Saddlers & leather workers from around the world join host Christian Lowe to share stories and secrets on the leather trade and the art and life of making, repairing, and selling saddles and other equipment for horses.
Lauren Broxton is a designer and maker of bespoke, contemporary leather goods, built to stand the test of time. Inspired by the dynamics of the forgotten British post-industrial, she creates robust, resilient pieces crafted entirely from reclaimed saddlery leather, in homage to the heritage of her hometown. Driven by a need for interdependence in design, she forges close working relationships with local craftspeople, resulting in the marriage of traditional craft and modernity whilst ensuring circularity.
Characterised by distinctly bold, sculptural silhouettes, Lauren’s romanticised vision of the everyday aims to capture the extraordinary that lies amidst the ordinary. Drawing inspiration from art, politics and sociology, her work explores themes of class, sex and gender, often influenced by castigated groups in society. Innovative approaches to leatherwork strike the balance between the industrial and the artisanal, resulting in unique objects that can never be truly replicated.
About Lauren Broxton
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lauren Broxton, I’m a fashion designer specialising in leather and I just so happen to have been awarded the 2023-2024 Abbey England Scholarship! Since starting my business 2 years ago, Abbey England really have been an entity that I have come to rely on so heavily since the get go – so to be recognised by such a world class supplier is something I’m really proud of right now.
As you might’ve guessed, my journey into leather didn’t start off through traditional, expected routes, rather from an obsession with it that dates back to my early years as a fashion student. There’s good reason for that too. Hailing from Walsall, renowned for its historical leather trade, I grew up surrounded by saddleries, leather workers and of course, the infamous leather museum – where I spent a good few summer schools as a child.
I always had a taste for the more avant-garde and as I began to experiment, leather gradually crept into my collections, until I finally decided to fully turn my attention to the craft during my final year of university. I created ‘Locals’ – a 14 piece collection made entirely from waste saddlery leather – which debuted at Graduate Fashion Week 2019 and essentially became the backbone of my working process and namesake brand. At its core, it is a brand that takes all the tradition, craft and heritage that comes with leather and combines them into something truly contemporary. I’m fiercely proud of the heritage I come from but I’m also hellbent on kicking it into the 21st Century.
Fast-forward to now. Two years deep in a bespoke leather fashion brand and counting! I’ve faced some feats during that time but also celebrated a good few wins! I sold a quarter of my first collection in the first 24 hours alone, witnessed my commissioned work on TV shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and ended up published on High Snobiety (one of the biggest Fashion media platforms in the world!). I had been hoping for a more restful January, having just finished up an 80 show theatre production as Head of Wardrobe – but I’m already booked up with projects and commissions for the coming weeks!
I’m so excited for what 2024 has in store for me. I’ve got big ambitions for where I want the brand to be, so this year I’ll be pushing to grow my business bigger and better than before. Perhaps I can tell you more about that in the next instalment – but for now, I’m heading back to the studio. Wishing you all a fabulous 2024!