According to the many interviews that I read and researched on Heyoka, this label developed completely by accident! The original designer, Leslie Crow, began whipping up dream catcher necklaces for her friends back in 2007 while living in Venice, California. She then branched out into designing medicine bags and purses. After moving into downtown LA, Leslie realized she could not manage the growing demand for her designs alone and decided to recruit her two cousins, Rachel Avraham and Angela Bruyere. It was the three of them that came up with brand concept for Heyoka. The concept was simple. They wanted to create high-end 100% handmade leather goods that had a rock n' roll/redneck-biker feel. Hey, I think that combo is hilarious and the outcome turned out more high-end than anything else. Who knew being a redneck could be so fashionable? I like it.
What truly makes these girls stand out for me are the materials that they use for their handbags and accessories. They use elk hide, deer skin, and antler bones among many other amazingly obscure materials. I design jewelry as well, so I understand how hard it can be to source and locate extremely rare leathers, bones, and beads. How they got a hold of some of these materials is beyond me, but hey... I am standing in line to buy it all!
Lastly, Heyoka's collection was shot by photographer, Alexandra Valenti. I am telling you guys... Wow, It was "love as first photo" for me. This girl has definitely commanded my full attention and I'll be following her work from now on for inspiration on my own projects. I have included a few of her photos from Heyoka's collection below. I hope you all enjoy my exposé on Heyoka Leather if you hadn't heard of them before! Hop on the bandwagon with me now as they're surely about to blow up!
BIKER MAMA BAG, $500. This bag is made of elk skin and has a braided handle. Stunning, right? It makes me want to run away on a motorcycle into the desert with my man. It comes in black as well, but this soft buttery tan is my pick! The stitching and fringe are so beautifully handcrafted. These three ladies are incredibly talented designers.
WILD EYES WRIST POUCH , $250. Obsessed with the double braided handle on this little baby. This is a perfect edgy handbag for a night out. SO much more unique than an "it-bag" if you ask me. ;)
HUNTER STASH BAG, $65. Um, hello? This is a necklace? Yes, please. I'll take five. I want to hide secret things in this necklace. Ha, it is totally something a hippie would have hidden drugs in back in the 70's. I hate to say it... but it's true!
Gorgeous hand sewn stitching and studded detail on the back. This necklace could be worn front or back making it very versatile.
TURQUOISE WARRIOR NECKLACE, $325. Bones, turquoise, brass, and braided leather... all around my neck at the same time? Yes, this necklace belongs on me. Now.
This is my favorite shot from this last Heyoka collection. The Warrior Necklaces in juxtaposition to the etherial white dress is gorgeous. I love the movement that Alexandra has captured in this photo.
I want everything that she is wearing.
A gorgeous shot of the Warrior Necklaces. The coloring in this photograph is breathtaking.
I love how Alexandra decided to drop this shot into photoshop and made only that one little itty bitty tree red. It makes the bag look that much more white and adds so much depth and dimension to the photograph. Ahh, photoshop... I'll never stop learning.
I cannot get enough of this shot. The red, orange, and pink detailing that she has put in at the bottom is unbelievable. Ohhh, it is gorgeous.
I saved the best for last. I don't even know where to begin with this photo. It's so rich in life and in character. It almost has sound. I feel like I am inside of it. Alexandra has captured such an amazing moment here.