Loewe comes to London

17 Apr

Last month Spanish luxury leather brand Loewe opened a new boutique on Mount Street, Mayfair, its first independent shop in London. Previously only available to London shoppers at Selfridges and Harrods, Loewe has found its new home in a gorgeous nineteenth century building complete with cornicing  and pillared entrance; it is almost as attractive as the colourful treats inside.

As pretty outside as it is within: Loewes new Mount Street shop

Daisy Lowe and Pixie Geldof at the launch

The launch party attracted some big fashion names as well as mainstream celebs; Bianca Jagger, Marie Helvin, Jade Parfitt, Daisy Lowe and Pixie Geldof were all in attendance. Guests nibbled classic Spanish tapas including chorizo and manchego, washed down by Moet & Chandon champagne and elderflower presses. Sadly, HispanicLondon was not invited, but this doesn’t stop us from lauding this iconic Spanish brand and celebrating its bold arrival in the capital…

As implied by the launch party menu, Loewe is a traditional Spanish brand and very aware of its cultural image, despite the misleading, barely pronounceable name (think Low-ay-vay). It was founded in 1846 by a German, Enrique Loewe Roessberg, who had fallen in love with Spanish culture. He was aided by Madrid’s finest leather artisans, opened his first boutique on Gran Via, and soon the label became a status symbol for the local aristocracy. During Alfonso XIII’s reign Loewe was appointed Purveyor to the Royal Household and his brand grew in popularity, with a store opening on Barcelona’s Paseo de Gracia. In the 1960s Loewe began to expand internationally and today its creative director is in fact a Brit, Stuart Vevers.

Named Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2006, Vevers arrived at Loewe with an impressive resume and set to work with his provocative take on bourgeois. Originally from Carlisle, Vevers moved to Madrid in 2008 vowing, “it’s Spanish lessons twice a week”, but his style soon spoke for itself.

Recreating the Loewe trademark Amazona bag with new, more vibrant colours, he has been hailed as “the golden boy of accessories” and even “the new King of Spain”. The Flamenco and May handbags have also been launched under Vevers’ directorship.

Vevers colourful new Amazona

An eyecatcher: The Flamenco

Loewe has brought leather up-to-date making it versatile, trendy and colourful, and fit for a younger audience. It’s unafraid to toy with different textures; some of the bags are so soft they resemble silk more than leather. But most importantly, from its circular purses carried by trendy Madrileños to the bright, movida-inspired palette, Loewe shows that, despite its foreign founder and director, it is proud to be Spanish.

Images: Courtesy of Loewe, except for the Amazonas: realdoll-shop

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