This season will be celebrating the 10th year of Bracher Emden luxury handbags and hasn’t it been an eventful and exciting 10 years for Richard Emden and everyoone who has been involved with developing such a fabulous brand.
Since the birth of this magical entity in Covent Garden 2002 Richard Emden and his team have quickly and successfully developed the brand into an internationally recognised name. Bracher Emden has taken to the catwalks of London Fashion Week, showcased in the windows of Selfridges, taken over the billboards of London, raised money for Breast Cancer, hung off the arms of the famous and collaborated with names that will never be forgotten.
Richard Emden came from a creative background and so he was always going to be a recipe for fabulous creations, his Mother was a hairdresser and his Father was an art printer. Growing up Emden knew he was in for a creative ride, when he left school he literally tried everything from graffiti, dance, hairdressing, to prop and window design. Emden finally found his true forte with womens handbags and yes Emden is straight incase you were wondering! He first started out customizing trainers for Nike to designing props and window displays for Moschino, Harrods and Harvey Nichols. ‘These experiences in prop design has definitely carried through to my structural, 3-dimensional handbag designs’ says the dynamic designer.
Emden spends a lot of time in Thailand looking for inspiration and sourcing different materials at the many markets. When he has some time to relax which isn’t too often his favourite bar to visit is Bar 23 in Bangkok, ‘it’s where a lot of photographers, designers and artists hangout and a great place to meet some very interesting, creative people’. It’s not just the bars of Bangkok making an impression, Richard has found some great places where he can enjoy authentic Thai food, a favourite of place to eat is The Face. Whilst he loves Thailand Richard Emden loves England too he reminds us ‘you can’t beat a homemade Sunday Roast’ this is so true…oh and a good old English cup of tea??!! Back in his hometown of London, he has a soft spot for Mishkin on Catherine Street ‘a ‘kind of Jewish deli with cocktails’ check out their website I love it, what more does one need?!!
Fashion is a fast moving industry and so Emden doesn’t get to holiday very often but when he is done working in Bangkok he likes to escape to Koh Lanta which by the way consists of about 52 islands!! Emden has found the perfect location where he can relax and unwhind from the hustle and the bustle of cities and truly relax ‘in one of the most underdeveloped areas of Thailand’.
In 2004 Emden created the lace-up Parker a bag inspired by Peter Parkers mask in Spiderman an interesing angle on inspiration, I had to ask… have films always been a part of your inspiration? Who and what has influenced your collections most? ‘All my inspiration comes from comic books. I am a massive fan of DC & Marvel comics. HR Geiger was a huge inspiration for our iconic Breast bag and several clutches of past seasons. This masculine element in my design is what gives my women’s handbags individuality’.
Richard Emden has been extremely successful and his creations have become must have items amongst the rich and the famous, I had to nosey on a little bit further…How did it feel when you started seeing your bags hanging off the arms of celebrities? Saw your marvellous creations in the shop windows of prestigious stores such as Oxford Streets Selfridges? Was there ever a moment you had to stop and pinch yourself?!! ‘At the time, it was all a bit of a whirlwind. One minute, we were quietly making leather bags at our humble Covent Garden store, and the next we were getting orders from prestigious stores all around the world. Then the whole celebrity thing began when Beyoncé was spotted wearing our Breast bag. It was great to know that I was not only wanted by the luxury market but also by amazing artists’.
When Emden started the company in 2001 it wasn’t to show the world who he was, it was to enjoy life and do what made him happy and this hasn’t changed. Emden really values his team and seems very grateful to have such wonderful people in his life ‘as the company rapidly grew, I had to surround myself with a team of special people. Without these people, that have remained loyal to this day, there would be no brand! We all still work as one, developing Bracher Emden each season’.
I wondered what it was that made his brand and ranges different this is how he responded ‘ my style is certainly different, and sets me apart in many ways. It’s an explosion of ergonomic shapes that mostly derive from female curves, with layers of different exotic skins fused to make an item of beauty. My favourite bag would have to be the Geo clutch. A sleek weapon like shape that elegantly moulds to a woman’s hand as soon as it is picked up’ perfect…words to my little ears!
Emden only knows too well that the industry isn’t as glamourous as preconceptions may have us all fooled into believing ‘the lows are the deadlines and fashion is certainly not as glamorous as it portrays’. ‘It can be shallow and extremely cut-throat. It’s also about who you know and not what you know most of the time’. On a more positive note the highs seem to make up for those more stressful lows ‘the highs have to be seeing and hearing people’s excitement when they receive their bags. We also offer a bespoke service on our website, where I personally make and design the bags; each bag takes several days to finish, and receiving thank you emails when they finally reach the customer is great’.
I’m looking forward to what 2012 holds for us I asked Richard Emden what’s next for Bracher Emden? ‘Collaborations. We will be working with several other designers to expand the brand, appearing on several catwalk shows as well as designing bags for cosmetic , sunglasses and clotheswear brands.
And what trends can we expect to see dominating the 2012/2013 catwalks? ‘I have always had a passion for anything futuristic, and SS12 has been the best time to let this lead my designs. Futuristic trends and geometric shapes are huge right now. This is certainly apparent throughout the whole collection. Bracher Emden featured on the SS12 catwalk with Jean-Pierre Braganza, and will be collaborating for London Fashion Week again for AW12, with prestigious designer, Bora Aksu’.
His quote of the moment: “Amalgamation” – (more of a ‘word of the season’) and he recommends Progressive Breakbeat
What a wonderful brand and what a wonderful creator, thank you Richard Emden it’s been a pleasure getting to know more about you!!