onto. Photo Courtesy of Style.com
Los Angeles-based Building Block has yet again delivered a collection of bags that redefines functional pieces into an elegant minimalism. Looking back at their previous collections, the style has subtly evolved toward a more mature and luxurious direction. While the proportions and details of the bags reflect the modern day need for effortlessness and convenience, its materials, craft and finishings are classic. Slim portfolios, convertible clutches, laptop totes and even an iPhone sling carrier, all made from smooth black leather, I love how the collection continues to remain relevant to our lifestyles. Photography by Jennilee Marigomen.
REN is a beautiful laconic creation of Japanese studio Karimoku New Standard. Inspired by traditional Japanese seating, this chair has a square frame and a low backrest. Designers claim that this shape and the position of the back promote healthy posture. I love how well thought out the piece is. Each part of a wooden frame is assembled using the traditional Japanese woodwork technique tomegata sanmai tsugi, or Triple Tenon. This principle allows to achieve a sturdy construction without the use of toxic adhesives. REN comes in two different frame colours and offers three choices of upholstery – paper yarn, textile and leather.
At the beginning of the year, Sydney based fashion brand, Uniform Studios (UNIF.M), announced their Autumn/Winter 2014 collection containing remarkably simple, stylish and undoubtedly sought after designs for both men and women. Like many simple, minimalist garments, it is the fabric and the details that make a design successful. Here, UNIF.M have carefully considered their fabrics, sticking to the classics — wool, silk, cotton, leather — fabrics of quality and wearability. There’s minimalism, elegance and a casual feel to this range that I really do appreciate. UNIF.M explains: We see this collection as an extension of our previous ranges. We don’t really like to limit our designs by one particular story or mood. We focus on each garment individually and tend to be item-driven. It’s the small details that may not be noticeable at first that make each garment loveable to us. We care deeply about the details. Photography by Bowen Aricò.
Co is the collaboration between Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern whose Spring Summer 2014 collection is elegant, minimalist, strong and feminine at the same time. The selection of material holds an important part in their direction of this collection. The tailoring of leather and draping of silk in their designs are seductive in both the style and the comfort in its essence. The forms of pouf sleeves, reversed Georgian V-neckline and draped, cascading silk bring much femininity to the monochromatic color scheme. The duo behind Co have impressed with the subtle elegance and easy minimalism with this collection. Photos courtesy of Style.com.
By transferring the shape of a common shopping bag into soft and snug calf leather, Hamburg based product designer Sandra Thomsen created a simple and most luxurious companion to carry your day-to-day necessities in a classy way. She calles it the Fluo bag. The disposable plastic bag recast in soft calf leather with standard proportions, right down to the punched out crescent handle and bottom placket. The bag becomes even more beautiful while using it a lot. The leather softens and will get a great patina. In my opinion the transfer works both ways. Not only does the leather refine the everyday shape of the original plastic shopping bag, but the plain, unlined cut also exposes the amazing quality – the shine, touch and the velvety nubuck back of the calf leather — perfectly. You can see it in the beautiful way the leather folds in when the Fluo bag is empty. Or in the nice geometric shape, accentuated by the leather polish, when you carry it around. A highlight.
KIOMI is a newly established independent German fashion label with seasonal ready-to-wear collections produced throughout the year. Although their collections are not typically minimalistic in their aesthetic, I recently came across their exceptionally simple and stylish high-top shoes. Devoid of any external branding, the KIOMI mark is only featured on the inside sole of the shoe, maintaining a clean and essential appearance. I like this. Designed with 100% genuine leather, these high-tops are available in white, black and brown — the white certainly being the standout choice for me. There is not a lot more you can ask for when it comes to casual and comfortable minimalism in a shoe. Images courtesy of Zalando.
Minimalism is incredibly sexy in this 2013 Spring Summer collection by Sydney based UNIF.M, a creative collective whose objective is to reinvent everyday wear while complimenting what already exists in the closet: UNIF.M garments are developed to integrate seamlessly into an existing wardrobe and create a strong foundation. There is a stunning softness to this collection’s appeal past its first glance of basic forms and colors. Leather bras to silk pyjama blouses, pinafore to empire-line, the styles and materials exude a quality of feminism that is not over-girly. Instead, the designs are confident, the proportions are well crafted, and I love the fact that the studio used traditional methods of manufacturing industry-grade uniforms to deliver their clothes.
As previously introduced on Minimalissimo, Canadian based fashion designer Rad Hourani also has a beautiful and stylish line of minimalist backpacks that expresses within the same language as his ready-to-wear collection. Designed in variations of black leather with white denim, black foil or black crepe, its top handle and straps can be oriented to be used as a handbag. I especially love its clean and sleek detailing which attribute to its unisex versatility, making it a great luxury accessory whether on a casual night out or a formal work day. Its style is timeless, much like the rest of Hourani’s minimalist direction.