Laurence Leenaert is a Belgian fashion designer, who founded the label LRNCE in 2013. Now based in Marrakech, Leenaert creates work in response to traditional ritual and handcraft, channeled through contemporary fashion and object design.
Inspired by motifs used historically by the Berber people of Morocco, LRNCE creates embroidered clothing and accessories and illustrative ceramic pieces. The interest developed when Leenaert was still living in as a fashion student in Belgium and visited Marrakech, where she discovered materials and textile pieces unobtainable at home. After a year and a half of back and forth travel, Leenaert decided to move to Morocco, combining the artistic training learnt in Belgium with the teachings of local Moroccan craft. The designer forms her designs through a series of spontaneously driven preliminary drawings, before making the pieces in workshops alongside craftsmen, with whom she shares the same value of attention to detail. Despite this, her pieces appear endearing and rough, carrying the undeniable charm and character of the handcrafted approach. Looking to the future, Leenaert hopes to open a showroom in the Moroccan city she has fallen in love with. It’s easy to see why, as she explains: “The sun is present every day and the people are so so kind for me, always inviting me over for dinner and always asking me if I need something. They really make me feel at home.”
All images © Laurence Leenaert