LRNCE is a one-stop shop for the cool girl. With homewares, clothing, shoes, and ceramics this label has a clear point of view; an artistic vision with a down-to-earth, contemporary edge. From textiles to ceramics the pieces have a distinctive hand-painted Picasso like face motifs, including lots of eyes. LRNCE is a label started by Belgian textile designer, Laurence Leenaert who moved to Marrakech three years ago. She studied fashion at KASK in Belgium and worked with a designer in Berlin before going out on her own. Her initial products just covered bags, but she branched out into a multitude of categories once moving to Morrocco because she was able to partner with local artisans to execute her vision. Laurence is not a ceramicist herself, but she works closely with a ceramicist to design the forms, she then takes the forms and hand paints them with glaze once a week. The result is a line of ceramics that works seamlessly with her fresh and quirky textiles.

You’re a trained fashion designer from Belgium what inspired you to move to Marrakech and take up housewares?

I moved 3 years ago to Marrakech, I’ve met a great guy and friend BOBO in the desert of Morocco and he made me fall in love with the country. I moved without thinking too much, I just wanted to be here, it felt so away from the real world and I liked it. I discovered so many things here, the freedom to create, and one of them was pottery. I’ve met a small family outside Marrakech and they invited me to go eat every Friday with them and paint some ceramics, and this is how it all started.

Your work is so graphic and iconic, what is your creative process like?

At the moment I’m painting a lot, making experiments with different materials.

How is your pottery collection produced? 

Youssef is the person who makes all the shapes, he is very talented and every week/ 2 weeks we sit together and see what we can improve and change. Every week I go to paint, the pottery is painted very into the moment, I see it as a funny object and I don’t want to take it too seriously. I love to design them but I’m not a ceramist. It just a challenge to make clay something that’s from me, my world.

What are some of the biggest challenges working with artisans to create your vision?

To give the best of yourself from both sides, to give and take, to understand each other, to show respect and learn from each other. It’s more than only working together, I know their story, their family and it’s just a challenge to discover their world.

What are you inspired by right now?
Last month I was in Joshua Tree and I visited the National Park of Joshua Tree and I was very touched by the nature and the beautiful rocks, they were like art pieces. The shapes, the lines, the colors, it was too much for me. So my head is full at the moment with Joshua Tree rocks.

What are you working at the moment?

At the moment I’m painting new pottery, designing new shapes, making some furniture for the studio, developing new patterns for some jackets. And we have a new project but we can’t tell you more yet.


Images courtesy of LRNCE.