Up until recently the term “Made in The U.S.A.” was usually associated with inferior products or craftsmanship. Often times being passed up for products made from more established European names. Inferiority or faulty craftsmanship are terms that are that cannot be associated with New England based Lotuff. With the production facilities based right here in the states, the team at Lotuff can oversee every process that goes into delivering their totes, pouches and wallets.
For the Spring/Summer 2014 collection, tapped photogs Miles & Miles and New York retailer Barneys to bring their collection to life. The countryside of Marfa, Texas serves as the backdrop to this shoot that features a number of select pieces from the range. Barneys caught up with co-founder Joe Lotuff and Creative Director Lindy McDonough to discuss the importance of manufacturing at home. We have an excerpt below. Check out the interview in its entirety here and shop the collection here.
Tell us why manufacturing in America is so important to you.
Joe Lotuff: Manufacturing here is incredibly important and personal to me. Learning a craft, from leatherwork to boatbuilding to plumbing, is a path to a satisfying and fulfilling life. We really delight in teaching others how to thrive by empowering them to do the best they can by taking the time needed for perfection.
As we grow, our team of craftspeople has evolved into a really interesting blend. Those with decades of experiencing mastering the craft now work shoulder to shoulder with younger folks eager to learn the skills and work with their hands. It gives us hope that handcrafted goods is not a dying industry. In fact, it is worthwhile and sustainable enough to continue on for years.
Tell us about the challenges and rewards of employing and training highly skilled workers to make your products.
JL: The challenge turns into a reward as we realize the benefits that come from employing highly skilled craftspeople. We’re proud of every piece we make because we know it has been made the very best way it can be. There is also a rare intimacy that comes when we work closely with our team. We see every step up close and in person—from the cutting to the sewing to the polishing to the finishing. We know and approve each piece that leaves the workshop. Our ability to individually number each piece we make is a testament to our small-run, highly personal crafting process. And any Lotuff bag that you get from Barneys has a guarantee against material and workmanship defect for the life of the original owner.