Based in London, Laura Theiss creates contemporary and timeless knitwear collections for women. The bold, yet feminine aesthetic at the core of the brand gives a modern edge to knitwear, bringing it into the future.
Laura, an alumna of Central Saint Martins, launched her eponymous brand in 2010 after her intricate designs attracted the attention of international buyers. ‘OnOff Presents’ then invited her to showcase her designs in London and Paris, gaining exposure through various publications and books, with Jenny Udale naming her as one of the best knitwear designers in her book – ‘Fashion Knitwear’.
Taking an audacious approach to design, she chooses to ignore conventional methods, starting with a simple needle she creates silhouettes and volume by draping knitted fabrics from the human form. By juxtaposing the traditional with the current, Laura pays homage to established methods whilst reinventing them in her own original way.
By travelling around the world and immersing herself in new cities and cultures, she finds the inspiration for her collections. This allows her to explore not only different perspectives but her own imagination. From chatting to locals and visiting markets, she researches and sources the most ethical and exquisite fabrics and materials for her pieces. Luxurious woollen yarns, cashmere, organza and tulle bring her elegant, artisanal designs to life.
Each collection is an individual and imaginative story that is told through meticulously crafted pieces. Surrounded by knit and crochet in her home country of Lithuania, Laura started to learn the craft from the age of seven. Experimental and innovative, Laura’s designs infuse her heritage with the advanced technologies of today.
The craft of knitwear is kept alive through her signature crochet lace pieces, platted cable knits and three-dimensional patterns. Working closely with the high-tech Italian company Bond Factory she has devised new cutting-edge processes such as laser-cutting and seamless technology and ultrasound melting. Digital templates are thermo-welded with aluminium, holographic and metallic foils are then bonded, creating unique fabrics and textures.
By incorporating these unexplored methods, she has been recognised as one of the most exciting knitwear designers of our time. In 2012, she exhibited designs in ‘MAGLIFICO! Sublime Italian Landscape’, held in Milan’s Palazzo Morando. Laura was featured alongside the likes of Chanel, Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent, then in the follow-up book by Federico Poletti celebrating modern knitwear.
In 2013, along with some of the world’s most influential and prestigious designers and artists, she was asked to create a mask by ‘Elephant Family’ for their fundraising event ‘The Animal Ball’, where she met HRH Prince Charles. She created a purple statement butterfly mask in her known crochet style which was then auctioned, with the proceeds going to charity.
As a designer, Laura champions collaborating with other designers and studios. In 2015, she created a capsule collection with the Italian Dyloan Studio, with it showcasing at the Florence based yarn fair, ‘Pitti Filati.’ She has also designed two-stage costumes for ballet performances by Irish choreographer Marguerite Donlon. Recently she has been commissioned by Harrods to create an exclusive line of handmade Christmas decorations.
By discovering new techniques and methods, Laura will continue to expand her brand, creating clothing that represents the women of today and tomorrow.