Influential Images: Barbara Leather Video

April 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Barbara Shaum, Leather Craftswoman

 Barbara Leather by Seth Lind 2005 (Click to watch video)

I’ve been trying to embed the film, “Barbara Leather”, a short by Seth Lind, all week. Sadly, I couldn’t put all the technological pieces together to make that possible. If you click on the link above, you’ll be able to watch the 10 minute film in its entirety.

Barbara Shaum is a leather craftswoman who creates custom sandals, belts and other leather goods in her East Village workshop. She opened her shop in 1954 and is currently 82 years old. She’s known for her Grecian sandal styles, which she sells for roughly $300 per pair.

Today is Earth Day and a chance to think about the environmental impact fashion and manufacturing have on the environment. I’m not sure whether Barbara’s products are “sustainable” per se, but I’d imagine that producing by hand and per order certainly reduces the carbon footprint of the business.

In any case, Mr. Lind’s film is a touching look at a skilled craftswoman and the process of custom production. Lind is a producer for NPR’s “This American Life” and the film shows his storytelling skills. I hope you enjoy the film as much as I did.

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