The world’s obsession with perfect proportions can be traced back to ancient Greece and Euclid’s coining of the golden ratio. In more recent years, the mathematical theorem has been employed by creatives such as Salvador Dali and Le Corbusier to achieve an ideal aesthetic or mimic patterns in nature. It’s this balance of technical precision and natural symmetry that informs OneSixOne, a new accessory label from Valencia. Named after the first three digits of the ratio, the label seeks to exemplify the values of beauty and harmony in its creations.
Started by Adrián Salvador Candela, a fashion designer who counts J Mendel and Peter Pilotto as past employers and also helms his own clothing line Siemprevivas, OneSixOne’s handbags are avant-garde in both silhouette and concept. For its first collection, Candela has collaborated with the artist Vicky Uslé to produce nine limited-edition styles adorned with three unique artworks. He also worked with jewellery designer Helena Rohner, who has created jewellery for Paul Smith, on the hardware details on each piece.
OneSixOne’s three inaugural styles include two cross-body bags and one streamlined clutch. The structured, hexagonal volumes are elegant and reveal alluring details such as a sparing use of metal accents that enunciate the structure of the bag, and gentle folds in the leather that bestow them with an architectural edge. Uslé’s artworks, which tempt the eye with textural brushstrokes, playful hand-drawn shapes and bleeding lines, further enhance the tactile quality of the bags.
To produce the bags, Candela travelled to Ubrique, a small town on the southern coast of Spain, known for being a centre of traditional leather craftsmanship. ‘This dialogue between the artist, craftsman and designer, and all processes that were involved, is the coolest part of the project,’ Candela says. ‘There were many results that came out of the collaboration. Even though finally there are only three designs, there were many. It was difficult to choose.’
Creating a repeated pattern doesn’t always come easily to an artist, as Uslé shares. ‘It was difficult because I don’t like to see similar things together, but in the end it came out really well. I think the way each bag has a dialogue with the other really works.’
The 26-year old plans to work with a different artist for each collection. ‘The exciting thing is that each artist is open to transforming the bag in the way they want, even in the shape,’ he explains. ‘Because we were starting with the shape for the first collection, Vicky has been involved in defining not only the aesthetic of the painting but the silhouette of each bag.‘
With just as much attention placed on each bag’s functionality and interior (the cross-body bags come with detachable straps and all boast buttery linings), OneSixOne’s pieces are veritable portable works of art. And with only 161 of each style available worldwide, they’re set to become collector’s items too.