British brand, Alfie Douglas is a family of creatives, who design and make simple, minimalistic, handmade goods in England. I came across their collection of incredibly beautiful leather bags and accessories earlier this year, but it was a recent preview of their 2015 collection that got me rather excited to share their work. With clean-cut lines and simple colour design, Alfie Douglas create everything from oversized totes, backpacks and duffle bags to small pouches and tool-kit covers. Their structured backpacks being a particular favourite of mine. Our products are original. They are simple visually and in the way that they are made. Ingenious in the way that they can be adapted and customised in their function. Each one is different, singular, made by hand to be reliable and sustainable. Luxurious and timeless, a.d’s bags are made from a very small range of components which are common to all of their products — made to high specifications to last a lifetime.
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I was recently introduced to Taiwan based design studio, Chi and Chi. The studio has a strong minimalist aesthetic, designing everyday objects with content and purpose, and with simple functions in their essential forms. A standout design? This striking Polygon watch. The Polygon watch is a modern and unique timepiece with special geometric features in shape. The elements on the watch are designed with simple geometrical forms consistently and unlike the usual round contours of regular watches. The 24-cut case and dial present the time in a distinctive aesthetic way, which enriches the sense of touch as well as the sense of sight. Featuring a 316L stainless steel case housing a precise Japanese movement and a durable genuine calf-leather strap, the Polygon timepiece is a unisex watch available in three colour combinations — silver/grey, gold/black, and gold/brown. I particularly like the grey. Absolutely beautiful.
Handmade by Brooklyn-based S.D. Evans, these heirloom-quality quilts are made from natural fabrics like cotton, vintage yukata cotton, linen and leather. The designs give a nod to traditional quilting patterns and the very nostalgia of quilts, but Evans has added a bold, contemporary, and beautifully simple aesthetic. The motifs reference nature, daily rituals and personal landmarks — the quilts have everyday and revealing names like Gravity, Migration, Stereo, Library Steps and Two Rivers — offering a glimpse into the designer’s life and inspirations. I love how they work as a fresh addition to urban and country dwellings alike!
Dedicated, disciplined and ridiculously handsome menswear label, SCTT BNDCTN is being released for order September 2014. The label has existed as an enigma in the fashion world since 2012 and had existed purely as a brand. Through various social media outlets to the tune of Tumblr, Facebook and Soundcloud; SCTT BNDCTN has been an encompassment of sensory intrigue. That is until now. The intensely strong brand and clear dedication to adorning men is the work of its inceptionist and Master Tailor, Warren Harrison. Based in Melbourne, the pieces are a result of tireless precision. The influence of Japanese patternmaking, traditional tailoring and experimental design is obvious and fiercely beautiful. SCTT BNDCTN celebrates the male form through a methodical use of linen, wool, leather and cotton. The designer’s passion is clear. Although a rarity, this handcrafted menswear line for discerning, stoic types, is undoubtedly one to watch. And listen to. And be inspired by the mood it instills. There is a clarity and stillness to SCTT BNDCTN that should be celebrated. Photography by Jem Taylor and make-up by Nadja Mott.
Fou de Feu, founded by Veerle Van Overloop, is a ceramic studio based in Belgium that takes in the influences from architecture, photographic, and food culture. Inspired from water drops and their effects on a liquid surface, Rhythm was produced as a series of minimal tableware products. The fusion of white porcelain with leather, wood, and marble is rather an uncommon combination that works so well together, contrasting the pure white and the textured brown. With different functions, these products, ranging from something large like a cutting board to something small like a tea spoon, all share the same basic shape of a rounded square with an extended corner. The layering of materials is something quite clever that helps elevate the playfulness of these items. I found the synergy of these products, when put on top of one another to create the rippling effect, a very simple and effective method of display. Just like the name of the studio suggests, Rhythm not only has the right amount of minimalism, but it also intrigues those who are fun and whimsical.
Early last year, we introduced you to French audio accessories brand Aëdle and their superbly designed VK-1 headphones. Well, today we are excited to share with you the brand’s latest limited edition product in the form of the VK-1 Legacy headphones — an updated design of the VK-1 Classic edition. Although the design is not hugely different to its predecessor, the VK-1 Legacy features hand-sewn genuine lambskin leather in a black finish as well as a new cable with inline remote control and microphone, which enables the user with volume control, track selection, and play/pause functions. Aëdle explains: We worked closely with craftsmen to deliver an unprecedented level of quality in the materials we have chosen without compromising along with our signature sound. Made from a solid piece of aluminium machined on a 5-axis CNC, the acoustic chambers combine state-of-the-art manufacturing process to deliver this stunning shiny aspect. This machining combined with anodisation enables us to offer degree of finish never achieved before. Beautiful design. Beautiful minimalism.
