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Loewe Foundation looks to set new standard for future of craft

April 14, 2016

Anthea Hamilton's "Sauna Leg Chair" 2015, a project with Loewe Foundation Anthea Hamilton's "Sauna Leg Chair" 2015, a project with Loewe Foundation


Spanish apparel and accessories label Loewe has launched an international award to celebrate excellence in craftsmanship.

Organized by the brand’s Loewe Foundation, the annual Loewe Craft Prize will be judged by a distinguished panel of experts from the design, architecture, journalism, criticism and museum curatorship sectors. Acknowledging craftsmanship skills has become common for the luxury industry, as many heritage brands work to preserve skilled, artisan workmanship for future generations.

Crafting the future
Loewe announced the launch of the Craft Prize on its social media channels. Doing so ensures that the creatives within Loewe’s community are aware of the initiative and may spur those interested to submit their work for consideration.

Loewe Craft Prize is forward-thinking with the brand seeking to recognize the talented artists whose vision and will to innovate will set “a new standard” for the future of craftsmanship. The concept reflects Loewe’s beginnings as a collective of artisans in 1846.

The period for submissions has been open since April 12 and will close Nov. 7. After weighing submissions, the shortlist of finalists will be announced in February with the winner announced April 2017.

Loewe will follow up the winner announcement with a May exhibition of the finalists’ and winner’s work in Madrid. In addition to the exhibit placement, the winner will also receive 50,000 euros, or $56,232 at current exchange rates.

Works submitted must be functional, of superior aesthetic value and be relevant to today. The work must also reflect the creative’s “personal language and distinct hand” while demonstrating artistic intent.

loewe craft prize.jw anderson

Jonathan Anderson on modern craft, courtesy of Loewe

Entries can be applied arts, such as ceramics, bookbinding, enamelwork, jewelry, lacquer, metal, furniture, leather, textiles, glass and other mediums. Pieces submitted must be one-of-a-kind original works that are handmade or partially handmade in the last decade.

To keep the Loewe Craft Prize innovative and competitive, works that have won prizes in the past are not eligible.

The shortlist from which the winner will be selected will be decided by a panel of experts in fields such as weaving and textiles, ceramics, jewelry, glass and architecture, and by Loewe’s accessories designer Sara Die Trill.

Loewe Craft Prize’s ultimate winner will be selected by a distinguished jury that includes Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson. Mr. Anderson will be joined by four other jurors: jewelry artist Gijs Bakker, former CEO of Vitra Rolf Fehlbaum, designer/director of the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum Naoto Fukasawa and honorary president of the Loewe Foundation, Enrique Loewe.

Loewe Craft Prize. Enrique Loewe

Enrique Loewe on modern craft, courtesy of Loewe

Similarly, family-owned Hermès’ Prix Émile Hermès prize, established in 2008, has been awarded to purposeful designers whose work embodies the notion that a higher-quality life can be achieved through design. By supporting the artisan skills of blossoming designers, Hermès simultaneously shines a light on its own craftsmanship.

The designs submitted are expected to be sustainable alternatives to already existing everyday objects. The production process of the object should also consider the environment when being crafted. Candidates were to submit designs for an object, material, utensil, piece of furniture, architectural concept, etc. (see story).