Riina O at London Craft Week

The first week of May welcomed the third edition of London Craft Week.

Riina O had an honour to participate in the Leather exhibition, organised by Bill Amberg at the Leathersellers Hall. Hand-picked as one of the fourteen Britain´s finest independent leatherworkers, the selection included saddlers, sculptors, bag makers, bookbinders, cordwainers, etc.

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During three days, between 4-6th of May, the Leather exhibition was held at the place most suitable for it – the freshly renovated Leathersellers Hall. Completed just last Summer, the hall designed by Eric Parry and finished by Bill Amberg leatherworkers team, the interiors include such details as walls and even the elevator interior covered in veg tan leather, combining the Leathersellers Company´s six-century history with modern luxurious interiors. The London Craft Week Show offered one of the first opportunities for members of the public to set foot inside.

Riina O demonstrated the best of our glove collections, where ages old craftsmanship has been joined with modern technological advantages. The making process could be witnessed at the display of the deconstructed gloves and work tools, as well as at the craft presentation.

deconstructed gloves

On Saturday it was even possible for the public to try the glove making at Riina´s masterclass of a modified design of an archery glove with just two fingers.

The exhibition was supported by the Leathersellers´ partner livery companies, including the Glovers Livery and it was a real pleasure meeting them in person again.

Riina with livery master


Riina O studio secrets – waterjet cut leather bracelets

Riina O is delighted to pull back the secrecy curtain and take you “behind the scenes” into our studio, offering a sneak peek of our work process. Let us explain how our leather accessories are made and what is unique about these beautiful products.

Lets have a look at Riina O Leeanne leather bracelet. These beautiful colourful armbands have each an intricate pattern cut in. How are they made? The secret is – advanced waterjet cutting technology.bracelets-chain4-web
You may wonder, what is it?
The waterjet cutter is an industrial machine meant for cutting a variety of materials using the high-pressure jet of water. Unbelievable as it sounds, these bracelets have been cut not by a knife or laser, but by water!
Even more surprising is the fact that waterjet cutting technology is normally used for producing parts for manufacturing aeroplanes, cars and vehicles as large as tanks. Well, if they can manage to cut large steel details, small leather bracelets should be “a piece of cake”! Remarkably, cutting such small details is actually trickier than large parts.

The waterjet cutting machine is controlled by the computer that directs it according to the specific design file.
The advantage of this method, compared with laser cutting, for example, is the clean edge finish, cost effectiveness of the production and intricate cutting work. The ecological benefit includes the fact that the water can be recycled using a closed-loop system.

bracelets-chain2-webYou can purchase this fabulous technological masterpiece from Riina O online boutique.


Riina O leather bracelets

Glad to announce our new leather bracelets are finally here!

bracelets chain web

In the recent months we have undertaken some serious product development to perfect the design specifics of our new Leeanne bracelet and expand the colour selection. It is to our great delight to exclaim that it has at last been achieved and the bracelets are now available at our online boutique and with a selection of stockists around Europe – and making an appearance in Tokyo next weekend! Stay tuned for more info!

bracelets3 webThe bracelets come in one size, fitting around the arm with circumference up to 17.5cm and made of thinner and more flexible leather than before.

bracelets1 web skinny

Leeanne has also got a “little sister” Leah – a very exclusive limited edition line of skinny bracelets, available only online.

Leah bracelets in line instagram


My Australian friend, road and track cyclist “It girl”  Leeana-Kate James is now sporting one on her races. #WhyBeNormal

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The bracelets come packaged in elegant Riina O box with free shipping worldwide.bracelet in the box2 (2)

Riina O event in Tallinn

Last week  we had a small clients event at our Estonian stockist –
Oksana Tandit Boutique.


It was a great opportunity to meet our guests in person, talk about the brand, style a few looks and offer a sneak peek of our newest collection, while sipping bubbly.

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Riina O is one of the “Guest Designers” currently selling at Oksana Tandit showroom in Tallinn. Other guests include jewelery by Tanel Veenre and bags by Jukocute. If you are in Tallinn, please visit us at Tornimäe 5, for some great Christmas gifts for yourself and your loved ones!

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Premiere Vision leather trends

Last month I was in Paris at the Premiere Vision show. It is a huge fabric and leather trade fair where the newest innovations can be spotted and main trends predicted. I would like to share some tips and trend forecasting in leather for accessories, of what I saw.

Leather these days is about texture and feel, not so much just the look.
For Autumn/Winter 2016/17  a lot of hairy ponyskin(calf) leather could be seen on offer, in a multitude of colours and textures – some even laser cut.
Riina O have used hairy ponyskin with lasercut elements in our latest Autumn/Winter collection – be it the soft side details and furry buttons of Victoria gloves or all over lasercut Miroslava gloves.

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Another curious textured type of leather on the show, presented by quite a few innovative tanneries, were the dazzling sequence- and bead-embroidered skins.
As Riina O newest Spring/Summer collection is yet to be revealed, I can only share under secrecy that this is something we are working with at the moment. Coming soon…

Riina O SS16 detail

Every year I am amazed how much leather innovations have developed since last season, sometimes in rather unexpected ways. But hush now, can´t say more at the moment – some of these innovations might just appear in our next collections!

Riina O – who and why?

I have been asked to tell a bit more about the background of Riina O and how it all started.

I was born and raised in the outskirts of Europe, a small country, with distinctive identity, called Estonia, in its beautiful capital Tallinn – a place very dear to me!
When I was 17 years old I got this vision of shoes with a wide strap twirling up the leg. This idea possessed me so that I just had to find a way to make them. I contacted local footwear factory, who were quite amused about a teenager coming to them with such request, but very helpful, and with a bit of their help made a pair of strappy sandals. Then it was settled – I had to become a shoe designer!

I went on to do a degree in leather art and accessories design at Estonian Academy of Arts. As part of the course i was also introduced to glove design. During my studies I was working 4 years as an apprentice at an orthopedic footwear workshop, with a chance to learn bespoke footwear making and realize all my crazy ideas under my experimental label of Õun Design.

After graduation I moved to London to do an internship with footwear designer Caroline Groves and later with a leather accessory designer Una Burke. Following year I started working with local designers, which lead to creating my new brand Riina O.

Drama magazine
Drama mag, gloves by Riina O

Why did I decide to start a new label? Õun Design was experimental and avant garde, while Riina O has a much more refined and feminine visual language. Besides, turned out nobody could really pronounce the name properly outside Estonia.

Why leather?
Back when my foremost  interest was footwear design, this seemed like the right material to work with. I have got to know this natural material´s character, advantages and the possibilities it offers. Controversially I have been vegetarian for almost a decade, while working with leather. I see it as a way to “reincarnate” the animal skin as a bag, pair of shoes or gloves and in a way give it “a new life”.

Why gloves?
Riina OWhile bespoke footwear making requires a whole workshop and several machines, hand making leather gloves can be done almost anywhere. I remember one summer working on a deadline for glove order while travelling across Europe – hand stitching on the train and in coffee shops.

Also there was a gap in the market in London for luxury hand made leather gloves as it is a very time consuming and almost extinct trade with just a handful of skilled people left. This lead me to work with several high end fashion designers in London and abroad as a glove maker, with hand stitched gloves appearing in their catwalk shows.

It is important for me to keep the glove making tradition going, combing the old craft with modern technological advantages. Based in London, we are trying to keep the production local, sourcing leathers from within Europe.

At the moment footwear design has been put on hold, but hopefully to be taken up again one day. Before that though Riina O will be introducing other products of leather accessories, featuring already in our next collection for Spring/Summer 16.