Ala Champ
 
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PARKHOTEL MONDSCHEIN

A Rich Cultural History Combined with a Refined Design Aesthetic at this Modern Luxe Hotel

FUFU KYOTO

An Intimate Luxury Hotel that Entwines Traditional Japanese Dining, Architecture and Hospitality with Modern Elegance

JACQUEMUS PARIS

A Pure Interior Led By Playfulness and Surprise

The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre

The Charred-Brick 'Black Box' Presenting The Beauty Of Theatre & Performance

GAIA

British Artist Luke Jerram’s Explores The Vastness of Our Earth

Honouring ISSEY MIYAKE

The Legacy Remains: Merging Art & Fashion, East & West, Tradition & Technical Innovation

UNITED PLACES BOTANIC GARDENS

Local and Luxurious, A Melbourne Boutique Hotel That Gets It Right

Naoshima Ryokan ROKA

Designed by Okayama-based studio Nottuo, a New Modern Stay on Japan’s ‘Art Island’

Restaurang ÄNG

NORM Architects Creates A Light-Filled Glasshouse For The Michelin-Starred Restaurant

JAPANESE CRAFTSMANSHIP: BAMBOO WEAVING

In The Quiet Backstreets Of Kyoto's South Higashiya, Find A Master Craftsman

HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE SS23

As Ever, The Joy Of Movement & Ease of Pleats Prevails

Serpentine Pavilion 2022

Artist Theaster Gates Designs the 21st Pavilion

BRUT-AL

Argentinian-Australian Designer Alexander Lotersztain's Ode to Brutalism

Serpentine Pavilions 2000-2021

A Champ Online Retrospective Of Two Decades of The Radical Architectural Event

PURE FORM

The Art Gallery of South Australia Presents Japan's Avant-Garde Ceramics

KABIRA & KANGRI

The Beauty Of Indian Textile Craftsmanship In ISSEY MIYAKE Sub-Brand HaaT's SS22 Collection

Zana Bayne

The New York-Based Designer Creating Post-Fetish Artisanal Leather in Fashion

Words - Kat Chan

Photography - Shaniqwa Jarvis

July, 2017
Zana Bayne in her New York Studio. Photography: Shaniqwa Jarvis

On the tenth floor of an imposing skyscraper in the Garment District, designer Zana Bayne commands a small atelier filled top to tail with exquisite leather pieces. Her iconic harnesses (worn by the likes of Lady Gaga, FKA Twigs and the Kardashians) drape seductively across wall-to-wall rails. With soft leather straps, gold-toned hardware and studs throughout, Zana’s pieces are powerful yet gentle, no easy feat for leather accessories that one wouldn’t usually deem accessible.

“I think one big factor is I design for the female form” Zana says. “My pieces feel great on, they’re complimentary to a woman’s body. When you have one on it changes your posture and the way you carry yourself… I think that’s really attractive to people.”

In five years, Zana has built a formidable brand revered by the fashion world. Her story began in San Francisco where she attended the Art Institute as a painter, followed by a stint in Berlin working with Lurve magazine, before finally landing in New York. “I think participating in the history of New York design is really important. We do the majority of the collections in-house, and we work with factories that are right here in the neighbourhood of the Garment District. When we do our production, it’s here in the city.”

Hanging out with Zana, it’s clear that she doesn’t follow the traditional rulebook. Completely self taught in leather-making, she developed her own techniques as well as picking up some classic ones. “Everything I learned was through self experimentation” she says, “there are infinite variations of working with leather.” With every piece handmade by Zana and her small team of three full-time employees and a revolving group of interns, she still irrepressibly manages to keep up with the growing demand for her accessories.

“Things move so fast and you have to learn to adapt to that. While at the same time, for myself and other designers, we still have to work with six month production schedules. One thing we did with the last season was we kept the collection secret. Instead of showing something and telling our customers ‘you can look at this now, but you can’t buy it for six months’, we decided to do a showroom for just press and buyers. You’ll be able to see the images when the pieces became available to buy in stores. Everything will be seen at the same time, that’s been a very big move for us.”

“Everything I learned was through self experimentation, there are infinite variations of working with leather.” Zana Bayne

This feature was originally published in
Ala Champ Issue 9 Champion Womens Edition.

July, 2017