Leather Craft

Designing a graduation collection with handbags

Graduation Collection Anja Wanninger_Backpack_made by Lethaerbagsatge_Picture by Michael Bleeser

Ad| Today I talk with Anja Wanninger from Modefachschule Sigmaringen. With her I collaborated for her graduation collection.

Graduation collection by Anja Wanninger_final presentation

Anja, for your graduation collection, the topic of culture club was given. How did you approach the subject in the design process?

Culture Club has something to do with mixing different cultures and our job was to create a new culture that was reflected in a fashion collection.

When I approached the subject matter, I first came across pictures of Africa and the Himalayas.

The idea that quickly formed in my head, was to connect the culture of the Maasai warriors from Kenya with the mountain climbing culture of the Himalayas.

Of course, my research started on the internet. I looked at documentaries about the Himalayas and the Maasai warriors.

Even my childhood memory of a visit to the movies, watching “The White Massai” I revived for this. All in all, I was inspired by every source that came my way.

Because good designs are usually based on thorough research.

In the end, however, I chose the culture of the Maasai warriors alone, because I am fascinated by their way of life and their beautiful colourful robes.

Why did you choose bags as accessories?

I think bags are a highlight in every collection. They complete the respective outfit and make it look very different on the catwalk again.

Graduation Collection by Anja Wanninger_belt bag made by Leatherbagstage_picture by Michael Bleeser

The bags are made of bicycle tube. What role does sustainability play for you?

Sustainability is very important to me! My fabrics come mainly from the region in which I live.

These fabrics are produced fairly and carry the “GOTS” seal of quality. When purchasing fabrics, I always pay attention to where they are produced and which quality seal they bear.

To create something new out of garbage, to make it up, I find this a very exciting endeavour.

Bicycle tubes are thrown away in bulk. That doesn’t have to be the status quo and that’s why I chose to make bags or accessories from it.

It also has a lot to do with my collection theme. The Maasai warriors make themselves shoes out of car tires, which are also massively dumped into their territory.

Graduation Collection Anja Wanninger_Backpack

Could you please describe to me again the two bag models and the backpack: why you chose them for your graduation collection?

As you can see from the pictures, I have decided on a round or half-round shape for the bags.

My outfits are slightly harder from the cut, especially my asymmetrical coats. Therefore, I wanted a softer design of my bags to – literally – round off my collection.

I decided to buy a backpack and a belt bag as it is my favorite personal accessory and they are currently very trendy.

A backpack that can be combined differently through the eyelets and rings becomes a practical companion.

But even the small and compact belt bag is the absolute bestseller, especially when traveling and at festivals.

Graduation collection Anja Wanninger_belt bag drawing

How did the cooperation with Leatherbagstage come about?

That was funny. Isabel and I have a mutual acquaintance. The dear Reiner Knochel from Freiburg, who also works as a lecturer at my Fashion School in Sigmaringen.

For him, I have designed a motif for an embroidery. This was embroidered on Olivenleder ® which has been recommended to him, in turn by Isabel.

While at Premiere Vision in Paris last year, Isabel met Rainer and saw my embroidery, which she posted on Instagram.

I saw it and spontaneously thought to do bags with her for my graduation collection.

What advice would you pass on to aspiring designers who want to design their graduation collection?

Organization and planning is everything. Set yourself several deadlines in which you want to have certain parts ready.

Thus, you do not have the stress and can enjoy the last days before the fashion show, instead of having to finish the outfits at the last second.

And most important is … Never lose the fun, even if you often doubt yourself, the day your creation runs on the catwalk is a very special one.

Find more about Anjas graduation collection and work on Instagram.

© Pictures by Michael Bleeser; drawings by Anja Wanninger; Models: backpack: Tobias Übelhör and belt bag Selina Reichle

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