#11 Interview: WESH x Shroud

by Amelia Roman

In conversation with Shannon the founder of Shroud - a unique leather brand working with traditional skills, hand-beading techniques and fabrics from Mexico.

Shroud: noun /ʃraʊd/ Something that covers or shelters or hides another thing. Ex: a shroud of secrecy, a shroud of smoke, a shroud of darkness.

WESH: It’s a very poetic word isn’t it? How did you choose the name of the brand?

Shannon: I loved the meaning of the word Shroud, that it has a dark connotation and references covering the body, which is what you create in fashion. I have always been drawn to alternative and sometimes dark style, inspired by designers like Alexander McQueen. As my style has developed, it's grown to be more colorful.

WESH: What inspired you to create this brand in the Tulum area?

Shannon: I've spent a lot of time in Tulum and in Mexico and always admired the amazing craftsmanship, especially the leatherwork in Mexico. I've been lucky that the festival scene in Tulum has drawn in amazing international clientele who appreciate unique designs. Finding artisans so close by has made it the perfect place to create my art.

WESH: How did you meet with the family who runs the workshop?

Shannon: The Yucatan region of Mexico is very close to Tulum and is full of artisans. Artisan crafts are a big part of their community, the region has roots in Mayan culture and the language is still spoken there. I was lucky enough to come across a man whose father has been running his workshop for decades, the son takes care of selling their leather pieces in the town. Through this connection I was also referred to a community of women who do embroidery and beadwork. The workshop joins the pieces with their skilled leather weaving.

WESH: Could you give us an estimate of how long the process of making a Beaded Bucket Bag is?

Shannon: The beading is created separately by the community of women and takes several hours to hand bead each piece. Then it is handed to my leather workshop to complete. It would then take about 2-3 days to put together by the workshop. The leather I use is sourced locally from small farms in the Yucatan and surrounding areas of Mexico City. I try to be conscious of every material and step of the process.

WESH: Will you be making more of the sold out items? Like the Stitch Leather Fanny Pack for instance? (Personally one of my favorites, just putting that out there ;-))

Shannon: I hold limited stock of all of my pieces and am focusing on expanding my brand by working with amazing stores like Wesh! It also keeps my brand sustainable so that I don't create overstock. So yes, I can have any pieces made for the shop or custom if they're out of stock online. I am constantly making more stock, but since the pieces are limited made, they can sell out quickly, I'm happy to do pre-orders or hold items for customers or shops!

WESH: How do you see the future collections?

Shannon: The brand focuses on handwork and unique details and I want to continue with that, utilizing more handmade hardware and beads. I want to expand more on the leather weaving that I am lucky to have with my workshop. I'd love to grow to include clothing as well using the same idea of incorporating hand weaving and beadwork details, but all in good time! 

WESH: How did Shroud + Wesh meet? Why does it make sense for your brand to be curated in a shop such as this one?

Shannon: I was actually doing a Burning Man market down the street on Elizabeth this summer and the shop kept coming up for me since you guys had some amazing pieces for Burning Man as well! It must have been destiny connecting our styles, I visited the shop and fell in love with the aesthetic and colors. With how much New York is growing, it can be hard to find unique pieces from small designers. Stores like Wesh are so important, giving designers a platform, and for customers who are looking for something different.

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