This Tel Aviv designer creates beautiful round handbags
The label Martella Bags with its clear architectural bag forms was established by the Israeli Idan Yosefov after he had completed his Master studies in handbag design and production. On their homepage, Idan explains that many years of traveling around the world has turned him into something of a nomad and that he feels at home wherever he puts his bags. After years of having no fixed address myself and appreciative of the fact that all my belongings fit into two large travel bags, I liked Idan from the beginning, even though I had never personally spoken with him and was always in touch with his lovely girlfriend Ya'ara. After several enthusiastic reports from friends about their stays in Tel Aviv, I would venture to say that this year I will visit Idan and Ya'ara’s studio there and finally shake hands with these two. Until then, however, I have to be satisfied with the information exchanged via virtual communication, and I would like to share with you the details they provided about their label:
How did you start out with Martella Bags? Was it always clear to you that at some point you would establish your own brand?
We didn't always know we wanted to make bags. It was only after three years of fashion school when Idan noticed that regardless to the subject matter of the course, he would always design a bag as part of the collection. When it was time to decide which way to go, it was clear that studying bag design and leather craftsmanship was his chosen path, and of course there is nowhere better to do that than in the capital of leather bags - Florence, Italy. When we came back to Israel, full of knowledge about different techniques, materials and production methods, we decided to establish the brand.
Can you give us some background about your creative process? Where do you find inspiration?
We are in a daily, never-ending search of inspiration. We believe inspiration is something you need to actively look for, and therefore we are constantly in search of new ideas and materials. Our main inspiration is the street and how it is shaped - buildings, people, movement - the urban flow. We take a lot from iconic structures and famous architects like Rem Koolhaas and his design of the Seattle public library, for example. After we find what it is we want to say, we look for the How - how we want to say it, and then the search for materials begins. When we think of materials, it can be a feeling, the haptics, it can be a specific look. When we were in New York City a few years ago, we came across a gallery in Chelsea and walked into a Nir Hod exhibition. His drawings, using chromed treated canvas, inspired us to create our OneOf collection, all combined of metallic, chromed leathers. So yeah, we believe inspiration is out there, you just have to look for it.
What materials do you use? Where and by whom are the products manufactured?
We produce every part of the bag in a different place - leathers are delivered from Italy (we use mainly calf leather), hardware is custom made and manufactured in the far east and lining is made and printed in Israel. When all the materials are ready, we ship everything to Istanbul, Turkey, where our bags are carefully assembled one by one by a family-owned company.
In the photos below you can see my favorite item from Martella: The Mini Rotondo Bag (buy it here). In the framework of their OneOf collection, they regularly create new versions of this bag, and, you might have guessed, only a single one of them is available. True OneOf-a-kind bags :).