I met Elisabeth Weinstock in my last day of Paris Fashion Week. And it was, indeed, one of the nicest meetings in that tiring day. “Wow, it’s the only way I could like snakes. On shoes and bags”, I told her instantly, while I was admiring the perfect details and the flawless texture of the bags, jewellery boxes, clutches, all kind of football balls, surf board, home decorations and even helmets covered with all kind of snakeskin. “I wanted to create something that could be an art object, as well as a functional home decoration or a sport item”, she said. So, after I tried some clutches, I challenged her for a box round with the beautiful blue anaconda skin gloves (yes, at that time I didn’t know that she really know how to box!) and, some months later, we talked, via Bucahrest-Los Angeles, about the things that inspired her and about the next projects.
Elisabeth Weinstock founded her eponymous, exotic skin accessories brand in 2011. The exclusive range of snakeskins and leathers are sourced the world-over. Each of her pieces are handmade, and Weinstock collaborates extensively with artisans whose knowledge of the craft has been passed down through the generations. In 2012, she began experimenting with custom furnishings and covered jewelry armoires in exotic skins and soon, these pieces became her signature. Weinstock progressed to using exotic materials to sheath jewelry boxes, travel accessories, and ultimately to construct her now sought-after handbags. The Elisabeth Weinstock collection can be found at specialty retailers internationally, including Bergdorf Goodman, Maxfield and Montaigne Market, and at www.elisabethweinstock.com.
Who are you? When and how this your brand story started?
I was, born and raised in Los Angeles. My brand began 4 years ago when I sold my 1st Jewelry Box to Maxfield. Coming from an interior design background, my first collection was all boxes for the home. From there it evolved into a line of all types off accessories for woman, men and home.
Because why not… Snakes have incredibly texture and natural markings are quite extraordinary.
How did the special projects begin? What is your favorite piece and story related to them (she had some “special orders” as surfboards, helmets and a special collaboration with the artist Danny Yung and his famous character Tian Tian)
My favorite item is the Manila Boxing Gloves. Boxing is an art form and I wanted to celebrate it and give it my own my artistic expression. Everything I create comes from something I am passionate about. I have been boxing for over 20 years so it felt right to create a glove that is built to competition standards but made out of exotic skins, and yes, they are only for ART.
How long does it take to put a collection / a special piece together?
Each item I create comes to me in different forms. Some are in the moment and some grow and become more elaborate with time. There is no real formula to it.
Hardest thing to accomplish?
Execution of what I envisioned. I am a perfectionist, so making sure each step along the way is to the highest standard is a task in of itself.
What is the best seller piece ever?
It is a tie between both the Manila Boxing Gloves and Manila Keychain and our Qatar snap clutch.
Best selling regions?
USA / France.
What is your favorite piece from the latest collection?
Mixed skin tote call the Fortaleza… It’s so different and I have never seen anything like it. I get stopped where ever I go when I carry it.
What is your favorite periods in fashion history?
I love the style and class of the 1930’s. I would love to live and design in that era.
Your style signature is… my snakeskin jacket, which is part of our new collection.
The biggest challenge as a designer is… keeping ahead of myself.
The most extravagant thing you want to design is… snakeskin wall unit.
You are inspired by… architecture, culture, travel and dreams
The biggest plan for next year? Expanding more into my three different collection for Men, Woman and Home.
Flash Q&A with Elisabeth Weinstock
Style is… personally expression.
Favorite designer… Giambattista Valli.
Shopping secret address… mine.
Favorite city for inspiration… Paris.
5 pieces everybody should have… bag, watch, shoes, belt, scarf.
Celebrities wearing your designs… Lady Gaga. Kendall and Kylie Jenner, SJP, Rihanna, Kourtney and Kim Kardashian, Usher.
Photography: Elisabeth Weinstock, dreamingof.net