Lisa Pindel is a German designer based in Oslo, Norway where she has been living since 2005. She has a Master degree in Fashion and Costume design from Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Khio). She was involved in various international Art- and Design projects and received Cumulus Design Prize in Copenhagen in 2005.
Apart from being a designer for her own brand, she has designed gloves for a Norwegian glove wholesaler and has also a long experience as a buying assistant in fashion business. Lisa is a mother of two little boys and enjoys living in the western city centre of Oslo with her family.
Lisa started using fish leather (salmon leather only) in 2010. In the same year, Laks by Lisa was established and the first collection was launched in 2011. ”Laks” is the Norwegian word for salmon. Lisa was wondering if it was possible to use salmon leather as a material for accessories since she liked eating salmon dishes and was curious about what actually happened to the skins/ leftovers. Salmon was the material she wanted to concentrate on and work with as it had all the qualities she was looking for: innovative, sustainable production, ”exotic” material but ethically justifiable as salmon is not an endangered species and is a by-product of the food industry, and besides being attractive on the outside it is also very solid. Plus, the surface of every fish skin is quite different from each other which makes every piece very unique in the end. Lisa discovered Atlantic Leather in 2015 after having seen other Norwegian designers using it. She ordered samples and immediately fell in love with the beautiful metallic color variations of the salmon leather. Atlantic Leather offers a very unique, innovative color range that is not to be found by any other supplier. And for a designer based in Scandinavia, it is a nice aspect to use leather with origin from the North Atlantic ocean.
Even though Lisa is an educated Fashion designer, she has preferred working with accessories since the very beginning in 2001 when she started as a trainee for a small tailoring atelier in her hometown Weinheim. While studying different patterns for evening dresses and jackets, Lisa always ended up creating small hand bags that would fit to those dresses. This has been a ”red thread” throughout all the years of being a fashion student and she eventually found out that this was her real passion, not actually working with clothes. Lisa experimented with many fabrics such as silk and cotton, and little by little started working with leather scraps as this felt quite ”natural” for her concerning working with bags and accessories.
Since her Master project for her graduation at Oslo National Academy of the Arts IN 2007, Lisa has been working with leather accessories only. In the beginning, she used mainly leather from second hand clothing stores which she turned into bags and pouches and then experimented with printing and painting on the leather. The main reason for using second hand leather was the color variations those old jackets offered and the idea of using recycled material.
In general, Lisa´s favourite colors are bold and bright ”80s”- colors such as hot pink or purple, but she also has a weakness for pastels (especially peach/ nude and mint green).
From the Atlantic Leather color palette, her favourites are the metallic variations, especially the rainbow surface and the silver and beige/nude tones as well as the new holographic surface.
Lisa really appreciates that fish leather has become more and more popular during the years. When she started researching and using this material in 2010, it was barely known and now it has become a stable element among bag designers in the Nordic and European countries. It is a great substitute for other exotic leathers such as snake skin or skins of endangered species. Yet it has its own characteristic appearance and is very versatile. While researching about the history of salmon leather, Lisa found out that during the Second world war, people in Norway were using fish leather for shoes due to the lack of leather in general. At this time, the tanning of fish leather was probably rather poorly developed and not comparable to the modern tanning processes. It is interesting how the use and qualities of materials have changed during the decades; today we are using fish leather because of it´s sustainability and beauty, and it is even a bit more expensive than many other kinds of leather.
In the collection of Laks by Lisa, salmon leather is combined with calf and goat leather. The products are manufactured in a company close to Krakow, Poland with European craftsmanship and consciousness. Lisa herself is a quarter Polish and her relatives are mainly from Krakow- area. The product range is including bags, clutches as well as a variety of hair accessories and earrings. The smaller goods are hand-made in Oslo by Lisa herself and created out of the left-overs from the bag production as she appreciates the thought of ”using everything available”. The collection is characterized by a combination of clear yet playful patterns inspired by Scandinavian simplicity, with a touch of vintage rounded off with practical solutions. The brand represents the idea if “slow fashion”, which means that the products are built to last.
Models of the collection are currently available at selected shops in Norway and a gift shop in Tokyo, Japan as well as in Lisa´s own web shop. During the last years, products of Laks by Lisa have been sold and exhibited in countries such as Italy, Germany, Japan and Norway.
Lisa also enjoys a lot working with customer orders (accessories for brides, such as bags or hair pieces, bow ties for men etc.) and other similar projects; for example, she has created origami-inspired hair bows that were sold at Oslo National Gallery in 2016 in connection with the popular Scandinavian exhibition ”Japanomania in the North”.