March 07, 2024
Edelman introduces Helm, Oath and Poem by Ilse Crawford

This winter, Edelman announces an ongoing collaboration with British designer Ilse Crawford, beginning with the recolor of three Edelman leathers: Helm, Oath, and Poem. Guided by Edelman’s newly appointed design studio, three quintessential leathers—Dream Cow, Luv-A-Bull, and Stella—receive new design direction, product names, and inviting palettes that reflect Crawford’s holistic and detailed approach.

Crawford is guided by how interiors feel—not just how they look—and values an integrated holistic approach to projects. The London-based designer connects one’s senses to their surroundings and how they inhabit them. Through her deft pairing of the traditional and the modern, the personal and the practical, the handmade and the industrial, Crawford creates contemporary interventions that brim with warmth, atmosphere, and character. “At Studioilse we are fascinated by design that connects at a human and intuitive level,” says Crawford. “Our senses are what connect us to the world and we are so excited by the influence different materiality and color can have in this respect. For us, creating spaces that can evolve and last is one of our core values. Hence working with good quality materials that are made with integrity is key. So our collaboration with Edelman felt like a natural partnership.”

Having long admired Crawford’s practice and embrace of natural surfaces, the design studio was keen to invite her exceptional eye for color and materials to an exploration of leather as part of a larger evolution of Edelman’s offering. Crawford’s focus on the utility and life cycle of materials uniquely suits her to Edelman’s commitment to creating exceptional leathers that not only last but improve with age. “Ilse’s refined sensibility is evident in both her interiors and her work with color. Her aesthetic strikes me as the epitome of elegance, possessing an innate warmth that is ideally suited to a material as responsive as leather,” says Megan Younge, director of design. “Edelman is honored to welcome her as our newest collaborator.”

Over the course of eighteen months, the design studio worked closely with Crawford to draft fifty-eight new colors across three leathers, carefully considering the inherent qualities of each to determine their potential application and design an appropriate palette. Crawford’s extensive experience as an interior designer and creative director—and consequent knowledge of how materials respond to context and use—inform her decisions on both a practical and creative level. Honing three distinct product directions grounded in each leather’s inherent characteristics and imagined applications, Crawford developed layers of color that work both singly and together.

Helm is a versatile leather with saturated color and a subtly embossed pebble grain. In evolving Helm, originally named Dream Cow, Crawford identified a classic leather that is robust, long-lasting, and timeless—one that could be used to frame elements of a space. The palette reflects this with a focus on grounded background hues that won’t date, and that balance other colors. Oath on the other hand, formerly named Luv-A-Bull, embraces the natural variation of leather with an honest, tactile surface. Drawn to its materiality and supple hand achieved through a minimal dye process, Crawford explored an archetypal palette that can be used to create environments with depth and that will patina over time. Poem lends a layer of expression and joy to each form it upholsters. Previously named Stella, Poem’s smooth grain and saturated color are accentuated across a range of painterly tones developed to reflect how Studioilse would use this leather within their interior design projects.


About Ilse Crawford

Ilse Crawford is a designer, educator, creative director, and founder of Studioilse who lives and works in London. A pioneer of humanistic design, she posits that human experience should guide design for all environments, objects, and experiences, alongside the wellbeing of the system. Crawford founded the Design Academy Eindhoven’s department of Man and Wellbeing in 2000 which she led for two decades. Prior to opening her own interior design practice in 2003, Crawford was a journalist and the founding editor in chief of Elle Decoration. With a design approach rooted in a philosophy of wellbeing, sustainability, and materiality, Crawford and her team have created residential and commercial interiors, hotels, and restaurants, and are known for creating public spaces with warmth and ease. Crawford has designed furniture, lighting, and objects in collaboration with partners including Carl Hansen & Søn, IKEA, Georg Jensen, Lobmeyer, Nanimarquina, and Wästberg, and she has worked extensively in strategy consultancy for brands including Aesop, Ett Hem, and Cathay Pacific. Studioilse has also designed interiors for community projects such as London’s Refettorio Felix community center, informed by the belief that everyone deserves the same quality of space.


About Edelman

The foremost creator of leather for interiors, Edelman was founded in 1981 by husband and wife Arthur and Teddy Edelman. Incorporating a breadth of techniques and aesthetics, Edelman leather comprises hides of exceptional caliber sourced in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. Guided by generations of leather expertise, Arthur and Teddy founded Edelman following thirty years at the helm of their family leather-goods business, Fleming Joffe. Today the collection celebrates the warmth and integrity of this enduring natural material.