What was your inspiration for this bag?
The main inspiration behind Saqué’s brand and all of our bags’ designs is Architecture. We are two sister architects who decided to co-found our line of stylish and functional handbags by combining our love for both our job and fashion. The idea behind the bag we are submitting for this Award is based on the cobra, hence its name: Al Cobra. Its form is directly inspired from that particular animal which has a very distinctive shape. Using our background, we were able to successfully translate its characteristics and create a unique 3D silhouette for it. This bag is a part of our Form Collection, where we work on giving each handbag a distinctive style and a design that stands out from the crowd. The Form Collection is based on unusual but well-defined forms extracted from nature which form the basis of our inspiration when working on organic designs in architecture and fashion. Al Cobra has a striking presence with unique features that enables it to distinctly stand out.
What are the retail price-points of your line?
Our line is advertised and positioned in the market as a Designers’ Brand due to several reasons including our architectural background, unique designs and premium materials. Therefore, it is sold in luxurious stores and in designers’ concept stores mainly in our country - Lebanon and in the Middle East. All of our handbags are handmade using genuine leather and gold or silver plated accessories, with special attention to finishing. Given the above, our prices for the US Market range from $440 to $1,335, depending on the designs, quantities and types of leather used.
Do you change your silhouettes and materials every season?
Our handbags have a long life-span, thanks to the premium materials used and their price-points. We follow the trends of the season and apply them onto our bags, whilst keeping in mind the initial idea for each bag. Consequently, some of the materials and colors we use change based on the latest fashion and trends while the rest of the materials and colors remain unchanged due to their classical nature. We also work on standard silhouettes by adding to them the special twist we give to all of our handbags. Each silhouette can have its shape and/or size adjusted for the next season according to customers’ demand. As for the most drastic silhouettes, those are usually only available in limited editions and are subject to change almost every season. All of the above are flexible elements that allow us to present our customers with a wide variety of fashionable choices that suit their every day needs while preserving our identity. We currently have in our Collection items for the fall/winter 2016 and for the spring/summer 2016.
What other handbag designers have inspired you?
Anyone can be a source of inspiration to us in many unexpected ways, especially other handbag designers. We are stimulated by local Lebanese designers as well as by International ones. We also keep track of the works of big brand names in the bag design industry in order to remain up-to-date with what the market is being presented with. We are also inspired by how each label translates the trend. All of these elements, along with our experience, help us shape and define our brand and teach us how to transform our inspirations into designs based on our vision. They also help us to be in a constant strive for improvement and growth.
What makes your line innovative and worth of overall?
Several factors define our line as ‘innovative’. The first and foremost being our architectural background which grants us designing tools that are rarely seen in the handbags’ market. Our line is divided into three collections: The Form Collection, The Function Collection and The Urban Collection. The Form Collection is based on out-of-the-box shapes. The Function Collection’s aim is to answer specific needs in an innovative way. The Urban Collection is based on well defined geometrical shapes with an urban twist for the city girl. Although each Collection has its own characteristics, they are all based on specific concepts and have unique stories as well as names that translate these stories. Some of our handbags can be worn in many different ways: as a shoulder bag, a cross-bag and/or a backpack. One of them specifically, opens from the back so when worn as a backpack, it protects the woman’s belongings from theft. We design every handbag by studying different notions that haven't been worked on before, which makes each bag an answer to problems that women face on a daily basis. All of our bags, regardless of which Collection they belong to, have unique styles and designs that suit our brand. Our combination of the above elements formulates our handbags as strong statement pieces including Al Cobra, which makes it worthy of the Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design.
Al Cobra Bag, “Satchel” Style, Shoulder Bag, Pink Nude Real Calf Leather (Snake Print), $700