As previously introduced on Minimalissimo, Canadian based fashion designer Rad Hourani also has a beautiful and stylish line of minimalist backpacks that expresses within the same language as his ready-to-wear collection. Designed in variations of black leather with white denim, black foil or black crepe, its top handle and straps can be oriented to be used as a handbag. I especially love its clean and sleek detailing which attribute to its unisex versatility, making it a great luxury accessory whether on a casual night out or a formal work day. Its style is timeless, much like the rest of Hourani’s minimalist direction.
Accessories have become such an important element in everyday’s fashion. With the constant rush of life, their flexibility also has transformed over time. Having that idea in mind, Paris-based industrial designer Isabelle Bois collaborated with & Other Stories, a womenswear fashion company founded in Sweden, to generate a capsule collection of bags, pouches, and cases. Made from vegetable leather, these products vary in sizes to offer a wide range of usage — from business meetings to casual rendez-vous and formal dinner parties. Being minimal in appearance with natural colors like peach, nude, and black, those factors create a versatility to these accessories when one has many occasions with little time. As a fashion enthusiast, I love the oversized portfolio-like pouches. Others might see them as a bulky addition to an outfit, but I view them as a way to create a character to the wearer. They compose a certain boldness that is not overpowering, but rather both artistic and professional. Photo Courtesy of & Other Stories and Glamour
Berlin based studio The Medley Institute is found and led by fashion designer Jana Patz. Since 2010 she has developed a constantly growing variety of sculptural but filigree accessories and bags, which she presents at Paris Fashion Week. She finds her inspiration in materials untypical for fashion, such as wood or porcelain. Her main aim is to make these materials correspond to the wearer and the surroundings. That is why – she claims – communication and conversation are the basis for all her work: There will be new ways of reflection and unexpected suggestions for wearable objects, accessories and pieces of jewellery. That is how the design will get to be a stunning single piece in an outfit and there will be a chance of a fusion between body, textile and object. The brand name incorporates these ideas perfectly. Besides the concept, I am very taken by the fundamental clarity and powerful appearance of pieces which are visually very subtle. The latest collection, Fold & Pleat, is a mix of pure and elegant leather bags accompanied by a selection of various accessories shaped by a clear geometric rhythm. A rhythm you can easily tune in to. Photography by Patrick Houi
Recently I have been on a search for a beautiful new minimal backpack to serve my everyday needs, but at a reasonable price. A search that is not as easy as you may think. Of course, I have come across many bag designs over the years, many of which however, have been discontinued. Just yesterday, I discovered Derbyshire based accessories brand, C6. Their range of accessories includes this beautiful and protective minimal backpack, ideal for laptops and various tablets. Available in two sizes; Large (37cm x 50cm x 25cm) and Small (32cm x 45cm x 25cm), the backpack is also available in two colours; Black and Olive. The large black version is particularly appealing and currently tops my wish-list. Further backpack suggestions are always welcome.
This chic laconic bag has been created by London based designer Katharina Eisenkoeck. The piece is crafted from high quality leather and intended for your laptop and not much else. Here is how designer explains her vision: It is hard to find well-made, simple, and non-fussy bags without the usual extra pockets and gold or silver additions. Hence the laptop bag was designed against the movement toward excessive decoration. The challenge of determining the simplest solution possible was playing a major role in this project. It was crucial to create a minimalist and functional shell through sharp lines, a subtle colour, and smart proportions. I love the versatility of the piece – you can use it as a backpack or a tote. The shade and thinness of the bag resembles a simple manila folder, which adds to its understated beauty.
Based in New York City, artist and designer Doug Johnston has been focusing since 2010 on a process of coiling and stitching rope into a variety of functional and sculptural objects. From this new bag collection, photographed by Brook&Lyn, each piece is handmade and hand-formed one at a time in Johnston’s Brooklyn studio. The rope works are made from sewing thread and braided 100% cotton cord, stitched on my vintage industrial zig-zag sewing machines. The fabrication technique was learned from the crafting community and adapted for my sculptural and formal explorations. His work spans the disciplines of art, design, architecture and music – Johnston has conducted explorations in the varying worlds of installation, fiber art, sculpture, photography, collaborative performance and even architectural metal fabrication. Such a multidisciplinary background obviously informs everything he makes, helping him create thoughtful and functional pieces that have become widely sought after.
