Passed through generations, crafts in N. Macedonia are well respected. The first place I went to was the place I remembered from my childhood, Skopje’s old town. To my surprise what used to be craftsman central, was now replaced by craftsman trading Chinese products. With the help of the Macedonian government we are now running a project for reviving the crafts in Macedonia and created a handcrafting studio. Studio L&E opened its doors in 2014, it now employs experienced craftsmen and holds apprenticeship programmes, to carve young talents. All items handcrafted in the studio are numbered, signed and dated by the craftsmen themselves, humanising the process and making the production completely traceable. The studio is also completely energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Love, Lidia & The Team xxx
Born in N. Macedonia to a French mother and Macedonian father, Lidia has a rich blending of cultures that fostered an appreciation for diversity and wanderlust. Since 2013, she's pursuing her passion for functional, handcrafted and sustainable high-end fashion. Having studied fashion design in Paris, Lidia has built extensive experience working as creative director for various labels in London, Paris and Hong Kong. As an avid environmentalist and vegetarian herself, she creates products that reflect her values, while embracing her nomadic lifestyle without compromising on looks.
Born in Kosovo and moved to N. Macedonia at a young age, Abdula started his apprenticeship in Skopje's Old Town in 1983. Having become a great craftsman, he moves to Croatia to upgrade his work to a professional level, working with artisans from allover Yugoslavia. Upon his return he opens his own store where he crafts handbags for 13 years. He joins L&E in 2016. Husband and father of three children Abdula’s favourite thing about coming to work is: the team, making new discoveries and always upgrading himself.
Born, raised and residing in Skopje, N. Macedonia, Naim started crafting at the age of 17, inspired by his best friend. He started his apprenticeship in Skopje's Old Town and worked there for 10 years, earning the title of Master Craftsman. After 3 year in Germany, Naim yearns to come back to his roots and family and joins L&E's Studio in 2016. He is by far the most calm, precise and patient craftsman of the team and more often than not, he would have made the patterns of your L&E's. A husband and father of two wonderful children, his favourite thing about working at the studio is: the Concept, precision and the team.
As an Art historian Elena is a big art and design lover. Born and raised in Skopje, N. Macedonia, she worked at Skopje’s Summer festival organising art, music and theatre performances. She joined L&E in 2016 honoured to work with master craftsmen. She now dabbles in pattern making and some of the pieces in the collection are made by her. A devoted wife and mother to a wonderful boy, her favourite thing about L&E is watching materials turn into bags and the stellar team of course!
Born, raised and living in Skopje, Damien, also known as Lidia's older brother, used to ran his own entertainment website. What started as a favour to his sister turned into a full job shortly after Damjan sold his website and Lidia had troubles finding a reliable person to run the web-shop. So now every time we have an issue with the web-shop you know who to blame ;) His favourite thing about L&E is the flexible hours and creative freedom.
The crafting studio has been approved to meet the standards for environmental protection by the North Macedonian Government. We would love to get certifications but certifications can be quite costly. At this time we are focusing on investing in the products, our people and our apprenticeship programmes.