We absolutely adore the bags from Andrea Brueckner‘s line – and we were so excited when she agreed to do an interview with us! Launched in 2004, Andrea Brueckner is known for her stunning and innovative collection of handbags – from the famed Saddle Bag to the obsession-worthy Luxembourg Satchel. We asked Andrea everything – from her bag must-haves to her fashion icons. Let’s get started, shall we?
The Daily Obsession: Before starting your own line, you worked at Carolina Herrera, Jill Stuart and Craig Robinson. Did your experience at those brands influence your aesthetic today?
Andrea Brueckner: The designers I worked for before I started the company didn’t necessarily influence my aesthetic. They more gave me the experience and background I needed to start my own company. All of these companies were very small, so while working there, I was able to gain experience in all aspects of a small business, from design, to sales, and production. Craig Robinson probably influenced me the most, though, in terms of aesthetic. He was a bespoke menswear tailor, who taught me a lot about design and construction and form, which are typically what influence me the most when I begin to design.
TDO: When you started your line, what made you choose handbag design over clothing, shoes, or other accessories?
AB: I started my line while working for a clothing company. I began to design and sew little handbags on the side, for myself and for my friends. I pounded the pavement for awhile, and then the little ideas turned into bigger ones.
TDO: What is the design philosophy behind the Andrea Brueckner brand?
AB: I try to design really construction-innovative handbags. I really like to experiment with different shapes, and little pattern ins-and-outs. When I studied at FIT, my area of specialization was Tailoring, where I concentrated on patternmaking, construction, and form, so I try to incorporate what I learned into my designs.
TDO: When you are designing, what must you have around you?
AB: I am usually at my large table with tearsheets, leather swatches. I also have fabric and pins, with which I play around with to try and experiment with new shapes and construction ideas.
TDO: Designing a line of accessories every season must keep you busy, busy, busy! How do you relax and re-group?
AB: During the weekends I sometimes relax – usually reading or cooking, which helps me to relax. I also enjoy photography. I shoot all of the photos that you see on my website.
TDO: Of all the bags you’ve designed, which one is your favorite? What do you love about it?
AB: My favorite so far is the Luxembourg Satchel. I love it because it looks so different from other handbags I have seen, and it is so functional. I think it is a well-designed bag!
TDO: When it comes to bags, we feel that most women fall into two categories – those who change their handbags to complement their outfit, and those who have a trusty constant they rely on day in, day out. Which woman are you?
AB: Definitely the trusty constant- I have been using my Luxembourg Satchel from the first day it came out! Designing is not a glamorous job, and I am in more of a need for a handbag that I can use for everyday and carry my life around in.
TDO: What items are in your bag right now?
AB: Always my sketchbook, blackberry, calendar, lip gloss, water, keys and wallet.
TDO: What must you absolutely have in your handbag at all times?
AB: My blackberry – my life is in there!
TDO: What one fashion piece is on your “must have” list right now?
AB: Christian Louboutin zip-up platforms.
TDO: What is your favorite item in your closet right now, and what do you love about it?
AB: My white cotton dress from H&M – it keeps me as cool as possible as I run around the city!
TDO: Who are some other designers that you admire, and why?
AB: Chloe, Lanvin and Marni. I love how they skew away from the norm. They are more niche-directed, but they are so innovative in everything that they do – in color combinations, designs…
TDO: If you could have dinner with 3 fashion icons (dead or alive), who would they be and why?
AB: 1) Kate Moss – the greatest style-icon EVER!
2) Issey Miyake – the master of construction and design
3) Yves Saint Laurent – the master tailor
TDO: What websites do you read the most?
AB: All the bag blogs, of course.
TDO: What’s next for the Andrea Brueckner brand? Where do you see your company in five years?
AB: At this point, I am still going to just focus on handbags. With the impending recession, it is difficult to say at this point where I will be…