Looking for an antidote to designing fast fashion is what propelled Hugo Matha to launch his own bag range three years ago.
“I’ve always been fascinated by raw – especially rigid – materials and how you can work with them,” says the 25-year-old designer who graduated from the esteemed Ecole Duperré. Cue a range of bags and clutches that are made from Plexiglass, wood, supple leathers, straw and even slate.
The Plexiglass clutch – Carine Roitfeld is a fan and supported him at the outset – was a solution for women who were always stuffing too much into their evening bags which would then lose their shape.
”Also, I wanted to create something that was a cross between a design object and a bit of fashion, as well as something that could be passed down through generations, as you might do jewellery.”
The bags, which are made by artisans in the Aveyron region in the south of France where Matha grew up, can take as long as six weeks
Slate clutches are made by rolling out a layer of resin onto the slate block. The resin is pulled up and a thin layer of slate remains. “It has this incredible suppleness which you can then hand sew. We have different ateliers for Plexiglass or the wood and metallic parts. The wood clutches for example, often have to be left to dry for a week and a half at a time because you have to varnish and protect the wood.” The range also includes rucksacks, suede top-handle bags and even a straw artist’s bag.
“As much as rigid materials remain a challenge to work with, Matha also loves natural materials. “I love the patina that they acquire over time and the way they keep on evolving.”Hugo Matha