Designer Interview in Fashwire
FASHTALKS WITH LATICO LEATHERS
What is the inspiration behind your brand name?
Latico Leathers is derived from where we first established our manufacturing roots in South America. It stands for Latin American Trading Incorporated.
How would you define the Latico Leathers customer?
We love our customers sharp eye for individual style. Aesthetically, they appreciate the tactile sense and heirloom quality of natural, imperfect leathers. Style-wise, everyone loves an easy-to-wear, modern classic with a low-key vibe. Technically, the combination of mellow, unstructured style, multi-function and organization is a game-changer.
What is your favorite part about designing men’s and women’s bags?
Seeing the first physical samples come into being, we get a feeling. We just know something will be great, or not, at first sight.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?
We are inspired by the most by energetic city streets, markets and vintage shops. Light-bulb moments surround us all. This fall, our cousin was visiting and discovered a long-lost white volleyball in the backyard. We marveled over the Ralph Lauren-esque texture of the aged and crackling leather. Inspiration is everywhere. You just need to look or stumble upon it.
"We feel incredibly lucky and are honored to be acknowledged for the 2020 IHDA Award."
Congratulations on your recent 2020 IHDA Award. That must have been a moment of great honor for the brand.
Yes! We feel incredibly lucky and are honored to be acknowledged for the 2020 IHDA Award. The award was created to celebrate handbag design and creativity from the United States and around the world. Now in its fourteenth year, it’s an industry staple and is the only international design competition to discover, recognize and create brand awareness for independent handbag designers. The IHDA is responsible for collaborations and capsule collections with Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel, EVINE Live, Timberland, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Kate Spade New York, Carlos Falchi, Kenneth Cole, Rafe New York, Singer, Brother, BERNINA, Swarovski and more.
The judges look for the next "it bag" designer. Their mission is to discover unknown designers and turnkey them into well-known brands. We thank them for this honor.
What role has social media played in the growth of Latico Leathers?
Now more than ever, we are focused on growing our brand through social media. We are a family-run business started by my husband and I in the 80s. Our son, Ben, is in charge of our organic and paid marketing efforts and is the driving force behind our recent growth as a brand.
What is your favorite fashion trend?
We’re loving the distressed, worn-in sneaker and boot leathers and denims. We love materials similar to ours, ones that reveal unique beauty and character with age.
What is your least favorite trend?
What do you feel most passionately about?
We are passionate about creating smart bags with innovations such as our patent pending enhancements. We are driven to innovate bags you want to carry every day so that they look great and work flawlessly. Inspiration also comes from travel and exploring different cultures.
"Each season, we are committed to developing new interesting leathers along with texture and saturation methods to make our bags distinguishable."
What is next for the Latico Leathers brand? What can we look forward to seeing in the upcoming seasons?
Recently we launched HydroHide which is a special collection of water-resistant leather bags. We developed a unique wax that penetrates our leather and protects it from liquid. Water actually beads up and rolls off these bags just like a raincoat. Each season, we are committed to developing new interesting leathers along with texture and saturation methods to make our bags distinguishable. Our Stanton Collection features distressed metallic leather which we love for its camouflage-like tonal pattern.
What challenges are you facing due to COVID-19. How are you overcoming them?
Stores are closed, which is terrible. However, store owners are smart and selling more and more through multiple social channels. They are broadening their audiences and we are supporting them with assets they can use to generate seasonal freshness and sales. Additionally, we are gearing up for virtual collection presentations in the upcoming weeks.
We are also donating 2% of our sales to Feeding America, a non-profit nationwide network of more than 200 food banks helping feed the hungry. So far, we've donated over 8,000 meals!