“There is much we can bring to our future, when we learn to value our past.“

My name is Aliane Matei and I’m a multidisciplinary artist, costume creator and craft preserver.

My journey began in the midst of the ‘90s, growing up in a family of craftsman, learning from my grandfather the beauty of traditional leather work, preserved for generations.

My fascination with this ancient material grew even more as I discovered its versatility through my own hands.

After the fall of the communist regime, when Romania became the resting place for obsolescent clothing pieces from Europe and not solely, I started hunting for precious leather pieces that were lost among the piles of second hand clothing stores, this being its next-to-last step before destruction.

Since then my work revolved around saving and extending the life of this ancient material by creating unique, timeless pieces.

After being present for more than 12 years in the stage of modern fashion, visiting numerous studios and workshops, I started to notice how the traditional methods of crafting would slowly be replaced by mechanical, industrial ones. Small workshops would start to disappear, careful manual work would slowly start to be replaced by fast machine work, and the once natural method of tanning the leather with vegetable materials was slowly starting to be replaced by fast chemical ones using chromium salts.

Wanting to preserve the sacredness of this material, the beauty and soul of true craftsmanship, I
decided to return to my homelands in the mountains of Buzau, Romania, where I’ve build a sustainable house that became my studio and workshop. Here I work at preserving the ancient traditional methods, choosing to work with premium vegetable tanned leather, manually cutting, stitching, sewing, carving, moulding and sculpting each leather piece – into a timeless work of art.

Here I run a multi-disciplinary self sustained community focused on preserving the ancient traditional methods, working with premium vegetable tanned leather, recycled materials, experimenting new leather alternatives, doing permaculture, holding workshops and educating the public into a sustainable living, while also offering a meeting place for craftsman and artisans alike.

Here I run a multi-disciplinary self sustained community focused on preserving the ancient traditional methods, working with premium vegetable tanned leather, recycled materials, experimenting new leather alternatives, doing permaculture, holding workshops and educating the public into a sustainable living, while also offering a meeting place for craftsman and artisans alike.

Through my work I advocate for a slow, sustainable fashion, cherishing the spirit of the craft, the traceability of the materials and a humane, ethical consumption.

Over 15 years of leather ressurection