Handbagdesigner-Interview: Thaddeus Du Bois

Heute stellen wir euch den Handtaschendesigner Thaddeus Du Bois mit seinen ausgefallenen Taschen mit Elementen aus Stahl und Titan vor. Wir empfehlen besonders das Orginal-Interview in Englisch mit zahlreichen, lustigen Anekdoten aus dem Leben des Designers. Die deutsche Version wurde aus Platzgründen stark gekürzt!

Woher kommst du?
Ich bin in Indiana (USA) aufgewachsen und lebe seit 17 Jahre in Anchorage in Alaska.

Was ist die Idee hinter dem Namen?
Ich mag meinen Namen sehr gerne und finde ihn sehr speziell. Außerdem wollte ich meine Eltern stolz machen, indem ich mein Label nach dem Namen benannte, denn sie mir 37 Jahre zuvor gegeben haben.

Was war die Inspiration deiner Kollektion?
Ich betrachte jede Tasche als Kunstwerk mit einer eigenen Persönlichkeit und einer individuellen Inspiration.
Grundlegend kann man sagen, dass die Kombination aus Widerstandsfähigkeit und Sanftheit meinen „Style“ stark beeinflusst hat. Als Beispiel kann man das Meer nennen, welches auf der einen Seite schön und sanft ist und sobald ein Sturm aufkommt eine enorme zerstörerische Kraft entwickeln kann.
Diese Dualität stellt für mich die größte Inspirationsquelle meiner Arbeit dar.

Seit wann hast du eine eigene Kollektion?
Es ist 2 oder 3 Jahre her, dass ich anfing meine Handtaschen zu verkaufen.

Wie hast du damit angefangen Handtaschen zu entwerfen?
Früher habe ich in einem Kaufhaus Männerbekleidung verkauft. Ich beobachtete dabei die Frauen, wie sie sich in einer anderen Abteilung über Handtaschen freuten und mehrere Taschen in verschiedenen Farben kauften.
Ich mochte Handtaschen schon vorher, aber keine von ihnen hat mich jemals bedeutend beeindruckt. Für mich sahen alle Taschen langweilig aus.
Zu dieser Zeit gab es eine Frau mit der ich mich getroffen habe und sie brachte mich darauf Handtaschen zu entwerfen. Ich sagte, dass es die verrückteste Idee ist, von der ich je gehört habe, doch sie sagte, dass ich mir die Tasche wie Skulpturen vorstellen sollte. Irgendwo in meinem Kopf entflammte damals ein kleiner Funken und ich dachte darüber nach, was sie mir gesagt hatte. So fing ich an Handtaschen zu entwerfen, immer im Gedanken daran, dass es sich um Skulpturen und Kunstwerke handelt. Heute ist das alles wie eine Sucht für mich.

Stellst du auf Messen aus?
Nein, noch nicht. Aber ich versuche im nächsten Jahr mein Ziel zu erreichen und bei „Accessories – The show“ in New York und Las Vegas auszustellen.

Welche Materialien benutzt du in deiner Kollektion?
Ich arbeite sehr viel mit Stahl. In Zukunft werde ich versuchen Handtaschen in Bronze zu gießen oder mit Titanelementen zu entwerfen.
Hauptsächlich bestehen meine Taschen jedoch aus Leder, sowie Baumwolle, Hanf, Wolle und recycelte Kleidung.

Hast du eine eigene Webseite?

english version below

Where are you from?
I grew up in Indiana, U.S.A. and have spent the last 17 years of my life living in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A.

What is the idea behind the name?
Well...to be honest I really like my name and think it's somewhat unique, my parents seem to like it and to build a company based on what my parents named me 37 years ago seems like it would honor them and make them proud of me. Plus I figure if Marc Jacobs or Luis Vitton, Coco Channel can build a business around their names then I should be able to do the same.

What is the inspiration behind your collection?
I look at each bag as a work of art and therefore each one has a personality and inspiration unique to itself. There are underlying qualities that I would say are my "Style". These are a rugged self reliance, toughness, resilience combined with a fluid or flowing organic softness. An example of what I mean is like the ocean, it flows and has waves and is often beautiful and soft but when a storm whips up it can be a mean and ugly thing with waves pummelling the shore and this soft delicate thing doing real damage. To me it seems to be a reflection of peoples personalities, a woman can get all dressed up as beautiful as she can but she can also put on a pair of jeans and boots and work the garden or hammer metal, drive a truck. That type of duality is beautiful and attractive to me and I think things like that are my biggest inspiration and can be interpreted in my work.
An example from my latest bag called "Miss Adventure" was inspired by a trip my wife and I took to Argentina. I left the guide book at our hotel as we went for a day adventure to what I thought sounded like a nice little town. It turned out that I was wrong, the weather was rotten and my wife was not happy with me at all! But, we were able to look at the brighter side of things and turn our misadventure around and have a really wonderful day. Because of this I designed my latest bag "Miss Adventure" to capture that adventurous spirit we both have whether it is in some small remote town or in a large metropolitan city. I specially designed the bag with a map pocket or guide book pocket on the front flap so there is no excuse not to take a guide book next time.

Since when do you run your own collection?
I guess I would have to say it's been about two or three years, since that was when I first got my business license and started selling my bags.

How or why did you start designing bags?
I was working at Nordstrom, a very nice department store in the United States, selling men's suits and clothing. Right next to our department was women's handbags and all these women were going crazy over bags, buying two or three at a time in different colors and I was just amazed, it was like a feeding frenzy. I liked handbags before then but non of them really impressed me, they were just kinda boring looking. There was a woman I was dating at the time and she said "Why don't you make handbags." I thought it was the dumbest idea i'd ever heard, I said "I don't wanna make handbags, that's dumb." She said think of it as a sculpture, you can make metal stuff really well and the handbags are really all about the hardware. Somewhere in my mind a little spark started and I realized what she was saying and I got excited about making handbags but looking at them as sculptures and works of art in addition to being utilitarian. Now, it's kind of addictive, I really like handbags, how they feel, how they look, the way they carry, the pockets, the hardware, how they function, what they say. It's really a new avenue for art and in particular sculpture.

Do you exhibit on trade fairs?
No, I really want to but I want to be able to have enough products that I don't look like a fool and not to mention the tables are quite a bit of money for me to invest right now. I make all my bags one at a time and I also wanted to be able to contract out some of the labor so that I could meet the demands of buyers if they wanted several dozen bags. So...I will exhibit and plan to within one year but for now it's still something I am working towards.
If yes, which one?
The ones I have looked at and seem to be the best choice to me are “Accessories The Show” in New York or Las Vegas. That is the show I am working towards attending.

What kind of materials do you use in your collection?
I use steel, both mild and stainless steel. I have cast a few of my sculptures in bronze and at some point in the near future will be working bronze into my handbags as well. Titanium is something I'm just beginning to explore and experiment with and I would say within two years I will be producing work that has titanium elements as well. The main parts of my bags are made of leather, most recently lambskin from Italy for my "Miss Adventure" handbag. There is a prototype I am designing in combination with Denise Woods, a vocal coach from Hollywood, California where we are using North American Deer as our leather. Other materials range from cotton print, hemp, wool and recycled clothing.

Do you have a website?
Yes, it is
www.thaddeusdubois.com This website not only has my handbags but all my artwork, drawings, paintings, sculptures. It is my online portfolio.

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