MANAM was born in Los Angeles in 2014 after its founder, Natalie Yaru, graduated from Woodbury University. Natalie fell in love with leather and the craft behind it while taking a shoe design class at Woodbury during her final year there. With a few months of leather-working experience under her belt, she created her senior collection, entitled "Stratosveil Inteligenta", diving deep into leather construction and technique. The collection was well received, so Natalie thought it fitting to translate those designs from runway into ready-to-wear. From there MANAM's launch collection, "Skin & Stone", came to life. Natalie is currently acting as CEO and head designer for the company.
"Mana", the Romanian word for hand, functions in multiple contexts as an indicator of the company's foundation. First, as a brand, MANAM will highlight the importance of the artists and craftsmen involved. Our love of leather stems from the construction techniques necessary for leather craft. Leather inherently requires much hand work that, even in this age of technology, no machine can replace. Second, MANAM aims to bring you the best in fabrics and materials so that nothing feels short of exquisite to the touch.
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Early in 2015, MANAM began contracting with ORTU Leather in downtown Los Angeles. Natalie stays as hands on as possible, but has deep respect and admiration for the beautiful work done by the ORTU team. Local production enables each MANAM product to be carefully monitored for construction and quality. We pay close attention to detail in the design and construction of each piece. We incorporate features such as custom leather treatments and hand-dyed linings, graphics, and labels, in hopes that consumers notice the skills and passion going into our products.
MANAM is to be a company that acquires a different kind of fame in the world of fashion. Natalie is striving toward building MANAM to be a brand not only known for producing covet-able goods, but for its standards and practices as a successful business. We truly hope to begin re-shaping the values system of the fashion industry, putting PEOPLE back at the top, and money somewhere less relevant because that is the only way to create something with lasting value and impact.