Marta Torres - Martania Bags

Winner of the The Animal Print Bag Inspired by Nine West

El Salvador

2020 Finalist Marta  Torres Martania  Bags


What does the Nine West brand mean to you and the inspiration for this sketch?
The first bag I ever fell in love with was Nine West. I was 9 in El Salvador. It was a mini handbag in light pink leather. It was so simple, so sophisticated, with rounded corners. It kept your belongings in such a refined way. I didn't know anything about bag design at that point but I was so drawn to it. My parents didn't buy it for me but I still have that image in my head. It was so graceful, stylish, everything I wanted to grow up to be, something the kind of woman I looked up to would wear. A woman with a great career and an amazing style. That's what Nine West is to me, an experience that can seem effortless but inventive at the same time. I wanted to keep all those elements but with an edge as seen in the new Nine West campaigns. I was inspired by Nine West classics as well as the current animal prints trend but with a twist. I wanted to create a bag that was classic in shape but at the same time fun, bold, adding a special touch to any outfit.

Why did you select these particular materials to work for your sketch?
The bag will be made with colored leatherette / vegan leather. I normally work in this material, it gives me a variety of colors and also use other materials internally to give the bag structure. Most of the bags in our line are firm and colorful. The leatherette also allows us to layer the materials to create prints.

What is your design background? Do you currently design your own handbags collection? Does this silhouette fit into your collection? Why or why not?
I studied Interior Architecture, I specialized in product design and I bring some of my architecture background into my designs, by the way they are built, my design process and the shapes I'm inspired by. I've been working designing handbags since my last year in college in my own brand, Martania. Even though this design is different from the rest of my line since it's new, it still incorporates aspects that are signature marks in our designs like the firmness of the bag, we like solid bags that keep your belongings in place and also open gracefully perfect for a busy woman with style. On the esthetic side, the design includes layers of thin leatherette placed together in a collage like form, combining a graphic element to the product design. The design also includes details in black including the strap, adding a bold contrast. I think this would work cohesively in our brand, it's fun and it has my voice as a handbag designer.

How did you incorporate the inspiration of animal prints with a functional hands-free bag?
In this bag, I use a technique I've used in other bags before. It's a collage-like form of working with leatherette. The print is created with thin leatherette placed and sown on top of the bag's lid. I worked creating a deconstructed cheetah print. I was drawn to the idea of using cheetah print outside the traditional colors on a large scale to get a better view and more graphic form of the shapes in a cheetah print. The shapes are decreasing in size from right to left with a greater visual weight on the right side decreasing as they go towards the left giving the graphic aspect some asymmetric movement while maintaining the general shape of the bag classic and sophisticated. We love the idea of creating mini functional pieces of fun art, in this case, it's a bold hands-free small bag that can be used as a crossbody bag or a bumbag/fannypack that can be styled with neutral tones to balance it in a classy look or go full monochromatic and loud.

What can you offer to the Nine West aesthetic? Do you follow Nine West on Instagram?
I do follow Nine West on my personal account. I love how the brand is innovating and adapting to trends through the years but at the same time keeps their signature style. I think I can offer just that, keeping that sophistication but with a modern twist, an addition to the edgy, fun parts of the Nine West style. I'm inspired especially by the lines with bold colors in classic shapes and I think I can add even more whimsy and color to an already incredibly powerful esthetic.

Bag Description
Marta Torres. Red Cheetah. Crossbody Bumbag. $90.00

See other finalists from the 2020 handbag awards