Marta Torres - Martania Bags

Finalist of the The NY NOW Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design

El Salvador

2020 Finalist Marta Torres Martania Bags


What was your inspiration for this bag?
This bag was a part of our mini collection Kitschy Pop. This collection was based on "tienditas" in El Salvador, our local mini marts. We got inspired in these Kitsch elements that become a part of our culture like specific candy brands "Chicle Bombas", "Sula" juice, "Babies Diana" candy. That are day to day items for consumption but become a Pop icons of our culture. Our Salvadorian culture is filled with Kitsch details in our tienditas there is a mixture of plastic, graphic details and excess everything. In this case with our Martania Melocoton bag we wanted to create our interpretation of a juice box, with our own twist and our own voice.

What are the retail price-points of your line?
Contemporary Design

How has this season or collection differed from those of yours of the past?
Some design elements we keep throughout our collections like the way the bags are made, the firmness of them but we go through different themes for inspiration and different images we want to depict in our products. We've been inspired in the past by elements in pop culture like our Jetsons mini-collection, also in the fruits of our country and vegetation, in our tropical collection. In this case, we were inspired by the more artificial and Pop items of our culture seen through elements of consumption. This gave a different focus to our design process and we made the different styles with our Martania interpretation of day to day objects. Something that stays the same is making something quirky, aesthetically pleasing, and functional in the same way in a handmade bag. I like to view our bags as conversation pieces, something that makes you smile and this is our latest take on one of these pieces.

What other handbag designers have inspired you? Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration?
@mattermatters @lautemofficial, @tarazadeh @gelarehmizrahi are some bag accounts I follow on Instagram. I like brands like Lautem and Tara Zadeh that are very sleek and elegant but have really amazing design details and combine interesting material combinations. I also love bag brands that are geometric and have a sturdy build, Matter Matters is a great example of geometric bags that are also quirky and are very bold. I get inspired by iconic bags that are presented in an unusual way like Gelareh Mizrahi. Outside hadbag design, I'm also inspired by Memphis Design and interior design in the 80's in general with a very loud style and juxtaposition of shapes.

What makes your line innovative and worth of the Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design?
The Martania Melocoton is graceful in its opening. We knew when we were making a juice bag we couldn't just have it open with a zipper, we knew it had to have a box-like opening. The bag is completely firm and closes with two magnets on top. It opens by pulling away both sides and leaving the top completely open. It's a graceful and at the same time funcional. The size and shape make it a very practical day to day bag that will keep your belongings in place without anything falling out. We studied this opening for a while. We used our background in architecture and the first basics when you draw many objects in isometric views and play around with cardboard, paper figures. We played around and prototyped with cardboard making sure all the shapes and sides worked together. This helped us envision what we wanted for our cardboard box made into a bag. It also uses different layers of material to make it as sturdy and cardboard like as we wanted, all these layers aren't shown in the final product, just clean chartreuse vegan leather and fabric lining. Another reason why this bag is worthy of being the best handbag in style and design is its graphic part. We knew we wanted to make a cardboard bag but as well as its function and over all shape we wanted it to be bold, contrasting and very graphic. We explored a lot with the peaches "melocotones" in our bag, we knew we wanted them to be very round and include a 3D aspect as if coming out of the 2D cardboard world. In the final version we used two kinds of foam, the foam is sculpted by hand cutting on all the sides to leave the center part at a higher level, then it's sown with textured pink leatherette that was just the right texture and color for our peach. To top our peach we used green leatherette for the leaves and white leatherette for a highlight, all of these elements are sown on top of each other in layers in a sort of collage form. The four peaches are placed in a pattern in the front of the bag and incorporates the side with one peach joining the pattern with a detail of Martania in white serigraphy. This combination of design process, inventive manufacturing and fun style make the bag innovative.

Bag Description
Martania Bags, Martania Melocoton, Juice Carton Crossbody Bag, Vegan Leather $99.00

See other finalists from the 2020 handbag awards