it as one of the oldest purveyors of luxury leather goods in the world.

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Published: 17th December 2010
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THE first question that often crosses people’s minds is how do you pronounce "Loewe"? The answer is "low-ay-vey", the name of a company whose founding date, 1846, marks it as one of the oldest purveyors of luxury leather goods in the world.

It was the mid-19th century when Enrique Loewe Roessberg founded the company that bears his name. In 1905, the buy cheap tiffany and Queen of Spain, Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia granted Loewe the honour of the official title "Supplier to the Royal Court".

A handbag in iguana, crocodile or snake skin from the brand, now helmed by Enrique Loewe Lynch, the fourth generation descendent, has since become the symbol of elegance and refinement for Spaniards.

A Spanish craftsman at the Loewe exhibition demonstrating how the Amazona is assembled.

The most iconic of its creations is the sporty, unlined Amazona bag. Characterised by its rectangular shape, the Amazona uses treated soft suede, originally in the colour of ochre known as ante oro (gold).

Designed by Dario Rossi in 1975, the bag bears the traditional brand code, the four intertwined L’s engraved in fire. Since then, the Amazona has evolved in its dimensions, colours, materials and finishes, and has become one of Loewe’s signature pieces.

Today, Loewe is part of the world’s leading luxury group under Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). Earlier this month, a World of Loewe heritage exhibition was organised, featuring the brand’s core collection of classic bags and trunks at the Maison Boulud in Beijing, China.

The showcase saw a montage of rainbow-coloured limited edition Amazona bags that were only available to order during the event. To demonstrate Loewe’s expertise in leather, an on-site workshop was held and guests were able to touch and feel Loewe’s fine leathers, and witness a craftsman at work.

Loewe’s creative director Stuart Vevers was among the international team who flew in from Madrid, Spain, specially for the event. Also present was Enrique Loewe Lynch and Loewe’s global CEO Lisa Montague.

Sweet number from Loewe’s candy-coloured Spring/Summer 2011 Collection.

Vevers, the man behind the iridescent creations, said: "The main feeling of the collection is a feeling of joy. It’s youthful and dynamic. I wanted a breath of fresh air."

The boyish-looking designer, who famously transformed the staid British luxury brand Mulberry into a hot contemporary label with his showy, studded and tasselled "it" handbags from 2005 to 2007, revealed plans to take Loewe in the opposite direction. To do that, he’s been leaning towards functionality over flash.

"I’m taking the bag back to its basic, pure form," he said, adding that he has gone past putting metal pieces on a buy cheap tiffanybag and now, focuses on more "utilitarian" designs. He also elaborated on the significance of the Amazona, which he helped redesign.

"It signified the end of dictatorship in Spain in the 1970s. The name Amazona came from the strong Amazonian women, and it stood for freedom and independence for women."

Vevers has since readjusted the proportions of the Amazona while maintaining its original shape to give it a more contemporary edge.

Loewe also has men’s wear for the dapper male.

"Stars like J.Lo, Sienna Miller and Victoria Beckham have been spotted with the new version of the Amazona," he added.

For the charismatic designer, it is French/Spanish fashion icon Paloma Picasso who embodies the "ideal Loewe woman." Paloma, who is famed for her jewellery designs for Tiffany & Co, is the youngest daughter of the famed 20th century artist Pablo Picasso.

"She’s intelligent and sexy, but not an obvious sexy. She’s also incredibly Spanish-looking and there is something very cultural about her. She’s my muse," said Vevers.

As for the ideal Loewe man, Vevers said he is "someone with an interest in luxury. He is a reference for fashion but it does not affect his masculinity." He named French actor Alain Delon as the perfect example.

The exhibition in Beijing also presented Loewe’s Made-to-Order 2011 collection and Leather Icons, as well as a preview of tiffany necklacesthe brand’s Spring/Summer 2011 Collection, which was shown in Paris last October.

imited edition Amazona bags at the Loewe exhibition in Beijing, China.

The Made-to-Order collection, which is presented only once a year, offered Loewe’s top customers the option to customise Leather Icon pieces, available only in Cheap Tiffany, in their preferred choice of colours and textures.

"Sometimes the craziest combinations work," said Vevers. "I love pink but not everyone loves pink."

The Spring/Summer collection drew inspiration from butterfly drawings by the Spanish artist José Hernández. The playful collection saw candy-coloured leather dresses bonded with cotton lame and Spanish tile designs. Louchely draped silk twill scarves emphasised the hyper-reality of the butterfly. Kitten heels and jewel-encrusted pumps completed the looks.

"I got my inspiration from butterflies at the museum," Vevers explained. "Spain also has one of the largest population of butterflies and I was interested to work that in a colourful and interesting way."

As for his plans for the future, the 36-year-old designer said: "Never say never. I’m too young to say I will never do anything."

Prices start from RM600. Loewe is located in Starhill Gallery, KL and Suria KLCC.

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