Mix, Match, and Accent it with Leather

By Eden Herbstman

October 2011

With the fall/winter season approaching quickly, expect to see only half the amount of leather on whole pieces of clothing and accessories. Instead of a full leather bag, shoe, pant, top, etc., designers are now adding leather as accents, transforming the clothing from basic to statement pieces. Take Phillip Lim for example: a designer known for collections synonymous with words like “lovely” and “elegant,” can now add “edgy” to that list of adjectives. Adding creamy caramel leather sleeves to a silk navy top, the look instantly becomes edgier and more daring simply by way of its leather addition. Lim isn’t the only designer giving clothes the leather treatments. Yves Saint Laurent’s gorgeous nude suede tribute pump is accented with a patent nude leather toe panel. Why has leather become the popular accented textile? It has an ability to compliment other materials while remaining a classic material. The suede heel, which was incredible enough to stand on it’s own, takes on a new life with it’s leather addition. Leather accenting however doesn’t always have to steal the attention to the piece Balenciaga and Rag and Bone chose leather trimming as finishing touches to their pieces rather having the leather steal the spotlight. Thin brown leather is traced around the platform heel, as well as a buckle strap. The highly anticipated fall collaboration of Maison Martin Margiela and Opening Ceremony portrayed the joining of the two brands within the clothing. Luxury leather was paneled over a sleek grey skinny jean to create an ultra-daring chic look for their MM6 x Opening Ceremony design.

To put it simply, with an easy math equation, think of it this way: a little bit of leather + a basic piece of clothing = one edgy look. One of the few textiles that can be classic and elegant with an edgy twist no matter what personal style you rock, creates a timeless addition to any outfit.

Written by Eden Herbstman

Design by Clementine Jang


  1. 3.1 Phillip Lim navy silk top with caramel leather sleeves.
  2. Balenciaga suede platform heel with deep leather trim and buckle strap
  3. MM6 x Opening Ceremony gray jean with black leather paneling from the knee down.
  4. Rag and Bone wool fedora with brown leather trim
  5. Yves Saint Laurent nude suede tribute pump with a nude leather finish on the front

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