What is the first thing you do when you feel inspired? Do you start sketching right away?

Yes! I always try to get my ideas out as quickly as possible so I do a bunch of sketches and then move right into making form studies out of paper.  

These paper mock-ups are a great way to see shape and proportion quickly. You can actually wear them as well and see how they relate to the body.  My studio is full of paper models.

What happens next after you finish a design?

Once I have made all my form studies, I pick the ones best suited to move forward into leather samples.  The paper models are the groundwork for the patterns of the actual leather bags.  Our master craftsmen take it from there. Then, it’s a process of refinement to perfect the shape, proportion, feel, and function of each piece.

What makes a von Holzhausen bag unique from other brands out there?

von Holzhausen bags are about being clean and well-made so it’s all about the details. I decided to forgo hardware and instead integrated a signature “V” cut into the leather panels. It has a cool, understated vibe.

Our handles are made from leather cording which we create and tie together with beautiful knots. The cords are cinched with wrapped leather as well, which serves as a hardware of sorts. I’m obsessed with painted leather edges and ours are meticulously painted 7 times, giving the bags a really rich feel.  

The collection is crafted right here in the United States. Why did you decide to produce the bags closer to home?

When I first started looking for a factory to manufacture the collection, I searched far and wide and tried out a handful of workshops.  In the end, I found that some of the best artisans are right here in the US.  I am very proud of the quality level we are able to achieve right here at home.  It seriously rivals any Italian product and keeps the art of leather-work alive in the USA.

Check out the full von Holzhausen collection here.