How did you get all this experience at such a young age?
I started with an apprenticeship with Matura in graphics in Linz, Austria, and then I moved to Manhattan and started assisting a photographer there. After New York, I moved to London and got my masters in Fashion Design at Kingston University. During my studies, I was already spending a lot of time with accessory design and so after I finished University, I moved to Indonesia. I’m very interested in the Asian luxury fashion market, and Indonesia influenced me a lot. And so today here we are, I now have my very own label!
How did it come that you specifically started creating handbags?
I couldn’t find any handbag that I liked, design-wise, that was of good quality and actually wearable. So, I designed my own and went to a bag maker in Indonesia.
What characteristics does a good handbag need for you?
Good design, good quality, a fair price.
What inspires you when designing a handbag, specifically your latest collection?
I get inspired by architecture and furniture design. My current collection is rather RETRO GLAM: nostalgia and classic design, Bauhaus especially.
What would you say makes the handbags from your label special?
I spend a lot of time choosing the different materials. What stands out the most is our high quality hardwear, especially the gold-plated or nickel metal rings with our logo, which are made in Italy. All our leather bags are also rainproof. I also made clear PVC backpacks which are perfect for festivals, so if it rains you can still dance around with them.
Which handbag is your personal favourite?
My personal favourite is the MINI BAG because of its particular height. It is a perfect statement piece, especially when simply held in the hand, without the cross body strap.
I want to be prepared for any situation. Which handbag would you recommend for me?
Sounds like our latest quilted CHOCOLATE BAR BAG is the right fit. This bag is oversized, comes with detachable shoulder straps, and it can even be turned into a clutch for the evening. This piece will be available mid-November.
Are you currently working on a new collection?
Since this year’s lockdown, I have managed to change handbag releases to once every two months rather than twice a year. With every drop, there are 1-3 new handbags. Right before the holidays, there will be a glitter version that I’m very exited about. I’m constantly working on new products. This way I have better control on what people are wanting. I produce in smaller amounts and I prefer to re-produce rather than have deadstock. It’s been working well that way.
How do you prepare before a new collection?
I use a classic spreadsheet which works like a road map, from design all the way to product photoshoot. I love each and every phase. They make my profession exciting. My favorite time is design development: being able to hold the first prototype in my hands, even though it might not be perfect yet, is such a great feeling.
Where do you get your dead stock leather?
For certain collections, I get dead stock leather from, for example, Gucci and Prada. There is only a certain amount of those handbags available. At the moment, all our crocodile leather bags are limited editions. drive to a leather fair in Italy twice a year to meet my suppliers and to find new ones as well. Most of the time, contacts develop from the initial contact. It’s not easy to find the right leathers and suppliers, as there are quite a lot of varieties to choose from, however the interpersonal factors play an important role when it comes to deciding who we want to work with.
I think it’s great that you are as transparent as possible with your customers. I also appreciate that your business is mainly led by women!
That pretty much came to be organically at the very start. When I realised it, I proceeded that way. Fair pay and female empowerment throughout the design process are important to me. I have more men wearing my handbags than working for me!
What will the handbag of the future look like?
Interesting question, I’ll think about it. I hope that in the future, however, the focus will be more be on individuality and quality and that more people will be interested in purchasing from smaller labels. Often times, you’ll get an even better quality bag at a better price, plus a design that not everybody’s wearing.