Colourful and cheery plaids beckon to virtual visitors to the Lenz & Leif homepage. Under the New & Next banner, Heimtextil 2013 marks the first time that the young company will be presenting itself in Frankfurt to the home and household textiles trade public. We caught up with Matthias Honold, owner and designer behind Lenz & Leif, about his products, what makes them special and why bad weather is good.What does Lenz & Leif represent to you?
First and foremost, we stand for high-quality knit blankets and cushion covers made of extra fine Merino yarn, made in Germany. The company is headquartered in Stuttgart which enables us to keep supply chains short. That is part of my understanding of what environmental protection and sustainability mean: working with high-quality materials, keeping transport to a minimum and providing clients with a product – on time – which they will be able to enjoy for a long time to come. We take “Made in Germany” very seriously which is also why we source the inserts for our cushions from Germany, just as we do for the hot water bottles that go inside our knitted covers.
Where do you find inspiration for your product designs?
Lenz & Leif design centres around purity with minimal and subtle patterns. But we really take the bull by the horns when it comes to colour; there you find bold colourways that instantly make a grey winter day cheerier and also have a summertime vibe when evenings dip into cooler temperatures. I get my ideas from nature, on walks with my dogs Lenz and Leif – the inspiration for the name of my label – or on trips to the mountains or seaside. Even just looking at the sky, which is never the same twice, inspires me. The changing of the seasons also serves as a starting point for my designs.
Merino knit for blankets and cushion covers. What care instructions need to be kept in mind?
Our products are easy-care. That’s important to me. Personally I don’t like it when textiles have to be dry cleaned. Lenz & Leif knits can be washed in the washing machine and left to air dry, ideally with one of our own detergents which are easy on the skin and environmentally friendly – and of course they are also “made in Germany”. Our products are definitely not cheap, but they are worth what they cost. I want to be able to look my customers in the eye when they buy one of my products. My products are designed for their enjoyment. There is already too much rubbish out there for extremely high prices. Nobody needs that. We offer a fair cost-benefit profile for exceptional materials that are “made in Germany”. They are absolutely worth their price tag.
Where do you see your products?
Our blankets, cushion covers and “Hot Friends”, which are woolly covers for hot water bottles, are at home in any home. Essentially I see us in a lifestyle ambiance. We are a young company and are open to a lot of different ideas. So furniture stores could be potential partners as well as concept stores, fashion boutiques or creative art shops. I’m open in that respect. Everyone who appreciates good and honest materials will like Lenz & Leif products.
What are you expecting from your first time at Heimtextil in 2013?
The trade fair was recommended to me by colleagues and friends who had positive experiences at Heimtextil. I want to heed their advice. My goal is to appeal to international clients in particular. I believe that we are in a good position with our products that are 100% made in Germany. That sort of sustainability and value added is appealing abroad as well. I’m excited and looking forward to forging lots of good contacts.