In Conversation with Hugo from Estados
Estados is a leather goods brand, which draws on the best of British design and Argentine craft. Estados’ is short for ‘Estados Animicos’, which means ‘states of mind’, ‘moods’ or ‘soul states’, in Spanish. We interviewed Hugo Lesser, one of the founders of Estados, about what has inspired him and the inner workings of his company.
What does luxury mean to you?
For me luxury is about the details. Where the materials come from, how they are prepared, how the products are made and by whom, and the care that is taken at every stage. The attention shown to the details will always be apparent in the end result.
What has inspired your bold use of colour?
We wanted the brand to be a blend of contemporary and traditional, and introducing bolder colours into traditional hand crafted leather goods represents this concept well.
Who are your favourite designers right now?
In terms of leather goods, I’m a fan of Ettinger, for their perfectionism, and Mulberry, for their dedication to keeping their manufacturing in England, despite their rapid growth globally.
Like a Michelin starred chef needs the best ingredients, a great designer needs the best materials. Where do you source your materials from and how involved are you in the manufacturing process?
We source our leathers from various different tanneries in Buenos Aires. The leather industry is almost exactly as old as the city itself, and it proudly maintains some of the traditional ways of tanning hides. The real advantage of Argentine leather though, that makes it in most cases better than the rest, is the idyllic environment the cattle enjoy on the huge temperate plains beyond the city, known as the Pampas. This is also why Argentine beef is so good.
We design our products for the UK market, and we manufacture them in a small workshop in the foothills of the Andes in northern Argentina that was founded thanks to the support of the Fundacion Impulsar, the Argentine affiliate of the Princes’ Trust. When we are manufacturing, I stop in every day to keep tabs on every stage of the process.
What is next for Estados?
We are launching some new products later on this year: travel wallets, more belts, and a new family of ladies handbags.
How important is it for you to keep close to your roots?
I’m Anglo-South American, so Estados gives me a great opportunity to stay in touch with both sets of my roots, as it were, manufacturing in South America and selling in the UK.
We at James Samson love Estados – the brand, the products and the lifestyle. View the whole Estados product collection.