When Raf Simons designed a furniture range with Kvadrat, the fashion world pricked up its ears. Simons repurposed some of the textiles in his own collections, but up until now, the Danish textile manufacturer had kept a tight lid on the fabrics.
But in Kvadrat’s Paris showroom, German leather goods label Tsatsas was watching with fascination. The brand’s founders, architect Esther Schulze-Tsatsas and the industrial designer Dimitrios Tsatsas, had been presenting their accessory collections in the showroom for several seasons, and were drawn towards ‘the textiles’ structures and their world of colour’.
They decided to venture out of their comfort zone. Having so far worked solely with natural leathers, Tsatsas approached Kvadrat with the idea of using the furniture textiles for a bag – and with success. They recall being ‘overjoyed that Kvadrat and Raf Simons agreed to our becoming the very first bag label world-wide to work with the collection’.
The limited collection of five versions in editions of 50, titled 'So_Far', reworks Tsatsas’ iconic 'Fluke' bag into five new versions, that combine cowhide linings with the Raf Simons-designed Kvadrat textiles, that proved exceptionally suited as a material for bags. Usually, Tsatsas explains, ‘a sturdy surface such as leather is needed if you consider a bag not as some short-lived seasonal article, but a long-standing companion. The Kvadrat textiles meet all the standards of the furniture industry, such as extreme abrasion-resistance.'
Simons had time to develop these fabrics, as opposed to the fast pace at which fashion collections have to be designed.
Tsatsas also believes time to be the most important element to their creative work.
‘For us, Raf Simons is one of the most striking contemporary designers’, they add. ‘Even if our own work differs in shape, the respective approaches are similar: the focus is on innovation in the form, proportions and structure.’