Lianna Gunawan founder of La Spina collections
INDONESIA WINS CARTIER WIA : la Spina shoes with a cultural purpose !
Selected from an applicant pool of over 1000 projects, the finalists for 2012 come from 15 different countries. They all lead successful compagnies. UFFP met the laureate of Cartier Women’s Initiative Award 2012 for Asia Pacific: Lianna Gunawan from la Spina Collection. Lianna comes from Indonesia and it is the first time that her beautiful country competes for Cartier Award. A very symbolical entrance for her as she is the Ambassadrice of her Country as well as being the winner of this edition. Lianna is a shoe lover like many of her sisters of the world. Her enterprise was born because she was a shoe aholic and could not always find the shoes she wanted to wear. La Spina war born because of her passion for shoes. Commissioning a local artisan to do a shoe » sur mesure » the idea of launching la Spinna Collection came from there!
But most importantly what touched us behind this story is the love for the culture, art and identity of Indonesia. Promoting the local work of artisans, Lianna gave another vision of creative Indonesia reviving batik and bambou and all these nobel materials characteristics of her region but into making shoes.
LIANNA GUNAWAN from la Spina Collection Indonesie and Feriel Berraies Guigny editor UFFP/ UNITED FASHION FOR PEACE
UFFP editor Feriel Berraies Guigny met her first in Paris and had a real crush on her and project, she won this edition of the Cartier Award.UFFP followed her through her nomination in Deauville at the Women’s Forum 2012 edition.
UFFP unveils the story of a magical encounter with Lianna Gunawan
Tell us about yourself ? my name is Lianna Gunawan am from Indonesia, Jakarta. I founded a business called La Spinna Collections. I produce hand made shoes uding indigenous material that are present since years and years in Indonesia. Material such as Batik, wood carve etc bambou even.
These materials have been present for ages, and people never thought of using them to make a pair of shoes. We usually use these materials to make furniture or clothes but not shoes.
When did u launch la Spinna ? in 2010 after a bit of doing shoe business, making normal customised shoes i wanted to do something unique and personnal so that people shoes could see someting different coming directly from Indonesia. I gave it a lot of thought and then i decided to experiment using all these different materials to make a pair of shoes. We just formally launched our shoes last year in april so it is over a year.
So then ? the response we received it was just amazing over the locals and they are really happy to wear a pair of shoes that is so different. Previous to my line we could not find a pair of shoes that would be odd looking, colorfull; They really stood up in the market.
So you managed to create out of passion these shoes and at the same preverve your identity culturally as well as promoting indonesian handycrafts ? with a pair of shoes we sell the purpose is not only to sell a pair of unique shoes, it is also to promote our culture !
Fashion for a noble purpose? we have a story carved in every box of shoes, not only for the outsiders but also for some indonesians who are not always familiar with their culture. We give a back ground story so they can appreciate what they buy. They are proud of what they are wearing.
How about the business of shoes in Indonesia? the number of shoes designers are declining, people are using machinery, and shoe exports. Im trying to regenerate the skill of making shoes because there is no school to follow to learn how to make shoes. And it is very hard to find today highly skilled h and made shoes.
What fabrics do you use? 80% are local materials and 20 % are imported : for the heals, the synthetic leather, the wood, the clothe everything is from the local artisans.
Indonesia thanks to you competes for the first time, how do you feel ? coming here, i feel already as a winner. I feel so happy and priviledged to be able to be here and to raise the profile of indonesian handicrafts. We are so far from France, i had to come here like after 25 hrs of plane flight. I ‘m very excited to get to know new people and discover new handicrafts of the world. As i walk alone, people here have been complimenting me about the shoed ( smiles) it is very motivating for me.