2 December 2021
A London-based leathergoods brand has said its discovery by an influential fashion blogger has given it hope of making major progress in the Chinese market in 2022, writes Leatherbiz.
Yuzefi was founded five years ago by designer Naza Yousefi, who is originally from Iran. She studied at Central Saint Martins in London until 2008 and went from there to work in the studios of Christopher Kane and Richard Nicoll.
Ms Yousefi says she first fell in love with leather when she was commissioned by Canadian designer Sarah Richardson to create some bespoke harnesses for a shot for fashion magazine i-D. This led to projects with Hedi Slimane and others before she founded Yuzefi.
She sources leather from Italy and works with outsource, artisan manufacturers in the Spanish town of Ubrique to create her collections. She says her “uncompromising approach” to the quality of the materials she uses helps define her products.
However, she also insists that the silhouettes of her bags are “bold and nonconformist”, with colours that are “rich and surprising”, and details that offer “a visual twist that beg a closer look”. An example of this is a distinctive knotted handle in her Dolores bags (see image).
In recent comments to The Financial Times about success that smaller international brands are beginning to enjoy among Chinese millennials, Naza Yousefi insisted that this “product uniqueness” was one of the reasons why she believes Yuzefi will increase its sales in China in the coming year, from a 15% share of total sales now to 25%.
Nevertheless, she said that a chance discovery of Yuzefi by Savi, an Atlanta-based Chinese fashion blogger, had also been a great help. Savi’s inclusion of Yuzefi bags in a number of her ‘looks’ has introduced the bags to more than 4 million followers on social media network Weibo. Now Naza Yousefi has customers on e-commerce platforms Tmall and JD.com, and on social media and shopping site Xiaohongshu.