Minimal leather goods
AT THEIR STUDIO IN SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA.
Down a quiet, unassuming street in an industrial area in Santa Monica, a quirky façade belies a fascinating studio within. This is the headquarters of Cuero & Mør, a company that María and Pepe created a few years back, and which has allowed them to learn the process of making leather bags as skilled craftsmen.
Both originally from Andalucía, María and Pepe crossed paths in Pamplona, while studying medicine and architecture respectively. I met them both at Unique L.A., where they were fellow exhibitors at the show. Not only did their jolly personalities appeal to me, but I admired their clean aesthetic eye. I was thrilled to be asked to help with a flower design for their SS16 campaign. My friend Beth and I assisted them achieve their artistic vision with our flower studio, The Poppy League.
Simplicity and functionality seem to be the brand's driving forces. As Pepe himself says, "Architecture is the primary form of design. It is form and function to be enjoyed by a user. We approach leather bag design the same way - we use the same concepts we learnt from architecture to design all our products."
Self-taught and enthusiastic, their workspace is uncluttered and organized, with carefully selected tools ready at hand. I sense a calm in the workspace, which will certainly be shattered by imminent rapid growth, as Cuero & Mør was more than a year ago on the verge of outsourcing its production to the heart of Andalucia, close to where they were both born. A lot has happened since, and exciting news will come from this couple soon. Meanwhile, sewing machines, leather tools and cow pelts sit alongside business magazines, architecture books and friends' artwork on the walls.
Their bags are minimal, well-crafted, and finished with extraordinarily detailed precision. Sober, yet simple, Cuero & Mør's output will also include bolder product lines as part of the firm's exciting future plans. Bright energy and light seem to radiate from their designs, and will act as a blueprint for the jump ahead which Maria and Pepe are about to take.