Our latest Journal article explores the world of the British architect Norman Foster, whose last name and creative psyche have been given and imbued into one of our newest belt designs for AW22.
The great Norman Foster once said that "as an architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.” Widley considered to be the original superstar architect and Britain’s finest export to the architectural world, Foster’s imprint can be found all over on a magnificent, imperious scale and with accolades and awards stacking just as high. A sterling example of this is, of course, London’s beloved Gherkin in The City. “Back in 2003, when it was completed, there was nothing like it on the London skyline, and it was London's first environmental skyscraper, maximising the amount of natural lighting and ventilation to reduce the overall energy consumption of the building,” says Awling’s founder Chris Goldstraw.
As you may well know, Awling is a leather goods business rooted in the pursuit of timeless design. This is a result of our founder Chris Goldstraw’s ongoing work as an architectural photographer out of the UAE, photographing skyscrapers and highly impressive buildings that are spawning from the ground on a daily basis – many of which are Foster’s creations. “I've had the honour of working for Foster + Partners, photographing their recent projects across the United Arab Emirates and the first that I noticed was how there is a huge focus not just on how the building looks but how people interact within them, there is always a social aspect at heart.”
Chris has always been enamoured by how thoughtfully designed spaces can enable and enrich our daily lives – much like the Gherkin – and with Awling, he aims to create long-lasting leather goods that can have the same effect. So, as a homage to the great architect and a close friend of Chris’ who sadly passed away from Covid last year and shared the same name, we’ve produced the Foster belt.
Compared to the rest of the range, Foster stands out from the collection due to its elegant design – it’s considerably thinner, measuring 28mm in width compared to the Original, which is 35mm in width. It’s inspired by the days of vintage menswear from the 1980s, evoking images of old Giorgio Armani campaigns and brands of similar ilk, whereby thin belts were worn louchely with voluminous and pleated trousers. Today, it reflects the shifts in preferences we’re currently seeing, with many men being drawn to thinner, more elegant belts to elevate their casual attire.
Like all of our belts, Foster is handmade in England using vegetable-tanned, full-grain leather sourced from Lo Stivale in Florence, Italy. This exemplary tannery supplies us with a product that can last a lifetime. There are two versions available, pitch black and walnut brown (available for pre-order). Both feature a thin polished brass buckle forged in England with a considered and sophisticated nature.
Like Foster said, “you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown”, and we believe that the Foster belt underlines this ethos. It’s a contemporary piece that borrows from the past, and has a place in the present and a long future ahead of it.
Explore Foster, here.