Luxe interpretations of artisan-made products are Shop Latitude's stock in trade. The online marketplace, a longtime Lonny favorite, incites a raging case of wanderlust in even the most casual browser. Recently, the brand launched a new collection of covetable home decor gifts whose beauty and value are deepened by an awareness of the communities around the world that create them. We've picked three brands to spotlight here; look for more behind-the-scenes stories on Shop Latitude's blog.
Liza Serratore and Claire Russo, founders of LuRu Home, breathe new life into the 3,000-year-old craft of Nankeen indigo hand dyeing. The patterned pieces are made of dense cotton that Chinese rice farmers would turn into padded jackets for the winter?think of it as a version of our denim workwear. A soy bean and lime paste is applied to a textile through a hand-cut paper screen; the fabric is dried in the shade and then dipped into an indigo bath, which turns the exposed material a vibrant blue. After it's dried in the sun, artisans scrape the paste away to reveal the pattern. Tailors then turn the fabric into pillows, tea towels, and other accessories that meld centuries-old tradition with contemporary style. We're particularly keen on how the striking blue makes a neutral base such as a wood farm table or an earth-tone sofa come alive.
Education and economic empowerment for women are the methods by which the nonprofit Indego Africa strives to break the cycle of poverty in Rwanda. The brand partners with cooperatives of female artisans to produce modern interpretations of indigenous baskets, jewelry, bowls, and more. Reading about the stories of the various artisan communities, many of them survivors of the country's troubled past, is both sobering and redemptive; it brings new meaning to the exquisite objects they shape by hand.
Husband-and-wife team Tom?s Macedo and Christina Hattler of Mexchic are based in Malinalco, a small historic pueblo based in a picturesque valley in the State of Mexico. Their mission: to highlight traditional crafts such as weaving and embroidery in products that would appeal to urban customers. The chunky, handwoven floor pillows seem tailor-made for a cold-weather climate, and the heritage roll-neck sweaters would look right at home in a Brooklyn speakeasy or an English hunting lodge.
November 21, 2014
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