Parisienne leather jewellery designs with O.b.s.o.
O.b.s.o. is a Paris based jewellery brand specialising in innovative leather designs with a unisex and rock 'n' roll feel. After studying accessories design at Duperré in France and the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in The Netherlands, Laurine (the designer behind the brand), gained specialisation in shoemaking, from which she applies the leather embellishment techniques to her jewellery. Meeting her in a small café in the heart of Paris, we asked Laurine about what attracted her towards a career in fashion, the meaning behind her brand and her plans going forward.
How did you get involved in fashion?
When I was younger, I wanted to work in animation as I loved creating characters. In a way, fashion lets you create creatures. I then decided to study fashion when I was 18 and went to the Paris based fashion school, Duperré. For me it was also always important to have an international education experience, so I also studied at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem, The Netherlands. From this experience I noticed how countries take a very different approach to fashion, so I would say these experiences definitely complemented each other.
Do you have a preference over how they teach fashion in France or The Netherlands?
I would say the education in the Netherlands was much more open-minded. The fashion education in Paris is a lot more more restricted, likely because it has been the hub for fashion for so many years, whereas in Holland they are much more conceptual.
What does the brand O.b.s.o stand for?
The name comes from the word "obsolete" as I have always been inspired by old vintage objects. I also reuse a lot of my materials and only use up-cycled leather in my designs. So I would say the brand stands for loving old materials and transforming them into something precious.
What would you describe as a typical O.b.s.o wearer?
I would say a bold lady with a rock 'n' roll vibe who loves wearing statement pieces.
Can men also wear your brand?
Absolutely! I will actually be launching a men's line in May.
Why did you decide to start with jewellery?
At university I specialized in shoes, however I decided to work in jewellery design as the opportunities are endless. You are not limited by the measurements of the body and the work is quite free because you can experiment with materials and shapes in a artistic way.
What have been some of the biggest hurdles you've faced since you started your own brand?
I would describe myself as being 100% a creative person, so I lacked the commercial understanding to market my brand and had to learn this on my own. However, this process taught me a lot. But at the beginning it was very difficult.
How long does it take to make a typical accessory?
It can go from one hour to several days. Depends how complex it is.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I listen to a lot of music. I used to be a journalist for metal webzine and was very inspired by that. When I'm working in my atelier, I am able to work so much better when I'm listening to loud music. Secondly, I would also say I am inspired by natural structures such as serpentines, roots, trees, etc.
Where do you see your brand going in the next 5 years?
I would love to have my own store in America with sellers all over the world. I would also love to sell silver jewellery as well as leather, as it's more easy to mass produce.