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bag to its ultimate purpose and at the same time achieve a high recognition value. ”I am driven by the perpetual search to reduce the form to emphasise the origin of the material,” states Monika Assem. Macharten uses only high quality leather from cattle which were bred in Germany. None of the bags has inner lining in accordance to the puristic idea behind the design. All macharten items are made in Germany, starting off in Monika Assem`s studio in Karlsruhe to being manufactured in a family-run business. The leather is tanned and coloured using only products made of plants.
Transforming architecture into fashion The label macharten creates unique leather accessories inspired by the designer`s architectural background. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: JOCHEN SAND & ELMAR THEURER
Wearable architecture. This is the extraordinary essence behind the leather fashion label macharten, by Monika Assem. Her creativity is clearly influenced by her varied creative background. Having completed training as a ceramist she studied architecture and worked for different architectural companies in Germany and abroad. In May 2003 she founded her label macharten, creating handbags and accessories. In 2007 she decided to focus on working with leather. ”Exposure to architecture and my affinity with handcraft and art are a great source of inspiration for me,” explains Monika
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Assem. She is fascinated by clear shapes and simplicity. Her creations convey elegance and functionality. Each design is carefully planned and thought through, like the blueprint of a building. All designs are based on basic geometrical forms, such as a rectangle.The idea is to reduce the hand-
Monika Assem is also keen on using exceptional crafting methods to create her unique items. In one fashion line she mixes cattle leather with salmon leather. The salmon skin is prepared according to a technique of the Nanai tribe from Siberia who use salmon leather as clothing. Her personal favourite bag BO has won several prestigious international awards. ”I am very proud” states Monika Assem “to have achieved the absolute reduction of form and function in this design.” Another proof of her high recognition within the art and fashion world is that she currently exhibits three bags at the Museum of Applied Art Frankfurt. For 2015, macharten will present new colourings for their leather work and introduce a brand new collection of elegant and light leather jewellery. More wearable architecture which will no doubt achieve admiration in the fashion world. www.macharten-shop.com Main image: Bo Bottom: Bess (left) Emma (large & small) (middle) Juliette (right)
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