FK chats to Bas one half of talented leather label, Bas and Lokes Leather Goods.
Tell us about your label Bas and Lokes Leather Goods and what the concept is behind it?
We are two women designers and manufacturers of handmade leather goods based in Sydney. We’re obsessed with creating beautiful products that not only look great, but that are also well crafted. We enjoy designing goods that are handsome, have clean lines, a bold look and that are highly functional. Details are never overlooked and we often fuss over making sure the stitching is neat, that our leather edges are well finished, and that things are truly made well and last a long time. We use premium leathers from the USA and Italy and the best threads we can get our hands on.
What are your backgrounds and how did you start working together.
Our leather goods business began all because of Bas’s passion for watches and her love for matching leather accessories. Shortly before we started our business over four years ago, the selection of quality handmade leather watch straps on the market was very slim. Bas had a hard time finding straps to suit her style. While visiting family in New York City during that time, she purchased some leather and tools and set out to learn to make watch straps herself. Within a short period of time it seemed everyone wanted one of her straps and other leather accessories to match and the rest is history.
How has your creative style developed over time and what inspires your work?
For our first two years in business, we mainly designed handmade leather watch straps and amassed quite a following of fans around the world. We still focus strongly on designing new straps, but in the last two years our collection and interests have evolved and we now include a range of leather goods that we use daily such as wallets, toiletry bags, belts, iPad cases and other items. What inspires our work? We are connected to some of our customers through Instagram and seeing photos of their lifestyles and interests is a huge inspiration to us and new things we’d like to experiment with. We are also often simply inspired by a single beautiful piece of leather. It’s common for us to look at a hide and suddenly know exactly what we will make with it.
What is your creative workspace like, and what inspires you about your surroundings?
Our creative workspace is small, but in a constant state of change as a result of our business growing, needing more surfaces to work on, more places to store things, and more room to spread out to make larger items. It has a couple of large workbenches, tools here and there, is very well lit and has rolls of leather peeking out from behind and under many things. Being very visual people it is important for us to have a nice and inspiring workspace, so we keep it very tidy and the place always has a sense of order. That definitely helps with inspiration.
What do you love about working with leather? And what are some of the challenges?
Oh the smell for sure, but mostly the way it feels and its durability. There is something exquisite about high quality leather and making a premium product with it and how it feels in your hands when you’re reaching in your wallet for cash or how your elegant watch strap compliments your prized watch on your wrist. As far as durability, we love that a leather product can easily last a very, very long time if it is well cared for. Lastly, one of our favourite reasons we love working with leather so much is how it develops even more character with use and how it can darken and develop a beautiful patina over time.
What new projects are you working on and where would you like to see Bas and Lokes Leather Goods in the future.
We have so many projects planned out for this year. We just released a new collection of handsome handmade leather watch straps last week. They sell very well for us so we do our best to update those collections regularly as some of our customers are determined to own every strap we create. So flattering. As for the future, we are planning to start incorporating other materials such as canvas into some of our leather designs. Exciting times ahead for us indeed. 🙂