She has represented Cyprus at a number of worldwide exhibitions, she has designed woven fabrics for Matthew Williamson, “Percorsi di Creativita” magazine by LVMH (The Louis Vuitton house), was featured as one of the emerging talents of 2005, she sells her products in Paris, London and New York. If you don’t own one of her bags, shawls, cushions or sofa throws, at one point of your life you surely wanted one, I definitely did. Joanna Louca is definitely a Cypriot we should be proud of.
What distinguishes her work from any other designer is the amount of effort and detail that is put into every single piece she makes as every single product is either entirely or partly hand woven. She is too humble to admit it but in my opinion it takes a lot of courage and guts for what she does as it is the hard way into fashion as it goes beyond the design and the making of a prototype. She did after all study “Constructed textile designs” specialized in weaving, with a Master’s degree in “Textiles in Art”. Her work is very particular as woven materials have a very characteristic look, and the fact that she uses a lot of colours and patterns make one identify her creations immediately. Products like her bags that need more work are designed in Cyprus with the woven textile produced by Joanna, but the finishing of the bags is done in Italy after the design and fabric is sent there.
What I also thought was impressive is the amount of work and attention each textile needs. Firstly, in order to prepare the weaving loom for a particular textile it takes 10 days with every single thread being put in manually. Joanna needs to know from beforehand the colours and patterns to be used in each piece in order for the yarns to be adjusted in the right order. Each shawl, might take from one to five days to produce depending on the complexity and use of the material (e.g. throws that need to be thicker take longer whereas light shawls usually take less time). This is probably why the Cypriot traditional weaving technique has been abandoned. As Joanna says she would love to see the return of a weaving community as they existed in the older days, and find a way to continue the tradition adapted in our modern era. In a way this is what she did, especially after she mentioned that her great grandmother was also a weaver.
At the beginning she made more handbags but overtime she has expanded her products into shawls and scarves (including a men’s collection), sofa throws and blankets, cushions and curtains as well as bespoke items. For her last collection she even made beautiful notebooks with hand woven textile on the cover. The fantastic colour combinations as well as the large selection of yarns and materials she uses which come from all over the world are a very vivid characteristic of her products that makes Joanna’s work incredibly distinct and beautiful.
For Joanna Louca’s selection you can visit her website here or her showroom in Nicosia on Medontos street, 5C.