Move over tie and dye shirts, Hyderabad brand Atelier offers DIY vegan leather handbags
Fringe cuts, tie-and-dye shirts, ‘cover’ photoshoots and even pillows fashioned as strapless mini dresses, the year 2020 has seen the rise of some quaint and quirky DIY hacks. It was this — the viral Instagram and Tiktok trends — that got former classmates, Shikha Anand and Smriti Sarogi thinking about an accessory brand that worked solely on a DIY model. Spurred by some of fashion’s biggest labels like Alexander McQueen and Dior, who pivoted in favour of IGTV tutorials and challenges, the two NIFT Mumbai graduates finally launched their brand, Atelier — a do-it-yourself handbag label — during the latter half of September.
“It was only earlier this year that the do-it-yourself experiments went mainstream. Up until now, the idea has always been restricted to products in the art and craft sections, like colouring books for adults, or as meal kits. There has always been a gap when it came to fashion,” offers 23-year-old Smriti.
Each order comes with a handy set of printed instructions and an additional video tutorial on how to assemble the bag. "The sling bag takes about 25 minutes to assemble. The tote takes a little longer and could range anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour - it's really a fun weekend activity."
What we love
The DIY, vegan leather elephant charm that could be used to accentuate your bag or simply double up as a key chain.
Created much like origami, think creasing, folding and weaving ends through each other, the bags that Atelier offer need no stitching and are adhesive and metal-free. “We began our R&D in early March. And, we experimented with multiple silhouettes and styles to narrow down on the ones that would require no hardware and needed only minimal skill,” explains, the co-founder, who has a Masters in Accessory Design. To this end, we learn that the brand, which currently extends its range to sling bags and totes, uses vegan leather. “While sustainability had, in part, affected our choice of raw material, vegan leather is also easily manipulated and malleable than real leather.”
While their debut range is limited, Smriti tells us that they are working on new work-appropriate styles that will release by the end of the year.” We have been flooded with requests for wallets and office bags. Atelier is currently prototyping four new designs within this segment,” shares the Hyderabad-based designer.