Every now and then, you come across a brand that stops you in your tracks… a brand that just speaks to you. Perhaps it’s because of their story, the feelings that arise when you realize just how deeply you resonate, or maybe it’s the thoughtful design and aesthetic of their product.
The moment I came across The Lèi and learned the meaning behind this brand, I immediately felt connected.
Tiffany’s story begins with the Chinese character 累 (Lèi), which translates to tired, weary, and fatigued. Deriving from the feeling one might experience after a long day of hard work, in ancient China this most often referred to 田 (fieldwork) for men and 糸 (sewing) for women. While she did not have much experience in sewing, Tiffany embodied this meaning. Tired of the busyness of life, of structure, of routine, of noise, of predictability, of wasting time… she did what many dream of, but few have the courage to do. Quiting her job as the editor of a magazine, she traveled around the world in search of fulfillment. It was during these travels that she realized just how little is needed to be content, and how much significance you can find in the slow and simple of the everyday.
While spending a few months in Marrakech, she had a pair of shoes made for herself. On impulse, after living on her savings for a year, Tiffany launched The Lèi on November 1st, 2018. Her vision was to create a curated collection products that, through their craftsmanship, tells the story of a time, a place, and a people. Challenging the idea that we must always be doing for the sake of doing, her philosophy is clear, encouraging slowness, and acting with intention.
Her first collection of leather footwear not only offers comfort and style at an affordable price point, but offers a narrative, sharing the detailed story behind it. From picking out the leather, to working closely with the artisans to ensure standards, to sharing meals and tea as friends would, the process is a personal one, and Tiffany is involved every step of the way. A contemporary take on traditional babouche, these everyday slides are designed and handmade in Morocco. Made in very small batches to minimize waste, they’re something you can wear everyday and everywhere, something to turn to when you’re out of time, stumbling out of the house, or packing a carry-on for a weekend trip. Thoughtful in design and made not just for style, but for comfort, her hope is that these shoes will be a constant that you will reach for over and over again.
The Lèi is a direct reflection of this time in her life, a reminder to live not just slowly and simply, but significantly. It’s for the tired and weary souls who crave stillness and meaning… for those who feel a deep longing for ease… for those who strive to live in the present. If, as I do, you resonate with the slowness that is the essence of this brand, shop the collection or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
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