Letters from Natasha: February 2020.
In her first blog we meet Natasha Kerimova winner of the 2020 Abbey England Leather Craft Scholarship.
Hello, everyone! My name is Natasha Kerimova, and for more than two years, I have been studying and perfecting the craft of creating fashion leather bags and small leather accessories. At the end of October 2019 my brand Ten Cloudy was born where I am the designer, the buyer, the prototypist, and the maker.
I want to start my blog with the topic of how one can get a chance to learn about the leathercraft, and, possibly, fall in love with the bag making as it happened with me. I think it is vital that as many people, especially young, get a chance to become acquainted with this wonderful craft and learn unique skills. The initial introduction into the world of leathercraft for many novices is through short bag or accessories making classes. The initial impressions and personal first-hand experiences from these classes can show a person that a particular handcraft is not for him/her or, equally, these ultimately might become the first stepping stones on a very long road.
I have been searching for my first class in bag making for quite a long time. I am a fashionista, so it was essential for me to like the advertisement images of the bags to be made, to ensure that whatever I wanted to create corresponded to my understanding of style and fashion. I absolutely was not minded to have a go at creating something plain and traditional, irrelevant for my fashion look at life. I would have never gone to make a bag which would have been destined to collect dust in my wardrobe or become a present to my mother-in-law.
So I was looking for such a masterclass in England which would enable me to learn some basic techniques by creating a simple but contemporary bag. Everything that came up on the first pages of Google search was so traditional that I was losing the will to proceed. In the end, after much reflection and searches, I found a two-day bag making course at a London studio, which was in line with my esthetical philosophy and that is where my path in this industry began. In other words, I was fortunate. Moreover, I tried so hard not to spoil my first messenger bag that it turned out to be quite perfect for the first-timer. If small advertising may be done here, it was studio Candice Lau. Happy to recommend to anyone.
My experience raises more global questions for discussion: how much is it necessary to adapt the process of learning leathercraft to modern fashion trends, how important it is to move the watershed between modernity and tradition? Can we unite the two components into one so that the traditions are relevant and embodied in a craft form relevant to the modern audience? I think it would help to trigger the curiosity of the young and not so young newcomers in the world of leathercraft and assist in sustaining the interest to keep learning the skills, but you might have a different opinion. See you next month, and we will take it from here.
Have a great month Natasha.