Put the Elvis record on and get into the mood, before entering the world of glamour with Bracher Emden hand-crafted bags.
Imagine a handbag that is crafted from a combination of antique leathers, ostrich leg, python and crocodile all drowned in layers of Swarovski crystal. Leave all the boundaries of your imaginative world aside and keep dreaming and desiring for more. The designer duo David Bracher and Richard Emden is there to turn your dream bag into real. Their hand-crafted designs make every woman’s heart beat faster, including Gwen Stefani, Beyonce, Eve, Kate Moss, Mariah Carey, Eva Longoria, Cindy Crawford, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Vanessa Williams, Mandy Moore and Sienna Miller. The designers of these thrilling bags define their bags with two words: “rock’n’rolly and glitzy.”
Bursting into the fashion scene in Spring 2001, David Bracher, a jewellery designer working for Erickson Beamon, and Richard Emden, a window designer, creating for the likes of Harvey Nichols and Moschino Couture, forged a partnership producing a collection of high quality cuffs and belts for women. “It didn’t start out as intentional. Did it?” asks Emden to his partner Bracher. “We met each other and decided to do something together. After experimenting with menswear for one season, our direction swung back to women’s accessories, specifically the handbag. This is our fourth year doing bags,” says Bracher.
The genius duo is as daring as the handbags they design. While showing me the second bag they designed for Gwen Stefani, “We don’t do plain bags and that puts us on the map,” says Bracher. I couldn’t help but scream “Oh my God! Am I really holding Gwen Stefani’s handbag?” Then, I see the “we’re-doing-this-quite- frequently” look on their faces. At that moment I realize that they get used to designing for A-list celebrities. Considering that one of their first customers is Victoria Beckham, it isn’t very surprising to find this out.
Entering into their North London studio is like meeting the secret of their success, brilliant and highly gifted hands. Some of these hands are busy with cutting leathers, while others are adding the last sparkling touch with crystalling. It’s amazing to witness the harmonious work of talented hands. It takes you back in time to the pre-Fordist era of craftsmanship. Thank God, Bracher and Emden don’t give credit to Henry Ford and his mass production miracle, the assembly line. “Since everything is handmade, our bags have a lot of workmanship. Each bag requires a labour intensive process,” says Bracher. “That’s why each one of them appears to be a little different. You own something special with these bags,” adds Emden.
Spotted in the arms of celebrities, their Breast Bag turns out to be the hottest luxury accessory of this season. As the name suggests it is inspired by breasts. “If you hold it up and look at the underneath, it looks like a bra. That’s our best selling bag,” says Bracher. “It’s to go with the lady’s figure as well. The Breast Bag is very curvy and sexy-shaped. It fits into the body very well. One of the main features of it is being comfy.”
Besides being one of the most coveted handbags, the Breast Bag contributed to a charity organization this autumn. Bracher and Emden provided handbags for the charity collaboration of Henri Bendel New York and Breast Cancer Research, during Breast Cancer Awareness Week. Their designs were displayed on 5th Avenue and then auctioned on ebay with all proceeds going to charity. “We are pleased to contribute to a charity organization. Breast bag and breast cancer campaign suited very well,” says Emden.
Bracher and Emden’s mastermind depends on their eternal search for novelty. “Every month we create a whole new range,” says Bracher. Emden adds with pride “Which other designers don’t do.” Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols choose their colours and the designer duo come up with different designs and concepts for each department store. “It just means that you never come across with the same bag in all stores,” remarks Emden. Their next step is to reach more people by designing a collection for Debenhams. “We just started doing a range for Debenhams. This diffusion line will be in stores in August. It’ll be along the same lines as Bracher Emden, but with different materials. Since they won’t be leather, they’ll be far cheaper. It’s nice to be versatile.” Their Spring/Summer collection will definitely create a new must-have bag. With names such as Eden, Ark, Cane and Abel, the range casts biblical images of flowering life. The Parka bag which is inspired by Spider Man’s eyes seems to be the most powerful candidate for the it-bag listing. The whiz kids don’t have any limits in designing bags. “We designed a punk collection exclusively for Selfridges,” says Emden. This means we’re going to watch Selfridges’ punk windows and wear Bracher Emden’s punk handbags by March. Rock’n’roll and punk will be hand in hand with these bags. Get ready to celebrate glam and glitz more than ever.