American textile producer Maharam has a knack for raw beauty, and the evidence is in the 114-year-old brand’s latest project: a foray into leather. The new collection of eight styles and 100 colors grew out of frustration with common finishes that diminish the organic surface of a hide. “We felt that much of leather’s natural appeal had been lost and we saw an opportunity to do things differently,” says senior designer Megan Younge. Developed over 15 months by the fabric stalwart’s in-house design studio, the line of Italian leathers and Spanish suedes are finished with a delicate hand to preserve the texture and irregularities that give it character. In employing its recent addition, Maharam looked to Elizabeth Beer and Brian Janusiak of the New York design studio Various Projects. From a single flat piece of heavyweight leather, the duo conceived the Market tote, a die-cut carryall that takes shape with a lift of the handles. “When they came in with a prototype, we immediately recognized how smart and attractive a design it is,” Younge says. That concept, in execution, is a visual boon born out of maximizing minimalism.
Maharam Market tote by Various Projects, $265, maharam.com