The luxury bag collection aims to integrate wireless charging for the design conscious on the go. The bags embrace contemporary demands; a lightweight and super slim inner pocket is built within the interchangeable sleeve with the ability to charge your mobile wirelessly. Whilst technology is integrated, craftsmanship is celebrated as the laptop sleeve, tote bag and clutch are meticulously handcrafted in small workshops in Spain. To evolve the traditional craft, minimalist lines of the design take inspiration from Corbusier modernist architectural photography. Technology is combined with the appreciation of leather handcraft, exercising great attention to detail which is increasingly becoming rare. We have a vision to make craft a contemporary solution.
The idea of merging technology and leather hand craft was driven by combining the beauty of traditional high-quality artisan skill and yet meet contemporary demands and future technology.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:
As an Architect, I have been inspired by modernist architectural photography which has shaped the modernist sleek look of my bags. At the same time, I learnt the art of craft when I was living in Hong Kong of making leather bags by hand. Hand cutting and hand stitching leather is not only a beautiful craft that which is slowly becoming very rare in this fast paced fashion industry but also creates long lasting high quality products that you can not only keep in your lifetime but can be passed down generations. One way to save this craft and revive it in Europe was to combine it with current demands. The product we create; a lightweight and super slim inner pocket is built within the interchangeable sleeve with the ability to charge your mobile wirelessly when placing this in direct contact. My aspirations are to combine traditional craft, future technology, and beautiful design.
The proposal is for a luxury bag with integrated wireless charging for millennials on the go. This idea came from the issue of what do you do if you find yourself running out of battery on your mobile phone and needing it recharged? You have a portable charger and you carry your charger and wait till you find a plug socket or you wait till you get home. The solution was to have an integrated portable charger which fully charges your phone on the go.
The luxury laptop sleeve, tote bag and clutch are meticulously handcrafted. Whilst craft is celebrated, the bags also embrace contemporary demands; a lightweight and super slim inner pocket is built within the interchangeable sleeve with the ability to charge your mobile wirelessly when placing this in direct contact. Key aspects of the design are handcraft, having a fully integrated discrete battery that charges your mobile on the go so you are never stuck with an out of battery phone and finally; the design is architecturally inspired and minimalist.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS:
The process in developing this project was one of combining something I was quite familiar, design and craft, with a technology that to me was a discovery. I collaborated with specialists in the market to provide the highest tech slimmest batteries and combine this with the know-how of consultants in technology. The process has been one of juggling between finding craft workshops that would have great attention to detail and maintain quality as well as the development of technology currently not available on the market. The super slim charger is seamlessly integrated within the bag, is lightweight and totally unnoticeable. In order to achieve this, I collaborated with a technology consultant and we had to experiment a lot. With trial and error, we developed a system that was slim enough yet strong enough to fully charge a phone on the go.
This collaboration process has been a great experience for me. The dialogue and communication have sometimes been a struggle with long distance and is something that I have learnt needs improving, especially when it is the first time working with someone. Setting expectations and standards from the onset would have been key as well as commitments to meet certain timeframes. I have also learnt that I should not juggle too many balls and concentrate on what I am good at and delegate tasks to best suited experts. But of course, you need the right resources for this.
I would like to develop this product further and looking at selling on online platforms as well as boutiques in London to start with and expand in Europe. This would require a modular system to scale up the product. As the pouch which holds the battery is independent and detachable, it can be integrated within a whole collection of designs independently. Further investment would be required for this next sampling step as well as help with marketing of the product and exposure. I would also need investment for the production costs of putting this to the market.
Working with other partners is great because you are having to justify, test and question your idea in the whole process before it goes out to the market. It is great to get other perspectives on your vision and open up your ideas to other possibilities and journeys.
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ASHIQ STUDIO LIMITED founded in 2016 by the architect Sabah Ashiq.
Ashiq Studio has been creating elegant, functional handcrafted leather items ever since. The company was selected as one of 8 emerging European designers in the Berlin Fashion Week in 2018.
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Afer Leather Specialises in making designs a reality using all types of materials with the best handmade quality. Afer Leather is based in the heart of the well known leather goods skilled village of Ubrique, Spain. Ana created this company to create a link between Eurpoean designers and handcraft workshops in Ubrique. Afer work with several small workshops.
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