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Design To Last A LifeTime

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The creative process behind Artém Atelier

Creativity, the fundamental aspect of any design and for Artèm Khudoroshkov, founder and designer of Artem Atelier in Barcelona, working with leather is not just a profession, It is a passion, a calling, one might even say a philosophy. The shoes, bags, and accessories he designs are not just items – they are expressions of his character and vision: playful and elegant, colorful and stylish, and made to last. 

 

He could have ended up making grey shoes on the assembly line in a shoe factory in Moscow. And when Artèm was studying leather and design at the Russian State University of Design and Technology the stars certainly seemed to point that way. Fortunately, the books he found in the university library drove him in a different direction. Books on the history of costumes and the history of shoes, books on the traditional dress of the Indians in North America. Reading those books, made his dream, opening him new horizons, wondering himself how much more is possible and started him on the path that would eventually lead to his present designs.

 

In his workshop in the Gothic area of Barcelona, opened in 2015, Artem explains how every design starts with what might be most important: an idea. He finds inspiration everywhere: people are his main inspiration, the interesting reflection of sunlight, but most often in art and architecture. When he has found something he starts to draw, it starts slowly gaining form, but it isn’t finished before other, more practical things are considered. Is the item useful, is it safe to wear? And is it sustainable? He explains how he was touched by a customer who told him she only wanted to buy things she really needs, so she can use them for a long time, and how he tries to keep that in mind with everything he creates. 

 

When the design is finished it’s time to start making the prototype. Artèm sources the leather he uses for all his items from Igualada, a small town about an hours drive from Barcelona that has a long tradition of tanning leather. The most satisfying feeling is when the prototype works. Sometimes it doesn’t and he has to start all over again, but when it does everything seems to come together.  Then, finally, the actual production can start. He says he finds working with leather very relaxing, therapeutic even because you can never be in a hurry.

 

Working this way Artèm hopes to bring some more color, elegance and taste t0 the world, keeping a fine eye for simplicity in geometric forms which he applies on his designs: “You have to educate the people, little by little. Or at least inspire them.” He might start designing leather gilettes, or maybe he will finish what he says is his favorite design, a high heel men’s shoe, inspired by  Pierre Cardin. One like blokes in the Seventies were wearing with moustaches and funky dance moves. Or maybe he will just go on working the way he has. Because as long as he can sit behind his sewing machine and do what he loves, he is a happy man.

 

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