A Belgian Designer in Morocco On What It’s Like to Run a Global Brand Via Instagram
When we initially found Laurence Leenaert’s modern textiles and accessories line, LRNCE, we thrilled to the designer’s eye for modernity, suffused with a sun-kissed nonchalance that feels retro yet worldly. Working from the center of a medina in Marrakech might not seem like the most straightforward way to achieve international acclaim, but with an aesthetic that walks right up to an Anthro catalog, then takes a sharp left towards Picasso, Leenaert has done just that. After studying at KASK in Ghent, Belgium and interning for the fashion label Bless in Berlin, Leenaert decided to strike out on her own, initially working on a line of bags. Her designs have progressed quickly, from emphasizing lines and grids to embracing more abstracted, almost anthropomorphic forms that cover everything from textiles, carpets, and pottery to kimonos and sandals. An artist at heart, Leenaert’s own drawings and compositions inform many of the designs she puts into production (a new addition to her line of mirrors is simply called “blurred shape.”) We caught up with Leenaert in her showroom-cum-studio to find out what it’s like to run a global brand via Instagram, how she stays inspired, and why she can’t imagine being anywhere else.