The Art of Customisation
Individual style has finally overtaken over the desire to 'blend in'. Not so long ago, 'normcore' was the king of trends. A style of dressing which involved deliberately choosing unremarkable or unfashionable casual clothes in the effort to look, well, bland. But a much needed cool change hit the air. From monogrammed leather goods to customised embroidery on denim jackets, everyone suddenly wished to customise their look to bring out their personality.
One bag label who has mastered the art of customisation is 324 New York. I interviewed creative director Bike (pronounced BK) Bayer about her bag label.
How was the concept of 324 New York born?
I always had a thing for bags, I think its so interesting how a simple item can just change the whole vibe of a look. Over the years, I invested in many bags and at the end I always found myself either not having the same excitement, or I simply couldn't wear them because they fell apart.
I was doing a very late night spring cleaning session and saw all this stuff I had, just laying around, collecting dust. That's when the idea for designing bags that can adapt to your life came into my head. It happened to be 3:24 AM and I was in my apartment New York, so it felt appropriate to name the brand that. We are all constantly evolving and our needs change, so I think what we carry with us everyday should be able to do the same.
What did you do before 324 New York and what lead you to start your business? Did you have any experience in leather goods and designing?
I was an Art Director at a boutique agency, mostly working on fashion and beauty brands. After a certain point, I realized I was becoming more and more interested in designing products, so I decided to take the risk and go for it. I had zero experience with leather goods, but I think my background as an Art Director/ Graphic Designer really helped.
What makes 324 New York different to order brands?
We offer the flexibility you can't get from other brands. All the bags are modular, so you always have options and the creative freedom to experiment. One bag can be deconstructed to become a completely different one, or can get an updated look just by swapping out a pouch or strap. It adapts to you and also makes it ok to change your mind.
Why did you choose to work with artisans in Turkey?
Turkey has a very rich and developed leather industry and very talented craftsman who have been working with leather for generations. Being from Istanbul and producing in a small atelier really allows me to be hands on every step of the way. I know every single person who touch each piece, who hand stitch the details and hand paint the edges. I also like that I am able to bring a part of my background into the brand.
Who is the 324 New York girl?
She is creative, active and really values her individuality and freedom.
What's next for the brand?
We have some VERY exciting collaborations in the works with some amazing artists. Stay tuned!