It should be functional, minimalistic in its design and above all have no odds and ends. Yet Kathrin Heubeck’s search for a bag that combines all these elements went unrewarded, with the result that this Munich local decided to launch her own bag brand. Today she designs hand-crafted tote and clutch bags under her own name.
The pure designs focus primarily on quality: all of the designs are made using the finest sustainable, locally-sourced eco-friendly leather, in other words free from chromium and vegetable-tanned. “This aspect is very important to me.
We all naturally want to consume less and become more conscious of what we do consume. That’s precisely my approach – bags made from natural leather can be carried for a long time since they become ever more beautiful with age”, the entrepreneur declares. Her own store on Gärtnerplatz is definitely worth a visit, which Kathrin Heubeck opened in June 2017.
Although this trained architect set out on a completely new career path, both creative fields have more in common than it might appear at first glance. Just like in architecture, the aesthetics of her bags concentrate on what is necessary. “It seems to me that there are plenty of similarities. It ultimately comes down to proportion, function and materials – no matter whether you’re designing a building or a bag.” The mother of two lived in New York for six years, which is also where her career as a designer began. It was in the city’s Garment District that she found a piece of leather and used it to stitch her very first model. At the time, she certainly never thought that this step would lead to the creation of an entire label. And yet she dreamed of one day being able to work independently and creatively. Following her motto of “learning by doing” she taught herself the skills that she possesses today and was faced with new challenges as a result: “architecture was always a secure source of income for me. Chucking in my job and devoting myself to something completely new – that was the biggest step.”
No matter what kind of bag she is crafting, Kathrin Heubeck always designs her models with functionality in mind. That’s the essential element for her, and she considers a bag as not just an accessory, but a personal companion: “A bag is permanently in use and always there to carry my most important things. But there’s no reason why it cannot also be stunningly beautiful and round off my outfit. For me a bag must be suitable for any occasion – whether I’m going to work or an evening in the theatre.” In order to bring the design to the foreground rather than the label, there are no logos on the outside of any of her designs. Her all-time best-seller is “Bag 01”, a shoulder bag made of soft Eco nappa leather and an inner lining made of organic cotton canvas. Just like all Kathrin Heubeck bags, this one is crafted in her workshop in Munich, and the designer looks forward to her work every day. “I really enjoy working with my hands – for me it’s almost a kind of meditation.”