Rakel Hafberg (Reykjavik, Iceland)




A few months ago during my Reykjavik trip, I came across a store window that displayed some of the most intriguing exotic leather accessories. I couldn't quite figure out what I was looking at - it definitely wasn't crocodile, ostrich or snakeskin. And the pattern of the material was rather unique as well. Would you be able to guess what the collars and cuffs (below) are made of?

A selection from the current lookbook (source: Rakel Hafberg).

Upon entering the boutique and on closer inspection, I had a sneaking suspicion, which was confirmed by the helpful shop owner who turned out to be the actual designer, Rakel Hafberg: Most of the bags and jewelry are in fact made of chicken leather. And if you thought the cuffs, collars, belts and capes had a unique shape, that's because these items in particular are actually made from the skin of chicken feet. Rakel explained that the idea actually came from her husband, and while she wasn't initially sure about using this particular leather, it seemed like a good option considering chicken skin ends up as discarded waste material. After experimenting with the production, she was pleased enough to use the chicken leather as the main material for most of her accessories, which also include beautiful tote bags.

Bags, jewelry and headpieces - all made of chicken leather.

Intricate collars and chokers made of chicken feet leather.

Most people (including myself) may have considered chicken skin a wonderful thing when served crispy along with its meat on a dinner plate - but the idea of toting it around as an accessory may sound a little creepy. Rakel herself admitted to me that chicken feet leather in particular might not appeal to most... initially. I for one never thought it would be something I'd want to wrap around my neck. Yet surprisingly the pieces bear only a mild resemblance to the original source and everything is beautifully crafted. The bags look like regular exotic skin material with a soft and supple finishing that features a striking design of diagonal panels. Best of all, being deemed as waste, chicken leather is a lot more sustainable than other materials out there.

An entire shelf filled with pieces made of chicken feet leather.

For the squeamish, there's also a range of hairbands made of feathers.

More accessories, along with colorful paintings which are available for sale.

If chicken leather still doesn't strike your fancy, there's plenty more to choose from. Rakel's boutique is a treasure trove of other gems that includes clothing and a large range of other jewelry items. With a colorful backdrop provided by the floral wallpaper, most pieces are either displayed along the walls like pieces of art (along with actual paintings that are for sale) or neatly arranged on shelves. Other favorites included laser-cut butterfly necklaces and beaded baubles made of hand painted tagua nuts. While chicken leather could once again be found on hairbands, there were also a few feathered varieties to choose from.

Some of the clothing on display.

Overview of the quaint boutique and the changing room.

More 'traditional' jewelry made of tagua nuts and laser-cut leather.

I have to admit that I was so distracted by the wonders of chicken leather, I hardly paid attention to the clothing. I remembered seeing a few silk tops and gorgeous slouchy jackets, all of which complemented the statement accessories perfectly. Because Rakel herself oversees the small boutique, you do get a sense that everything is handpicked and individual. The setting is intimate and immediately welcoming. If you ever find yourself in Reykjavik, definitely drop by if you get the chance. A select range can also be purchased online and for any other info, you can always check out Rakel Hafberg's Facebook page or send her an email.

More cuffs, chokers and belts - some also made with fur.

Cute chicken leather clutches and more beaded jewelry.

Another look at some of the items on display, including more handbags and simple slouchy clothes.


Address: Laugavegur 37, 101 Reykjavik
Opening Hrs: Mon-Fri: 10:00-18:00, Sat: 11:00-16:00

62 comments:

  1. this is amazing.. I've never heard of the use of chicken's skin for anything wearable.. I design and make leather accessories as well but never made from chicken.. I find it odd but at the same time, I see the result and I think it looks wonderful... the designer made wonders with it, the collars are amazing, so creative!
    thanks for sharing! you always find the best places... take care

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  2. OMG! I love exotic leathers sooo muchm (I have a pair of fishskin sandal by Devi Kroell), but chicken skin hears like incredible! :)

    Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

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  3. I thought it might be seaweed at first! I admit I was a bit 'ergh' at first though of chicken leather, but as you say it is great to use something that would be thrown away and the designs are very unique.

