The first time you see Lemur leather goods, you may be slightly confused. Is it…a leather trivet? A pre-production handbag strap?
“People are interested when they see the flattened piece. It’s something that brings them in. Then when they understand the concept behind it, they want to buy as well,” co-founder Fernando tells me.
Aha, so there’s folding involved. That sounds complicated. “The folding aspect is actually a draw,” he says. “It’s different and inventive. Plus we include simple directions.”
Don’t be fooled by the flat leather pattern you see at first. Lemur leather goods are actually a simple way of creating functional items like wallets and phone-holders.
Conceptualized in January 2014 and launched in May, Lemur is the creation of Danish-born Nanna, with a background in art & design, and Portuguese-born Fernando, a trained architect. Based in Aarhus, the team both designs and produces their goods which are currently sold on their webshop and at design markets in Denmark.
“We were going to a lot of design fairs in Denmark, ” Fernando says, “and we were seeing a lot of inspiring craftsmanship. It just seemed like people were so caught up in the craft that they’d forgotten about innovation. We wanted to bring that back. We were also seeing that items were really expensive. The cost made sense; you’re paying for someone’s time. So our question was: how do we scale down the actual time spent making an item while keeping the quality?”
The answer was the cut out the seams and stitching by designing a product that could be folded and held together through the folds themselves and one or two studs.
The result is pieces that are useful, strong, and visually fluid in a way that handcrafts often aren’t.
“We think of ourselves as an accessories design studio,” notes Fernando, “so in thinking about our next product, it’s important that we stay within that parameter. We have a few thoughts for the next item but nothing is decided yet.”
In the immediate future is the FindersKeepers markets in September in Copenhagen and Aarhus. Lemur is considering other distribution channels but are keen to make sure they don’t pass on any middleman costs to their customers. Speaking with Fernando, the conversation keeps coming back to supplying customers with something useful and beautiful while retaining a high level of design-quality.
Thoughtful and innovative products at reasonable prices, created by a studio of people who are committed to those principles; it’s easy to see why Lemur is beloved by both customers and design-lovers alike.
See more on Lemur here.