In collaboration with independent designer David Laport, Maeden has developed one special bucket bag, called Canna. Both chic and practical, it embodies the qualities Laport’s design studio is celebrated for: poetically pleated shapes and innovative design. Laport is delighted to partner with Maeden on this artisan project to highlight The Netherlands’ design heritage and join a collective of prominent Dutch designers.
What were the most important ingredients for this design?
Within my own design studio I work in the space between luxury ready-to-wear and couture. And while this bag has a couture quality (handmade with the utmost care and military precision), it is also very wearable. You see, so much love, research and craftmanship is poured into this bag; it would be a shame if it would be impractical or very niche when it comes to taste. Yet, of course, it had to be very special. As always, I started out with draping but quickly found that this is quite the challenge in leather. Eventually I made a bucket in cardboard (which is not the way it’s done since the artisans usually work with technical sketches, but luckily, they were open to go with my every whim, haha), cut it in two and added double folds on one side. With the specialty craftsmen in The Netherlands, we pleated it in a way that the movement comes to live wonderfully; it turned out playful and dynamic. In my work it’s not necessarily so much about the technique of pleating as it is about the remarkable shapes that I discover in all that touches me on the daily: nature, movement, classic or modern dance. For instance, I am a huge fan of Nederlands Dans Theater, a Dutch contemporary dance company with a style all its own. Whenever I get the chance, I love to drop by for relaxation and inspiration.
What was so challenging about the pleating?
It was an interesting investigation into how to mold leather into soft, organic shapes. The execution of the design was rather challenging. Especially the placement of the pleats was quite unusual and the experts had never done anything like it before. It took us almost half a year to find the best solution, but we didn’t rest until every detail was perfect (which I also have to attribute to Christian, our creative director). I was very impressed with the extraordinary craft of luxury leather products. Working with the artisans so extensively makes all the difference; you can see and feel the craftsmanship in the bag.
A remarkable feature of this bag is that is has two opposing sides?
The design holds a beautiful duality, two faces. It’s pleated on one side, clean on the other. The Canna can be translated into two different styles: a classic bucket bag with a relaxed feel to it or an eye-catching showstopper. You can wear it with a long strap, a short strap, it’s very versatile and can be worn for different occasions. This will surely speak to many different women. When I started out on this journey, I began with my mother-in-law and her extensive bag collection; Céline, Hermès, Acne, Chloé. She was the perfect person to ask for feedback. That approach turned out rather well.
You are known for your explosions of color. Tell us more about the shades you developed for this Maeden bag.
I opted for a fresh yellow, a dove grey and a few other neutrals. All the colors feature a hint of grey, because I felt they had to have a soft quality to them as well. I love a pop of color, but when it’s a bit more muted it’s just easier to wear which was my initial intention. Muted shades mixed with grey are softer and friendlier which, I have to say, I really like for this bag.