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  4. I'm surprised that it's strong enough to be used for anything but eating! I have no aversion to chicken leather. We wear ostrich and feathers and lamb and cow skins, so what's so wrong about chicken? It just makes sense to waste as little as possible.

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  5. Love your fashion industry coverage and reporting here, and love even more the APA model! Go APA representation! =D

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  6. Oh chicken leather...

    how interesting,

    and they really look good.

    Amamzing finds ♥

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  7. hey! How have you been? Love these accessories.

    xoxo
    B* a la Moda

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  8. Chicken leather?! That's a smart idea! Especially since chicken skin is probably a lot less expensive than any other type. The pieces are unique, but they do have that slightly creepy factor. But I say if it's good enough to eat, then it's surely good enough to wear :)

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  9. You write great store reviews, always a pleasure to read your posts. The idea of chicken leather accessories doesn't really appeal to me, but they are quite unique. xo
    Ada

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  10. Hi my sweet. How have you been? I've been travelling. To Jamaica and back. I have visited this store. I actually purchased some lovely jewellery there. Shall feature on blog soon.
    xxxx

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  11. The chicken feet leather is quite interesting and looks amazing from your photos as a unique accessory. I love the whole store too -- just the mix of materials and primary colors look very cool!

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  12. Oh wow, chicken skin! That's the first time I've heard it used to make clothing and accessories. :) Definitely an interesting find.

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  13. i gotta feel chicken leather now!

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  14. I think chicken leather is actually a really good move. So much of it gets wasted as it is, so sourcing is plentiful, and the inherent nature of chicken leather is quite nice (I've handled a couple of chicken leather pieces...weird I know).

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  15. Absolutely amazing pieces!
    What a fabulous shop!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  16. I always learn something new about the world when I come here. :) Chicken leather?! I totally did not guess that! LOL!

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  17. chicken leather! I never knew about that!! looks like a great place :) xo

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  18. What an amazing use of chicken skins, for leather. So good that it can be put to such good use. Have seen leather made from fish skin and that is neat too. Thanks for sharing and have often thought how neat it would be to visit Iceland.

    Hope that you are having a lovely weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  19. another amazing city i would love to visit. they have so much displayed here, i would have been in for ages.

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  20. What exotic fun, funky pieces. I would love to visit half the shops you get to!

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  21. thanks for sharing, if I would have the pleasure of visiting Iceland, I'll be adding this to my must-go-to list. Would be fun to meet during LFW, but I have now idea what you look like so I wouldn't know who to look for. Did you post any photos of yourself yet? I might have missed it.
    anyways, hope you're having a great weekend
    x

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  22. those frindge necklaces are REALLY cool!! hmmmm DIY idea is comming.... :D

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  23. What an amazing and inspired concept. I love this extra use for what normally is discarded. Xxxx

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  24. i love Reykjavik, it's such a fun city to shop in.

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  25. What an interesting idea. Never heard of chicken leather being used to anything before but it actually looks good!

    http://kashaysblogg.blogspot.com

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  26. This looks like a stunning place, gorgeous shop. I would love to go there myself and have a look at all those little wonderful things! The head pieces have really caught my eye

    xx

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  27. This place looks very interesting..
    Chincken skin?..
    Lee x

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  28. ive heard of chicken skin leather but never seen it in real life. id love to see how it feels!

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  29. Oh my gosh---- how interesting this is! And I like that it minimal waste aspect...

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  30. Fascinating!! I am still thinking of whether I would add a piece to my wardrobe or not, maybe more likely if I did not know!

    Come and enter my Fashion Giveaway from Fresh Produce.

    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

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  31. After overcoming a moment of 'yak' I'm totally intrigued. Not only do the items look absolutely beautiful, it's such a great idea for something that otherwise would be thrown away.

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  32. We are such creatures of habit. Chicken feet leather is no more or no less squeamish than any other kind of leather, and yet, I cannot get myself comfortable with the idea. To be fair, though, the designs look stunning and beautifully crafted. It's amazing how a new idea takes you by surprise when you are least expecting it.