Practical. Functional. Minimal. These elements were what inspired Ivania Carpio, the multi-talented force behind Love Aesthetics to develop her own design collection with BlackBlessed‘s Capsule Collection. With a sharp and clean aesthetic, the Pant-Skirt, the Jacket and the Bag, were results of Ivania’s desire to make life work for her that exudes her personal style and lifestyle. What I love about this collection is the intent behind each piece. All the elements are about the everyday life of running after a child, riding a bicycle, getting errands done, or just simply what you bring with you when you leave the house. Having a single bag designed to fit different needs for different occasions sounds more complicated that it actually needs to be and Ivania has a clever, minimalist solution with The Bag and its detachable straps that turns a clutch into a backpack. The silhouette of her collection reminds one of Calvin Klein’s sophistication and Acne’s simple practicality. Yet with the comfort and functional ease of these pieces, Ivania’s personal style of clean and minimal shines through. I, for one, am looking forward to her next collection of such beautiful, functional designs.
I have long been a reader of Thisispaper Magazine, and when in late 2012 they decided to expand to the analogue world, selling a range of stunning and simplistic products, I for one, was thrilled to explore the designs. Initially launching a series of bags and rucksacks, Thisispaper Shop also recently introduced a beautiful range of kitchenware. It is however, one of their bag designs that I find to be something our Minimalissimo readers will appreciate most. The Natural Irma Bag is incredibly basic with a light linen material. Measuring 25 x 42cm, the bottom is made of nubuck leather. Other leather elements are made of vegetable-tanned natural leather. The lining is 100% cotton and features two small interior pockets and a thick cotton string. Beauty, we believe, lies in the simple objects we use everyday, without even acknowledging it.
Last week, we featured a stunning collection of leather bags by TSATSAS, and I have recently been introduced to another of equal beauty – this time by the Polish clothing accessories brand Slava Varsovia. Slava Varsovia aim to highlight the significance of traditional craftsmanship. Hand-made by local artisans, Slava accessories are designed with passion that rises from a tradition with a modern edge, down to the tiniest detail. Designed by Anna Szydlowska, the Slava accessories features a number of beautifully crafted leather bags, designed with a notable simplicity and very subtle brand logo. The series includes several meticulously crafted shoulder and oversized bags, totes and elegant clutch bags of varying sizes and colours. Photography by Zuza Krajewska
The German label TSATSAS, newly established by Esther Schulze-Tsatsas and Dimitrios Tsatsas, produce elegant, contemporary and luxurious bag designs. TSATSAS bags are handcrafted in Germany, and created through a combination of materials including Calfskin leather and Lamb Nappa leather for the lining. Understated and practical, the TSASTAS collection includes Xela, a simple and striking take on the sports sack that includes multiple straps as a subtle design detail. Lucid, a well structured and elegant tote, and Niche, a small zipped tote with a handle/strap combination, all of which ultimately embody a sophistication and skill that can only serve to make each item improve with time. TSATSAS have achieved a perfect balance between function, aesthetics and execution. Stunning collection.
Mum & Co is a small family run fashion brand, designing exquisite and heartwarming handmade leather goods. Recently established, Mum & Co produce a range of minimalist backpacks and cases, each using natural leather, for that touchy-feely vibe, which suits this brand so very well. The shapes, colours, textures and detail of each of piece are simply wonderful. For instance, Backpack I is similar to those once used by London couriers. Fastened on with an adjustable-length vintage leather strap, it also has an outer pocket for keys and various other accessories. Adjustable straps allow for a precise fit and measures 270 x 430 x 120 mm. This one, I would love for myself. Backpack II in natural and black exudes elegance. It is designed to replace the classic handbag for something more comfortable, regardless of what you may be wearing. The interior also has a soft cotton lining, magnetic buckles and measures 290 x 400 x 60 mm. I have no doubt this brand will go from strength to strength, and I’ll be keeping an eye on any new designs.
Designers of Building Block, a leather bag company founded by Kimberly and Nancy Wu of Los Angeles, reflect timelessness in their S/S 2013 collection. The construction of the bags of leather and their accessories are honest and simple, yet they look like they’re built to last. Its focus moves freely in between luxury and industrial design where utilitarian materials and processes translate into minimalist forms. With the intent of magnifying essentials and editing out excess, Building Block finds continual inspiration in returning back to square one Whether it is in the Business, Rectangle or Dice style, what is really appealing to me besides the minimalism is the versatility of looking formal and professional while being relaxed at the same time.