Upcycled leather accessories
Growing up founder and designer Sasha Arkhipova was exposed to the artistic process from an early age. Brought up in a family of creatives she was surrounded by art, fashion, architecture and alternative music as she developed her passion for form and material exploration. During her formative years she spent most of her spare time absorbing the curiosities of her native Russia attending various galleries, exhibits and watching classic and progressive films.
Sasha started working with jewelry because of her love for tactile experiments. It pulled her for the opportunity to create dynamic and wearables items. She has been working with various synthetic and natural materials over the last decade. Her fascination with the surrounding West Coast landscapes has led Sasha to explore leather and its natural tendencies as the material of her choice. She is moved by the intent that all the bits and pieces of this sacrificed material should be saved from the landfill. Sasha is influenced by the concept of timelessness. She aims for her pieces to be modern, and relevant indefinitely, but not affected by the passing trends.
“My design is born in the process of creation. The drive comes from the constant study of material while experimenting with ways and treatment. Influenced by a combination of strong and linear structures found in architecture and urban environment and delicate textures and pattens of Mother nature. I intend for my jewelry to be simple and sophisticated, easy to wear, soft to feel. The pieces are designed to be worn both, independently and can be combined with others. They are light in weight and have a pleasant, organic and familiar feel. I call it skin to skin.”
“Furthermore, the carefully handcrafted jewelry pieces are made of consciously used up-cycled leather. They are produced exclusively from the leather scraps that are collected from local leather makers. I believe that there should be nothing wasted once the animal has been sacrificed for food and fashion. The leather scraps are upcycled and reinvented as soft and unique pieces. They are crafted with care and with the world and its inhabitants in mind. WAIWAI is a thoughtful jewelry.”
“My technique is hands-on, I use very few tools, as it gives me more autonomy over the process. I cut individual leather sequins, form/build them and apply finishing treatment made from all natural materials such as bees wax and tragacanth gum. For many of my collections I alter the texture and the shape of the leather by applying heat. All the hardware used is hypo-allergenic stainless steel and sterling silver. With my pieces I intend to covert my creative stream into usable art and divert the valuable resource from the landfill…”
“A minimalist yet casually elegant style channels my appreciation for simplicity, natural textures and forms. Each piece is unique and crafted thoughtfully as I experiment with shapes and materials to share my love for minimalism, comfort and nature-inspired style.”