Vaska, Finnish bag design -interview and giveaway!
Väska is a relatively new bag brand. It was created by Ann-Sofi Storbacka during 2012-2013 as a result of a final project in a fashion design school in Barcelona, Spain. Already before starting the design school, Ann-Sofi knew that she wanted to create her own brand. After she graduated that dream came true. Now she offers beautiful, unique looking line of purses, handbags and accessories. She lives and creates her designs in Spain.
I met up with Ann-Sofi during her visit to Finland and got to know more about the fascinating world of designing bags and the art of working with leather. I am amazed after looking at her products to find out that most of her bags are made from one piece of leather! Her ideas behind her designs are based on Origami, which is a Japanese word for paper-folding – a technique that creates a three-dimensional piece from one sheet of paper or in this case -leather. According to Ann-Sofi, the key for creating unique but functional pieces is to work with just one piece of leather. By doing this you can make bags that have very simple and minimalistic designs – what Scandinavian design is known for. The bags are finally put together and finished with brass hardware. What is interesting when looking at her work is that most of her bags are also done without any stitching. Only in the small pieces like the iPhone case she has used thread.
The brand name Väska comes from the Swedish word for “bag”. During her studies, Ann-Sofi decided that if she was ever going to have a brand she wanted the name to be short and simple. She says that if she had stayed in Finland, the name might have become something else, but in Spain as well as internationally the name seems to work great and sounds even a bit exotic for the Spanish consumers. To me the name sounds genius since it gives a sneak peek of the designer’s origns, it actually means a bag and it is short and easy to remember.
More or less everything around Ann-Sofi and especially the nature is a big source for her ideas. For her “Oksa” bag she got the idea from tree branches. In the finnish nature her favourite things are silence, fresh air and the changing seasons. She gets most of her ideas by simply trying out things. She uses paper pieces as samples and starts experimenting with them. Once she has the sketch and a model piece made from paper ready, she makes the prototype from leather. The bags are made from vegetable tanned leather, which means they have no harmful chemicals in them. The leather is originated from Igualada, Spain. Igualada is one of the main traditional leather production areas left in Spain. Not only is the leather made here, but it also comes from the local farms. Ann-Sofi’s designer idol is Una Burke who is a leather artist. To Ann-Sofi her work is very innovative and her pieces very inspiring.
Unlike chrome leather that is chemically treated, vegetable tanned leather is treated with natural tannins found in barks, wood, leaves, plants, etc. The end result is a genuine and lush appearance, and best of all, it ages beautifully. No heavy metals are included in the tanning process of vegetable leather. The nude-coloured pieces are especially beautiful because they start turning into golden brown after time. What I have seen from her website, the pictures really do justice to how stylish and beautiful the pieces look.
Väska products are targeted to women who appreciate quality and simple but modern style. As seen from last summer, a lot of nude colors were a big trend for Väska and also now in the early fall. Towards the fall, the colours get darker, which you can see from Ann-Sofi’s newest Autumn Winter 2013/14 Collection. At the moment there are no products made especially for men, but in the future she could think about a more masculine line as well. At the moment, however, the iPhone cases offered by Väska could be categorized as unisex.
Thanks to Ann-Sofi, I’m able to provide to my readers all over the world a beautiful giveaway competition. I have published the competition at Nordic Style Magazine’s page and you can access it here. Go check it out! You have the possibility to win a beautiful piece of your choise from Väska.
If you like what you’ve seen here, go check out also Väska facebook page here.