Brooks of England Victoria Saddlebag
The Victoria Saddlebag project was initiated through an interest in cycling and inspiration from a design competition brief by Hermès. Looking at the bicycle saddle and saddlebag as leather objects, we explored how they could be combined and the potential benefits. A new transformable saddlebag was created by turning the conventional leather saddle into a cover that could be removed, transforming it into a bag.
The project was initially designed for the Prix Emile Hermès competition and then later acquired from us by Brooks. It is produced by Brooks and now functions as a handbag only.
We wanted the bag to express its integrated and transformable look while mounted on the bicycle. One key design detail that helped achieve this is the continuous unbroken surface connecting the bag lid and saddle. It is made from a single piece of leather in a mould. Further enhancing this, we intentionally made a detail of the handle strap for the bag by not hiding or tucking it away but exposing it and letting it hang behind the saddle. You can recognise it as a handle from a handbag.
The clutch-sized bag is created and designed with the female cyclist in mind. The bicycle saddle silhouette has character and communicates a cycling story away from the bike.
In close dialogue with Hermès, we worked with the tannery and leather production craftspeople of Tärnsjö Garveri in Sweden to produce design prototypes.
Brooks acquired the design; we worked with them on a version that could express more of a traditional Brooks design DNA. We delved into Brook's history through historical product catalogues and proposed a series of alternative designs based on this research.
The original design was later selected for production.
The design made for the Prix Emile Hermes was widely published in books, magazines and blogs as well as being exhibited in design museums across Europe.
17 September to 11 November 2008, Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris
3 December 2008 to 8 February 200, MUDAC in Lausanne
15 February to 12 April 2009, Grand Hornu in Hornu
April 2009, Triennale di Milano
May 2009, DDC in Copenhagen
September 2009, Benaki Museum in Athens
2nd semester 2009, Vitra Design Museum in Berlin
2nd semester 2009, Barcelona Centre de Disseny in Barcelona