In a medium sized space located in Zürich’s west-end there’s a studio that focuses on leather craftsmanship one floor underneath the fog filled cobble roads of the city. Its accessories are worn by celebrities and Instafamous bloggers, while also being sported by many female fashionistas and women without social media presence. The company focuses on breaking limits on how leather is worn and successfully does so with each product that’s been released. The design and brainstorming of these grandiose visions come from Yvonne Reichmuth. Reichmuth has been crafting womenswear since her introduction to fashion school but her main focus shifted to leather as her medium of expression since 2012. These visions have been released under her YVY brand, humbly named after herself.
After my smell buds overcame the piercing presence of leather in its production process, I knew I had entered the right space, Reichmuth’s studio. Leather is a material that’s hard to work with and takes a pair of skilled hands to be crafted in a professional manner. YVY’s studio tells a broader story of the company’s vision being from as little as a bracelet to a colossal dress, that could rightfully be mistaken to hang in Maleficent’s wardrobe. There are tools and leather straps scattered in an orderly fashion all over the white floor that after a lot of sweat will transform into a breathtaking piece. Leather clothing and accessories are a double edged sword of aesthetic, there’s a fine line between something as ravishing as a Sacai jacket and a Dr. Marten counterfeit, you can easily spot in markets. But, Reichmuth and her interns are somewhat like Senseis wielding Japanese swords in regards to leathercrafting.
Attention to detail and quality of basic materials are some of Reichmuth’s firm guidelines in order to accomplish her end product with respective to her hypothesized result. As she states “[T]he leather is tanned with natural extracts, usually, leather has chrome infused and this technique [vegetable nutriants] is natural and eco-friendly to everyone working with it[,]” every strap, button and curve are accounted for. Currently in YVY’s inventory are leathers in varying colors such as red, black and nude, which deceives the eye as a subtle pink.
A Dress is Worth 330 Straps
The dress shown in the picture above has travelled the world for editorials and has been on numerous runways in Europe, there are none others like it. The production process for the dress is an ongoing task which Yvonne and her team have mastered, and in their vernacular “down to one week[.]” Just firmly grasp your head around the fact that three talented leather workers are working around the clock for one dress. Quality comes over quantity in Reichmuth’s catalog, a trait which top designers practice, not only in the high fashion market, but also streetwear brands like Supreme.
An Overflowing Press Binder
As Reichmuth passes the large press coverage binder to me with her black stained fingertips (from the day’s work), its weight is unsurprisingly understandable. Media outlets such as Vogue, Elle, People, Schön and countless others have featured YVY in their pages and online. Janet Jackson, Avril Lavigne and even the new James Bond woman, Monica Bellucci, have worn the brand’s accessories. These features show the power social media has over a brands exposure and market power. Unlike many other brands, YVY lets its pieces speak for themselves and the right eyes catch them.
A highlight of 2015 for the studio was no other than Kylie Jenner wearing the Fingerbelt and posted numerous pictures on Instagram and Facebook of how wonderful the piece sits on her. Mind you, I’m not endorsing Kardashian fame here, but think about it for a quick moment. Brands pay between 200,000USD to 300,000USD for a celebrity like Kylie Jenner to endorse a brand on a single Instagram post. Jenner’s numerous posts came unendorsed from any side -being PR vs. promoted content- in this equation and while we’re at mathematics, do the potential math it would cost for these endorsements. The answer, a lot of blood, sweat and tears from YVY, which payed off vastly on the 12th of November.
YVY doesn’t settle for anything less than perfect, it shows in every strap of leather that’s attached to their products. If you’re a fan of leather and accessories YVY should probably be on your following list on Instagram. Might I add if you’re an aspiring witch and are looking for an accessory to accompany your daily outfit YVY should probably be in your wardrobe.