Award-winning handbags made in Germany: Nadine Eismann
As one of the first graduates from the Bachelor of Arts class for Accessory Design at the University of Pforzheim, Nadine Eismann launched her own handbag label in February 2016. With her final collection at university, she reached the final of the ten best accessories collections world wide on one of the most important international design competitions, the International Talent Support in Trieste/Italy. In this interview she tells us about her passion for accessory design, the leather craft and her award-winning handbags.
Nadine, what made you choose to work with leather and where did you learn the craft?
I have always been a material-oriented person. Leather is a material which appeals to several senses, seeing, feeling, hearing and smelling. It fascinates me deeply.
During my internship at a saddlery, I had more intense contact with it and I dealt with it throughout my studies. In that time I also learned the process of working with leather. A certain skill for crafting is also very helpful.
Your collections are inspired by travels, photography and nature. How do you start the design process of a handbag collection? Design or material first?
First of all, I start with a wide-ranging research into the source of my inspiration. From that, I develop a mood- and concept board out of which could result the first design ideas. And then, sometimes also the material gives the initiating idea.
My designs are rather developed by experimenting with the materials than through sketches, I can explore more when using my hands: what the material feels like, for what function I can use it and how I can combine it with leather.
In your current collection you are using – in addition to vegetable tanned leather – Technogel. What is that and how did you come to use that material?
Technogel is a unique soft-massive material which links the three-dimensional deformation of a fluid with the form-thinking of a solid body. It’s an absolutely nontoxic and stable polyurethane which is being produced without the use of oils or plasticisers.
I am always in search of new materials and I am very lucky to have the company raumprobe nearby in Stuttgart. It’s a mixture of material exhibition and material database where you can always find the latest and most interesting materials, such as Technogel. This material fascinated me from the first moment because in the field of handbags it builds a new optic and surface feel which didn’t exist in this way before.
What are the most important things for you in the process of designing and producing a handbag?
I can’t say that there is „the most important“ process for me, but I can tell which one is my favourite: For a new collection, I initially produce a prototype out of an alternative leather material. This way, I can see the proportions, how they relate to each other and if everything works out how I imagined it.
But the most exciting thing is producing the bag out of the original material and to see how it unfolds its beauty bit by bit.
Could you imagine a collaboration with a big fashion brand in the future?
This, I could imagine very well. It would be a very exciting and challenging task for me as some completely different aspects need to be considered in the design process. With my own label, I can freely explore, as well as realize time-intense work, like braiding by hand for example – depending on the model this takes 1-3 hours.
For a big company this wouldn’t be economical. There are a production site, buyers, sellers and many more people behind it and so the tolerance isn’t big. To succeed the balancing act between design and commercialization, in order for everyone to be happy in the end, requires a lot of give-and-take. But this is a big challenge I would love to face.
Do you have a leather-bag-hero?
My heart beats for Italian labels, of course. For a handbag lover like me, there is no way around Italy. The decades of experience, the combination of high-quality materials and the perfect manufacturing always fascinated me. This July, I was very lucky to meet Silvia Venturini Fendi in person and to talk to her about my creations. A great woman! My bags being praised by her was an indescribable experience for me as a young designer.
More information about Nadine Eismann and her award-winning handbags you get on Bags Brands & Styles.
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