The search for the excellence is the key philosophy behind the Lautem project. Even the name comes from it: Lautē in Latin means “excellently”. The creative minds behind the brand believe that perfection does not exist, but striving for excellence is the perfect excuse to give their best every day.
This search for excellence led Elena, the designer, to spend some time in Ubrique at one of the best leather workshops in Spain. She studied and observed the techniques of the artisans and amazed by their skillfulness, created new different designs of handbags that push these techniques to the limit. The rest came naturally: finding the highest quality leather, using a treatment to preserve the natural surface of it and finding good artisans to create the handles for the bags.
Elena already has an important career as an architect behind her, as well as experience in interior and furniture design, but she’s always ready to start something new and learn from scratch. These two quotes; "If you design one thing, you can design everything" and "fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions" the first from Massimo Vignelli and the second from Coco Chanel perfectly reflect the philosophy behind her new adventure.
What have been the highest and lowest points on your journey so far?
Our journey started in June and of course it’s not an easy road, but all the obstacles we face are another lesson learned. The highest point so far was receiving the email from Wolf & Badger saying that they liked our collection and were eager to stock our bags.
What is your greatest fear?
Climate change, alien invasion, war, earthquakes, spiders... ok, now seriously, of course we are worried about the financial situation of the company having put a lot of our future at stake, but we cannot constantly think about it.
How would you describe your customer base?
Non conformist, appreciating pure lines in design and able to discern quality. Am I asking too much?
What are the morals you run your brand by?
Excellence is not only about the materials used or the quality of the execution. but it also refers to the ethical management of the company. We personally know our main providers and make sure that no one is exploited. All the production is set in Spain so we can closely control everything and maintain a direct contact with all the people in the value chain.
Who is your mentor?
We have a lot of mentors. We should mention the designer Rafa Celda for sure, because he is the one who saw the first models designed by Elena and gave the brand support, and also Esther Aparicio because she is our fairy godmother and muse. She is the one helping us take the brand in the right direction by posing the correct questions.
What inspires you?
This first collection has been inspired mainly by the classic modernist movement, especially Bauhaus design.
What building holds the most sentiment for you?
Villa Tugendhat by Mies Van der Rohe. The space, the light, the details, the materials, the gardens and the landscape; everything there is perfect and pure. It creates a relaxing and elegant atmosphere.
What book changed your life?
“The story of Art” by Ernst Gombrich. It helped me understand art, aesthetic and beauty and It had a great influence on my career.
Where do you see the brand in five years?
I hope that it will be possible to develop new products and new lines. I already have the designs in mind for a male collection. In any case, there will be always a limited production. It's a little bit of a cliché now, but we don't want to enter in a dynamic of mass production.
What drew you to Wolf & Badger?
It's not easy to find a multi brand shop willing to risk stocking new designers, especially with our price range.
What one thing would make your life better?
I am very lucky in all the important things in life, but of course succeeding with Lautēm, my very own project, would make me proud and happy.