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A Day in the Life: From Auto Designer to Sustainable Fashion Boss


Designer Vicki von Holzhausen grew up next to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, a school she calls, “one of the best for design.” In high school she attended their industrial design classes where she discovered a love for the automotive.  “Cars,” von Holzhausen says, “are basically the most intricate and impactful products one can design so I immediately gravitated to them.” She ended up attending Art Center College, in CA as well as on their European campus, where she was exposed to the German automakers which lead to an award-winning career at Mercedes in Germany.

Though it’s not a world inhabited professionally by many women, von Holzhausen says, “the interesting part is that 85% of car purchasing decisions are made by women so there should be more women in it. I think it’s a matter of exposing female design students.” She’s thankful she was exposed at a young age. She’s also married to Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen, who certainly knows a thing or three about sustainability. 

"Good design should be honest, aesthetically pleasing, and environmentally friendly."

Vicki von Holzhausen

But as of 2015, the designer made the full time switch from automotive design to handbag designer with the launch of her sustainable Malibu-based von Holzhausen bags and accessories– product set apart as a result of her time in auto design. As a lifelong career fan of German industrial designer, Dieter Rams, the founder explains that she still abides by many of his design principles. “The ones that resonate with me the most are that good design should be honest, aesthetically pleasing, and environmentally friendly. My goal was to build a brand based on the principle that I believed in: a future-minded approach, timeless style, and sustainability.”


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