    Thanks for sharing this. I am all packed and ready to leave for my Vienna and Budapest trip. Hope to find some pleasant shop there.

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  33. Hey !
    Wow, those accessories are so beautiful, I love all of the headpieces :)

    Xoxo

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  34. Fantastic shop and the designs look stunning. I don't really have a problem with chicken leather/skin since I wear cow as well. I just hadn't thought of it before - I guess because it seems rather delicate on a plate :-)

    Shame that Reykjavik isn't on my list of places to visit any time soon, it looks pretty cool xo

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  35. This is a beautiful place! I'd love to shop in such a store!

    XoXo
    Plami

    http://fashion-thrill.blogspot.com/

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  36. i have to admit that all of the "chicken skin" and "chicken feet" talk made me laugh. but i think i could wrap myself around it! the pictures and items for sale are all so lovely, and isn't that what matters the most? plus LAWD knows there is a lot of chicken skin and chicken feet that need to be put to good use! :)

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  37. cool collection my dear friend HW!

    love for you, always!

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  38. Ahh yes I had a feeling it was chicken skin! I forgot who it was, but after a certain designer came out with a handbag made with chicken leather, I knew it would be catching on somehow. And I think it's intriguing! Innovative, and it ends up being waste anyway!

    http://red-soledfashionista.blogspot.com/

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  39. Great displays and items! I love those models.

    Eternally yours,
    Stephanie

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  40. The place gives me a second hand store vibe for some reason. I love the chicken leather idea but yeah...a bit creepy.

    xx
    MarielsCastle

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  41. Hello :-), so happy to be back and Blogging! I, of course, could not wait to stop by your Blog and read everything that I have missed. Thank you for sharing all if, so generous of you! I was always very puzzled by Iceland (sounds like a Fairy Tale land to me). Love the pictures of the store and absolutely love those large beaded necklaes - would wear them in a heart bit! I am wishing you beautiful Fall weekend!
    P.S. Have you been able to come see exhibit by Alexander McQueen by any chance?

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  42. the idea that all this gorgeous stuff is made with chicken leather pretty scares me. they have amazing headbands and wallpapers in the store.
    i missed your blog :)
    kiss

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  43. wow !
    I really like this address !
    Amazing stuff inside !
    Amazing post... as always !

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  44. Very inspiring to see all this oh la la! Quite beautiful . . .

    oxoxoxoxo
    ammy
    http://bridechic.blogspot.com

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  45. you know, i thought to myself that those kind of look like chicken but there's no way someone would use chicken. so yeah, that's kind of amazing. :)

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  46. Incredibly romantic pieces, and also very ethereal. I would love to peek around in there. :)

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  47. this is fascinating!! leave it up to the Icelandics to come up with such creative ideas. I've always wanted to go to iceland - i think it would be amazing.

    chicken feet...while I don't eat them at dim sum, I can sort of understand using the leather for items. It doesn't totally gross me out but I would have to touch and feel it before buying into it. the other chicken leather stuff looks interesting.

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  48. Wow, that is absolutely amazing. I'm in awe of the creativity using chicken skin and it looks awesome as accessories! I hope you had a lovely weekend, doll :)

    xx
    Rachel

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  49. I stumbled upon your blog and am stunned! A very inspiring post here that confirms my thoughts about Paris: They have and create the finest chic in the world. I truly look forward to visiting your beautiful blog . . .

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  50. I think your sentiments and opinions toward LV mirror mine a bit. However, I do like these window displays. Really impressive. Like your blog, btw! I love your blog. Always a joy to read. Never disappointed by the content.

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  51. Amazing shop, I love butterflies!:)

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  52. Magnificent things, so original and beautiful, especially jewelry. I salute chicken skin innovation!:D Thank u for sharing this!! Greetings!
    Jelena (glamfabchameleon.blogspot.com)

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  53. Hi
    website for the paintings in Rakels shop
    http://www.artwanted/stefa
    Thanks

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