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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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.
Accessories have become such an important element in everyday’s fashion. With the constant rush of life, their flexibility also has transformed over time. Having that idea in mind, Paris-based industrial designer Isabelle Bois collaborated with & Other Stories, a womenswear fashion company founded in Sweden, to generate a capsule collection of bags, pouches, and cases. Made from vegetable leather, these products vary in sizes to offer a wide range of usage — from business meetings to casual rendez-vous and formal dinner parties. Being minimal in appearance with natural colors like peach, nude, and black, those factors create a versatility to these accessories when one has many occasions with little time. As a fashion enthusiast, I love the oversized portfolio-like pouches. Others might see them as a bulky addition to an outfit, but I view them as a way to create a character to the wearer. They compose a certain boldness that is not overpowering, but rather both artistic and professional. Photo Courtesy of & Other Stories and Glamour
Desk Pad by the German designer Eric Degenhardt is a wall mounted secretaire with extractable leather pad and storage. Degenhardt tends towards formal lightness – letting the pieces hover, with sleek shapes and clean details and a minimum of different materials. There is a large multi-functional storage space hidden underneath the desktop. A traditional book rest and pen holder are situated on the side and backside. The Desk Pad is available for left of right sided walls, depending on your needs to keep disturbances away and remain focused on your work. Desk Pad is offered in two colours: brick stone and grey-olive. Calm, warm colours that make this furniture piece really stand out without claiming all attention.
Stockholm based design studio People People set about reinventing a classic with their latest project. They wanted to update the robust, albeit heavy and clumsy Kronan bike with a more sleek, light weight and minimalist design, stripped down to its essence. So People People designed a successor in Spiran. A robust construction combined with a sleek, light weight frame and slim racing tires, Spiran has been optimised for the agility and speed needed in a city. The designers also opted for a single speed approach, with a carbon fibre belt instead of a chain, meaning no lubrication or maintenance. In everything from the frame to the leather details, we wanted to use only genuine materials that not only last a long time, but also age with grace. Besides its clean lines and slim form factor, People People’s design also impresses with the integrated bike lock that folds out from the front basket, locking the bike in the front wheel or even around a city lamp post or fence. Simple, clever and robust. I love it.
Protagonist is a new label with slightly less feminine details yet maintains the silhouettes that, one might say, reflect the modern woman of today – of comfort, confidence and style. As the designer Kate Wendelborn, who is behind this line of the new label, reaffirms that the clean, minimalist direction is a lot more work than it looks: I spend a lot of time to make each piece look effortless. Subtleties – of shape, fit and material – allow Protagonist to be worn in either an elevated way or a more casual way. Indeed. I love how she has used the men’s pinstripe in a simplified women’s suiting. Calf leather, silk crepe and sculptural wool are so rich as materials themselves, yet tell another story when designed around the calmness and simplicity within Wendelborn’s collection. This collection was a collaboration with renowned minimalist stylist Vanessa Traina and photographed by Paul Maffi.