Moroccan design with a Belgian sensibility–Introducing LRNCE
After travelling back and forth to Marrakech to source materials, Belgian fashion designer Laurence Leenaert finally decided to make the move. Two years on, her label LRNCE draws upon the graphic nature of Berber symbols to create items that reflect a contemporary take on traditional Moroccan design.
LRNCE’s collection is diverse and offers accessories such as shoes and bags as well as textiles, cushions, rugs, ceramics and clothing. There is a distinctive handmade aspect to the items and bright and playful shoes such as Siour and Mansur have sturdy constructions made from an unusual combination of leather, rope and suede. If you look closely there’s often a story behind each item, for instance Fatimaa.a is a simple but elegant handwoven blanket made by three brothers. Leenaert came across their atelier where they prepare, colour and weave the blankets before they are embroidered by hand and this craftsmanship shows in its intricate detail.
Despite the delicate manufacturing process, there is an element of experimentation to Leenaert’s work and she admits that her designs are often spontaneous and inspired by the different materials or colours found in the bustling city of Marrakesh. The bold graphic lines that characterise traditional Berber patterns inspire a lot of her designs, however there is also a modern and playful edge to many of the items. With products shot beautifully against a pastel Morrocan backdrop, LRNCE now enjoys an international social media presence and has clients from across the world. Hoping to expand and bring contemporary design to the Medina, Leenaert hopes to soon grow her business by opening a showroom in the city.