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LEATHER RENAISSANCE:WEARING WEEF

August 1, 2017

There aren’t many textiles and materials that get me as inspired and excited about fashion as leather. It’s one of few materials that have a timeless quality and the potential to be constantly reinvented.
A brand that has been doing just this, is WEEF.

 

Photographer: Ramese Mathews / Model: T. Gqumani & L. de Smidt
Art director: Jan de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Boudry Studio

 

 

Two creative minds met in 2013 and started imagining the rebirth of the leather tie. I had the pleasure of meeting with Dèvan Swanepoel,
co-owner and head of production to talk about their journey and why their products are so unique.

 

 

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Photographer: Ramese Mathews / Model: T. Gqumani & L. de Smidt
Art director: Jan de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Boudry Studio

 

 

There are many qualities that make this product special, but two really stood out for me. The first is a sentimental attachment as it becomes a piece, much like jewellery, that is handed over from one generation to the next. The second is the textural quality. It has always been apparent, but it was only after photographing the ties that I realised how detailed the grooves and lines were.

Somehow the material started evoking the same nostalgic feeling I get when I walk around with my great-grandmother's leather bag.

 

 

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Photographer: Ramese Mathews / Model: T. Gqumani & L. de Smidt
Art director: Jan de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Boudry Studio

 

 

After looking at it for a while, I started thinking about leather differently. I saw the same cracks in the leather that I see on my knuckles when I type on my laptop. Suddenly the patterns started emerging everywhere. When I held a cup of tea I saw the shadows around my fingers or when I buttoned my shirt and realised how my skin draped around my collar bone. From this comparison, the idea for an experimental photo shoot that focussed on skin, was born.

 

A lot of attention was given to capture the textural qualities of the two different kinds of skin. Approaching it from a micro perspective, the human body became an abstract landscape with hidden compositions. These compositions are made up of shadows and folds, goosebumps and freckles. In the four series, we explored these compositions with the final image (climax) being one of WEEF’s products offset against the naked human skin.

 

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Photographer: Ramese Mathews / Model: T. Gqumani & L. de Smidt
Art director: Jan de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Boudry Studio

 

 

 

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Photographer: Ramese Mathews / Model: T. Gqumani & L. de Smidt
Art director: Jan de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Boudry Studio

 

The attention to detail in their products is incredible when seen up close. Their products are all handmade with every bow perfectly pleaded, knots folded carefully and every stitch to be counted for.
I personally feel drawn to what they do, because of the passion and care that goes into their work.

 

 

A personal note of thank to Dèvan Swanepoel and Patrick Musil for allowing us to work with their beautiful merchandise. 

 

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