Sage Femme handbags – for wise women
Today I would like to introduce to you the handbag brand Sage Femme, finalist of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards in the category “EVINE Live Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design”. I talked to the designer and founder of Sage Femme handbags, Corina Stefirta.
Corina, what does the brand name symbolize and for what kind of women do Sage Femme handbags stand for?
The brand name and inspiration for my line is “Sage Femme” which is a French phrase with two meanings. The word literally means “wise woman”. It is also the French term for “midwife” — a traditionally female occupation that embodies trust, empowerment and service to community.
When I designed this line, I wanted to create pieces that expressed a distinctive female form of wisdom and confidence: an aura which derives from the sheer quality of materials, the harmony of proportions, the colour and from the unique practicality. To achieve this objective, I made a conscious effort to remove all unnecessary ornamentation.
Simplicity of this sort poses a unique challenge in the craft. There are no distractions. It is completely unforgiving of the smallest imperfection. The cut of the leather must be perfectly clean, the stitching, reinforcements and edge painting flawless. In short, it requires total, uncompromising and even obsessive dedication to quality.
The other inspiration for my line comes from the occupation of my mother-in-law, a midwife, who has traveled the world helping other midwives and women in need.
Our goal is to offer a portion of our profits to support midwife-led projects in the developing world where these “wise women” can make a real difference on the future of public health.
What lead you to start the Sage Femme handbag-line?
I worked in Milan for the luxury leather goods brand Tod’s. There I was surrounded by beautiful objects in leather and enjoyed presenting them to a clientele that came from all corners of the world. As time went by, I began to envision a handbag line that could fill a gap in the world of handbags.
It should be a line that could offer the exacting craftsmanship and premium leathers of the finest Italian and French brands, but would be less dependent on fashion trends and more firmly rooted in the traditions of the craft.
I felt if I could work directly with the artisans and tanneries in Italy and focus on the beauty and precision of their work. So I could keep my designs simple and elegant and offer real value to a clientele looking for authenticity rather than image.
I left Tod’s and joined a small workshop in Italy that had formerly been a key artisan to Salvatore Ferragamo. My 5-compartment crossbody bag was my first design and embodied my vision of a minimalist, yet carefully crafted everyday bag. It became my best seller and was even selected as a finalist for the Handbag of the Year at the 2016 Independent Handbag Designer Awards in New York.
Please tell us more about the different styles of Sage Femme bags.
I am purposely keeping the number of silhouettes in the line to a minimum in order to present a simple and unified vision. 2017 we will see the reintroduction of our 5-compartment crossbody bag, along with a new softer shoulder bag and a very clean backpack model.
I will be presenting these 3 silhouettes in a wide range of limited-edition colours that I will be presenting on a monthly, rather than seasonal basis to keep things interesting and exciting.
What is Sage Femmes’ favourite handbag-colour for the next season?
Rather than a specific colour, I prefer to think in terms of a palette. I love putting 5-6 Sage Femme handbags of the same model side by side in an interesting range of hues. Right now, my focus is on neutral colours that go from nude to taupe and to anthracite.
Where can you buy Sage Femme handbags?
I sell my bags directly online. I am also in the process of setting up an exciting new space in Brooklyn, NY. There I will combine a workshop, a showroom and a leather crafting classroom as part of the new “Made in NY” initiative. I love the idea of not only selling a product but also showcasing how it’s made!
You can find more information about Sage Femme handbags you can find on the website.
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