TANE (Est. 1953 -) In early 2015, Fodor’s®, one of the most respected travel guides, said this of the several TANE shops located in Mexico City: “[The store(s) are] a mine of perhaps the best silverwork in Mexico—jewelry, flatware, candelabras, museum-quality reproductions of archaeological finds, and bold designs by young Mexican silversmiths.”
It’s also said that TANE is to Mexico what Georg Jensen is to Denmark. Originally established in 1942 by French immigrants, Sergio and Natalia Leites, TANE’s first activities involved making and selling leather goods. The name TANE comes from the French word, tannerie, and used the first two letters from that word to form a short, pleasant, and easy name to remember.
In 1953, under the direction of designer and craftsman, Pedro Leites, the company began specializing in silver. The first designs were in a Mexican style inspired by pre-Columbian pieces. An especially elegant and early piece is a necklace with a waterfall of chimes probably designed by master silversmith Alfredo Villasana. The cascading centerpiece is constructed so it never tangles and flows freely to combine movement with sound. Its kinetic Modernism draws attention and invites touch.
TANE’s reputation has made it the place to go-for elegant silverware and jewels. The creations that come from its workshop and foundry usually display clean lines often inspired by pre-Hispanic designs and ancient Mexican crafts. TANE also offers gold jewelry.
In its more than sixty year history, TANE produced pieces for Tiffany & Company and worked with artists like Luis Barragán, Leonora Carrington, Francisco Toledo and Ricardo Legorreta to name a few. These collaborations propelled the TANE brand into museums who admire the quality of the work and the artists’ visions.
TANE continues to employ talented Mexican designers to keep the jewelry and other items it sells fresh and up to date. Among these designers are Lucila de la Lama, who created the Vic collection and Cosmos, as well as Soledad García’s, Lazos line. These designs require exacting demands during the manufacturing process even as the pieces retain the Mexican flavor that makes TANE’s products original.
From woven silver baskets to hand-hammered cutlery and soaring forms of monumental silver jugs, the TANE look is strong and confident. Other items weave silver balls into a flexible mesh that is then made into bracelets, necklaces and earrings. This delicate work is done by the women of Isla Mujeres to keep the work in the Mexican community and also continue the tradition of bead threading.
Since 1974 the artists and designers who have created sculptural silver pieces for TANE include Mathias Goeritz, Leonora Carrington, Gunther Gerzso, Luis Barragán, Manuel Felguerez, Juan Soriano, Ricardo Regazzoni, Sergio Hernández, Marina Láscaris y Javier Marin, Francisco Toledo, Xawery Wolski, Jan Hendrix, and others.
In the 1980s, the price of an ounce silver increased almost seven times. To survive, TANE developed product lines in tin and copper.
The first TANE School was founded in Tlalpujahua, Michoacan and later became TANE’s workshop. In the mid 80’s, TANE created a second school in Zacatecas.
The 1990s saw TANE offer France the opportunity to create a school there to revive the silver trade. Within two years, the Phoërmel School was founded. The school remains in existence teaching the silversmithing art.
At the end of 2013, Nino Bauti was named TANE’s new creative director. At the time of his appointment, Bauti who admits he likes to be involved in every aspect of the business was interviewed and said, “I like to supervise everything … I design, overlook the image of the brand, work with different artist(s) and designers in several collaborations, I develop concepts for campaigns … I could say I am the conductor of this big orchestra which is my wonderful team, but the real artists are the skillful silversmiths and artisans. … They make real all the ideas …my plan is to play an amazing symphony which will show the world how wonderful the Mexican sophistication could be [and make] TANE the luxury brand which proudly represents Mexico.”
For more than a half century, TANE has been known for unmatchable passion in silver design and is internationally recognized for its contribution to the development of Mexican silversmithing, silver and gold jewelry.