Sorry for the delayed post! I have been sick for the past 2 weeks but still working and going about my days with a pretty packed schedule between freelancing, my full-time design job, and various home projects with my (very patient) boyfriend. But now that I have time, I am beyond excited to introduce you to your new favourite textile designer, Lee Coren. And guess what? Her designs are vegan!
When Lee first approached me to write a post about her brand, I was so excited to meet a fellow creative and gain a new connection in the vegan fashion industry, but I could never have anticipated how much I fell in love with her work. She introduced herself as a vegan textile designer from Israel with a 3-year-old accessory line that is designed and crafted ethically from local vegan materials, and she was looking for a like-minded vegan blogger to cover her work. I was so humbled that she had approached me to do this piece, and I was blown away that she was reaching out to me all the way from Tel Aviv, Israel! Needless to say, she and her eponymous brand were a perfect fit for See, Love, Covet, and I jumped at the chance to feature someone of her caliber on the blog, and was privileged enough to pick her brain in an interview for this post. And as an added bonus, I generously received one of her amazing vegan clutch designs in exchange for this feature, which you can read about in my review below.
About Lee Coren
Of all of the handbags that I have seen in my life, Lee Coren’s designs are by far the most unique. Aside from using carefully selected cruelty-free materials, her designs are a stunning mix of eye-catching textures, dreamy photography, and simple, contemporary silhouettes. And if the major style payoff isn’t enough, the ethical backbone of her brand is sure to win you over. All of her designs are sourced and produced locally and ethically, and use cruelty-free, vegan materials, including gorgeous, high quality Italian-made leather replacements like cotton-backed microfiber PU (Polyurethane) which is less harmful to the environment then regular faux leather substitutes, and raw cotton which most of her items are made from.
What’s more, Lee’s brand boasts an impressive collection of bags for every occasion — from a minimalist clutch for a night out, to a roomy weekender bag for travelling. In speaking of travelling, the landscape photography featured in her collection (think dreamy seascapes from the Mediteraian and the Dead Sea, and desert landscapes from California) are sure to inspire major wanderlust.
Lee says her designs are “Inspired by a mixture of two strong elements in her life, the urban surroundings and the need for escapism and a breath of fresh air. The collections feature handmade screen printed fabrics and original prints from scenery captured on camera that transformed into versatile essentials, built to last but never boring.” In an interview with I Am The Lab, Lee discussusses her creative process as, “I create my pieces by collecting visuals – like photos I’ve taken – and deconstructing them, drawing out the elements that fascinate me. The final step is reassembling the parts into something new. I usually start with an abstract idea of textures and colors, and that later evolves into materials and patterns. The shape of the product is usually one of the final stages.”
“My designs are inspired by a mixture of two strong elements in my life, the urban surroundings and the need for escapism and a breath of fresh air.” – Lee Coren
Q: Why did you decide to start your textile business?
A: I always wanted to run my own business, and when I found my passion for textiles it felt natural to walk this path.
Q: What motivated you to use vegan materials in your collections?
A: A visit to the leather warehouse. I also became vegetarian not long after. I’m not sure it’s such a pretty sight to explain about. I believe fashion can and should be cruelty-free. That goes to vegan materials, and also to ethical production line and trade. I source the finest materials from old and new local suppliers.
Q: Where do you find inspiration for your textile designs?
A: The city.
Q: What is one tip that you would give to aspiring new business owners who are just starting out?
A: Find a solid partner!
Q: What piece are you most proud of/or which is your favourite piece?
A: Wanderlust Rolltop in Nude.
Q: Who’s your favourite fashion designer?
A: Note, an Israeli designer now based in Barcelona.
Q: Can you name the biggest lesson that you’ve learned while running your own business?
A: Always calculate in a 10% delay to your production schedule.
Q: Can you name your greatest success so far in your business experience?
A: Celebrating 3.5 years since started I started. Phew!
The Collection: My Picks
1. Vegan Suede Envelope Clutch (Confetti)
2. Vegan Suede Windowpane Pouch/Fold Over Clutch (coming soon!)
3. Vegan Leather Wanderlust Rolltop Backpack
4. Vegan Leather Weekender Bag (Dead Sea)
Vegan Textile Review
In exchange for this post, I selected the black and white spotted “confetti” envelope clutch. Words do not do justice to describe what a beautiful piece this is, without seeing it in person. The hand of the vegan suede is luxurious, and I had my boyfriend feel it to test it out — he thought it was real suede! He couldn’t believe it was vegan. Lee describes the confetti envelope clutch as, “Inspired by Rome’s streets, the Confetti pattern turns everyday details into happy moments. In a black on white color combo, with just the right amount of gold details, this clutch & strap will impart an edge to any outfit.”
“Inspired by Rome’s streets, the Confetti pattern turns everyday details into happy moments.” – Lee Coren
In terms of handbag utility and aesthetics, this clutch checks off all the right boxes for style, quality of materials, and functionality. As I said before, the hand of the fabric is heavenly and butter-soft, and the faux suede deserves the title of “I-Can’t-Belive-It’s-Not-Suede” Suede! I’m usually a fan of a structured silhouettes when selecting handbags, but I am quite fond of the clutch’s slouchy silhouette, which is complimented by it’s simplistic rectangular shape and minimalist print (which is a perfectly imperfect smattering of black confetti-like spots, as the name suggests). What’s most noteworthy about this piece is it’s aesthetic: the materials make it feel like a high-end designer piece with just the right hint of a handcrafted feel thanks to the unique craftsmanship and aesthetic touches. So you get the best of both worlds: a designer piece that looks and feels like a one-of-a-kind design (which it is!)
Furthermore, it the perfect size to hold all of your essentials, but I advise not packing it full, as it would bulk up the shape (all the more reason to downsize your purse contents!) Best of all, it is versatile in it’s use, and can be converted from a chic envelope clutch to an edgy shoulder bag using the detachable gold chain. I know that it will be a welcomed addition to my mainly monochromatic/black and white wardrobe, and it’s black and white spotted design will add an edge to both my casual and formal outfits alike. I also love the gold chain, which will seamlessly intermix with all of the gold hardware already in my wardrobe and jewelry collection (score!)
In conclusion, I am absolutely in love with this piece, and my only regret is that I currently do not have my SLR camera to snap photos of it!
Her stunning, hand-crafted collection is proof that you can have ethically produced, cruelty-free materials without sacrificing quality or fashion.
As you can see, Lee Coren’s collection is a must have for both contemporary style and quality. Her stunning, handcrafted collection is proof that you can have ethically produced, cruelty-free materials without sacrificing quality or fashion. In fact, the look and feel of her materials will satisfy even the most loyal fans of “authentic” leather and suede. So if you’re looking to inject a little cruelty-free, modern style into your wardrobe, be sure to check out her collection!
To shop Lee Coren’s collection, visit leecoren.com
All photos by Aya Wind
Disclaimer: This post is kindly sponsored by Lee Coren. All opinions are my own.