Mansur Gavriel is the highly sought-after label with a collection of beautifully designed leather bags made and crafted in Italy. Designed by Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel who moved to New York City especially to start their company, the collection first surfaced in the summer of 2013 and saw immediate success, being sold out as soon as it hit the stores. The label has continued to deliver their minimalist designs of signature tote and bucket bags that come in bold pops of single color or contrasting outer tanned leather with matte patent interiors. The craftsmanship of these bags reveal just enough detail of the effortless style behind the designs which is what I love most about this label. It is a true practice of patience to get your hands on one.
The launch of Australian label, Eska Alikai‘s AW 2014 collection by Micha Dyball consists of elegant, minimalist pieces that are indicative of both a confident presence as well as a pragmatic need for comfort. Her minimalist sensibilities are designed into soft leather, eco-friendly tencel, fleece, denim and cotton voile. The details of layering add a lot of personality into the clean, geometric pieces. I found this collection so appealing as each outfit is styled to celebrate the structure and fluidity in the mixed use of material and yet, it is easy to wear. Eska Alikai may be relatively new to deliver a full collection but the label has achieved much success in editorial exposure and already has an e-commerce site. I am looking forward to the next collection already. Images courtesy of Eska Alikai.
In 1958 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni designed the Babela Chair for the Milan Chamber of Commerce. The brothers created a light-weight chair with minimal clearance. One can easily move the chair, stack it and create long, straight, rows. The Italian contemporary furniture brand Tacchini adopted the 1950’s design in 2010. Unlike the original chair the frame is not made of iron but of Ash timber, available with a white, black, grey, walnut or natural finish. The seat features a removable cover and may be upholstered with fabric and leather. The Castiglioni brothers playfully explored new possibilities for form and created highly functional objects that are as aesthetically satisfying as they were practical. A timeless classic!
Most of our readers must have remembered Dylan Cao, a young accessories designer based in New York, from our Inside Instagram feature. Now with a degree and the title Designer of The Year for Accessories Design from Parsons University, he is here again to showcase his awarded footwear collection. Simply coating in white, this series of minimal designs reflects the designer’s personal experience as a mental patient. The stark and pristine definition faithfully delivers the sterility of an institution; however in this case, sterility takes on many other layers of complexity. To contrast the monotony, the decision to include the metal heels, as a direct translation of the sterile stools at the facility, is rather clever. Not only that, but they also have a relation to the doctoral equipments, taking on different geometric shapes. The inclusion of screws creates machinery image while the interplay of leather panels gives a newness to the silhouettes. As a whole, it is an experimentation of form and structure, as well as color (or the lack thereof) and material. I especially enjoy the addition of the supporting leather strap on one of the sandals. Even without the apparent appearance of the metal legs, that line adds...
Pebble 2 is a minimalist smartphone wireless charger and bluetooth speaker by the French studio Orée. The piece is handcrafted from solid wood or marble and seamlessly blends with any workspace. The technology behind the product is quite intuitive and requires no learning curve. Simply place your smartphone on the Pebble 2 and your phone starts charging automatically and syncs instantly via bluetooth to the audio system built inside the Pebble. You can now enjoy the music or make hands-free phone calls. Here is how the designers describe their idea: Smartphones fit our mobile lifestlyle like a glove. Yet when we are at home or in the office, they just feel bulky: we’re never quite sure where we leave them, we scramble for the power cable to make sure they are charged up for our next errand and we cope with the poor sound quality of the built-in loudspeaker when we want to conveniently make hands-free calls or listen to music. We created Oree Pebble 2 so your smartphone elegantly fits your lifestyle at home or in the office. The device uses bluetooth and standard QI technology to wirelessly charge most Android devices. Because this technology is not yet embedded in iPhones, they...
Romanian studio Clean Everything recently produced their latest collection of simple, elegant, vegetable tanned leather goods titled, Trilogy. Sharp edges and sleek touches are the key inspiration and theme of this collection, which, as its title suggests, includes three pieces. The Triangle Folded Clutch is a simple and elegant clutch featuring a sleek folded design involving one piece of leather and one polished metal stud. Based on the classic Italian coin purses the triangle has been enlarged and cleaned up, transforming it into an entirely different and contemporary piece. The Triangle Folded Backpack is a stylish and innovative triangle shaped leather backpack with adjustable shoulder straps. Its uniqueness originates from the folding design using one piece of leather, manipulated into shape, and riveted together with two metal studs. The Stitchless Bag, crafted from two pieces of vegetable tanned leather with no stitches, is a minimalist shoulder bag that allows you to effortlessly carry your daily essentials with style. Each design is available in three colour variations — red, white and green. Photography by Robert Petreanu