Established by Esther Schulze-Tsatsas and Dimitrios Tsatsas in 2012, German bag label TSATSAS has become synonymous with cutting edge contemporary design. Coupling premium leathers with an industrial and architecturally-influenced eye, Esther and Dimitrios have managed to create a brand that successfully breaks with tradition. Their creations are relevant, yet trend-averse at the same time. We sat down with the duo behind Germany's cool carriers to find out how their handbags have raised the bar.
Q: How and why did you become handbag designers? What drew you to this particular medium?
Esther: Dimitrios and I both worked for more than ten years in the field of interior design before we returned to Dimitrios’ family roots. His parents have had a leather workshop for more than 30 years now and he grew up in those surroundings. After several years of working on bags for ourselves and friends, we decided to start our own business by combining the art of leather craftsmanship with contemporary design. At the end of 2012, we founded our own label called TSATSAS.
Q: You have a unique approach to leather. Talk to us about the types of leather you use and why you use them.
Dimitrios: Both the exterior of our bags and all of the interiors are made of aniline leather, which comes from animals from southern Germany, France, Southern India, and New Zealand. They are reared for meat production, which is very important for us. We only use natural open-pore leathers, the properties of which determine the texture of their surface. We love the uniqueness of every skin and every hide; its pores and grain lend our bags and accessories their own very special character.
Q: How does your German background influence your design aesthetic?
Esther: Our design aesthetic originates from many different directions and areas — the portion that is influenced by our German background is minimal. Our influences are much more location-independent disciplines like industrial design, architecture and art.
Q: Who is the TSATSAS woman/man?
Dimitrios: In our mind, there is no certain person who carries a TSATSAS bag — it is much more about the product itself. Bringing function, aesthetics and craftsmanship into perfect balance has always been a priority for us. Whether the owners of our bags are male or female, how old they are and where they live, is totally irrelevant for us during the design process.
Q: What pieces in the TSATSAS Fall/Winter Collection do you love the most and why?
Esther: We love the goat suede version of our FLUKE bag, with its contrast between the matt goat suede and the smooth lamb nappa leather. Goat suede is a very resistant leather, which allows us to use very thin hides. The result is that this FLUKE bag is extremely lightweight for a leather bag; its weight is just 366 grams!
Q: What bag are you currently carrying and what's inside?
Esther: I was a FLUKE user for years, but since I am mother now, I love the LUCID NINETY bag. It can hold all the things that I need during the day — from my business diary to baby bottles to a rattling plush fox.
Q: What, in your opinion, makes the perfect bag?
Dimitrios: In our opinion, there isn’t one perfect bag, but there are attributes that separate an ordinary bag from a sophisticated bag. To create a sophisticated bag, you need plenty of time for the handcrafting process, and you must use only high-quality materials that strike the perfect balance between form and function. Essentially, the design works to accentuate the character of the user.