1. There’s a strong focus on the Reiss bag designs for SS17 – what inspired this new direction?
At the beginning of the SS17 planning process, our Creative Director James Spreckley had a real desire to deliver something new for the Reiss accessories collection. He aimed to deliver something with a tasteful aesthetic and a distinct point of view that cut through the noise in the current market. An honest level of quality and a timeless aesthetic was key but he wanted to ensure that the collection sat within an attainable price bracket.
James’ initial inspiration for the bags’ hardware came from authentic, nautical pieces that he re-worked and refined to work in-line with each silhouette. There’s a real sense of consideration that contributes in subtle ways to the overall elevation of the designs. Unexpected details have been underpinned with functionality. We wanted to make sure the pieces delivered in every sense of the word, ultimately presenting a series of bags that have been made using beautiful leathers and a rich, artisanal colour palette.
2. If you could summarise the aesthetic of the bag collection in 3 words what would they be?
Timeless, iconic and functional.
3. Talk to us about the aims for this season’s accessories collection…
We took a brand new approach to the bags this season with James’ tagline; crafted not manufactured’ in the forefront of our minds. A short film was curated exposing the authencity and craftsmanship behind the collection. We wanted to present our consumer with a transparent creative journey and to communicate the collaboration between the Creative Director and the design team. This is large scale project that presents a certain taste level that, with James’ close involvement and direction, will continue for seasons to come. The goal is to build a strong reputation on accessories and to create a lifestyle product with a chic sensibility, a beautiful quality and that sits at an affordable price level.
4. How did you source the leather used for each bag?
We spend a lot of time visiting tanneries and leather exhibitions in Italy in order to gather the research that enables us to source the most suitable skins for each design. We looked closely at the leather colours in their natural state, which in turn allowed the materials to influence the decisions that we made creatively. Every element of the leather is considered, from finish to durability, colour to dying process. In order to test the quality and finish, we got samples mocked up using each leather option so that we had a really accurate view of what the final piece would look like. From there, it’s was an editing and refining process until the perfect skins found companionship with the perfect style.