Designer, Lautēm Luxury Handbag Label
“I am not asking to change the world, but I would like to prove that is possible to have a sustainable and ethical business.”
Elena García Silva is proud of the excellence and dedication that go into creating her Lautēm handbags. But she’s also ethically aware and protective of the environment. Qualities to be applauded in an industry often accused of damaging our planet.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Elena. I design handbags with the humble desire of inspiring confidence. Using volumes, proportions and new shapes I try to convey in each design a strong personality that allows the people carrying them to differentiate from the rest. At the same time, I am also obsessed with quality and excellence.
Tell us about your education.
I graduated in Architecture in Spain.
Where did your love of handbags come from?
I understand fashion as a way of expressing and communicating and I think that a good statement bag can really say a lot about oneself.
What’s your career background?
I worked as an architect on important projects in Spain and Italy for more than 10 years. I have also done a lot of interior and furniture design for private customers.
What materials do you use and where do you source your materials and trims?
We source the leather and the handles mainly from Spain and Italy. The leather is particularly important, because the tannery could be a very polluting industry. The EU restrictions on waste management and use of chemicals give us enough confidence that we are not damaging the environment.
Where do you do research for your collections? Where do you get your inspiration from for the handbags?
Until now, my main inspiration came from Bauhaus and the modernist movement of the last century. I feel very inspired by all the experimentation that was done during those years and I think 100 years on, it can still give us important guidelines.
What is the creative process like for you?
It’s about being perceptive and open minded. I observe and read a lot and then I try to create something new.
How do you define luxury?
I think that luxury should be about feeling special. Uniqueness and quality should define luxury, not high prices or overexposed logos.
What are some of the defining characteristics of Lautēm handbags that make them different?
The design, of course, is the first thing that makes the bags stand apart from the rest. And the quality. It is not easy to appreciate at a first glance, but if you take a look at the details of the constructions of the bag, you see the excellence and the dedication of the artisans we are working with.
How would you define the Lautēm brand?
Lautēm come from a Latin adverb that means ‘done with excellence’. The logo we use comes from the E, tilted with the accent, to point to the importance of excellence for us. So Lautēm is about excellence in production and in design.
Who is the target customer for Lautēm?
People looking for something special and different.
What would be your ultimate goal for the brand?
I am not asking to change the world, but I would like to prove that is possible to have a sustainable and ethical business. The best thing for me is receiving emails from happy customers that feel inspired by the bags.
What has been the biggest change in your designs so far?
I am learning a lot from the comments of my customers and I am trying to make the bags more practical.
Describe your typical day?
It is difficult to find a typical day. Myself and Roberto we are proud parents of a 4-year-old boy and a 4-year-old brand and we alternate and share the working activities with the parental activities.
Your proudest moment so far?
The moment I saw the first production ready. It was really an unforgettable moment. But also the first one we sold to a stranger and the first time I saw one of our bags in the street of Hong Kong. Plus the emails I receive from happy customers. It’s difficult to choose only one.
Describe a typical, off-duty weekend for you.
We live in a very quiet village and the weekends are about staying with the family and enjoying nature.
What was the last thing you saw that made you stop and stare?
That’s a difficult one! There is nothing at the moment that comes to my mind.
Your message for us at CP magazine:
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to present my brand. I wish you all the best for your adventure.