August 20, 2008
post written by Bag Bliss blogger: Jennifer
Interview: Fiona Kotur Marin
Native New Yorker, now Hong Kong based designer Fiona Kotur Marin founded Kotur, the retro-glamour luxury accessory brand, in 2004, after discovering a vast treasure trove of decorative vintage fabric woven by European Couture Houses during the 60â€™s and 70′s.
Her background experience comes from designing accessories for Polo Ralph Lauren, Gap, and collaborating with long time friend, Tory Burch when launching her line.
She may have started out in the beginning by creating truely one-of-a-kind limited edition vintage brocade clutches, but since then she has added incredible exotics, metals, shells, lucite and rattan and has expanded her collection to include gorgeous minaudieres, everyday bags, work totes and evening clutches.
I was lucky enough to conducted a Q+A with this star designer and also take a sneak peak at some of her new pieces.
See below for the interview + a couple images:
J@BB: When did you first decide that you wanted to become a handbag designer?
FKM: I started making handbags when I was 3. My first was a purple envelope clutch made from construction paper.
J@BB: Before starting your own line, you worked at Ralph Lauren, Gap and helped Tory Burch launch her company. Did your experience at those brands influence your aesthetic today?
FKM: I was fortunate to learn from the best- from Ralph I learned technical design from his uncompromising design standards, Mickey Drexler from Gap taught me the business and commercial sides of retail, and with Tory Burch, I focused on sourcing and production, and learned the power of image and marketing. From an aesthetic point of view, I have always had my own sense of what I like, and decided to stay focused in my point of view.
J@BB: Whatâ€™s your design philosophy behind the Kotur brand?
FKM: Quality, style, individualty
J@BB: Where do you get your inspiration? Who/what inspires you when designing a bag?
FKM: My friends are my musesâ€¦smart, interesting, incredible women.
J@BB: Tell us a little bit about your Fall Winter 2008 collection. Which is your favorite bag?
FKM: I love the feather Joret bag, and the J.B.Renna Cracked Mirror Miniaudiere, they are my favorites. As for the collection, I love the workmanship of the bags and the slightly bohemian, but refined attitude each bag has.
J@BB: Whatâ€™s your favorite purse trend for fall?
FKM: I always love a bit of exotic texture and detail.
J@BB: Do you ever read fashion blog reviews and comments?
FKM: Not my own, but I always like to keep up with what people have on their minds and new ideas.
J@BB: What bag are you carrying today?
FKM: A python Mortimer tote- I have it in 8 colors….
J@BB: What items are in your bag at this moment?
FKM: The usual blend of high tech and low tech: iphone, blackberry and Hong Kong cell phone. I also have my Hermes date book, a sketch pad, my wallet, a fountain pen and automatic pencil and my La Mer lip balm and red hots.
J@BB: Who are your style icons?
FKM: Camilla Bell and Olya Thompson – I am so inspired by their natural style sensibilities.
J@BB: As a handbag designer you must constantly be busy. What do you do to relax and clear your thoughts?
FKM: I retire to my library of art books and read.
J@BB: Whereâ€™s your favorite place to shop?
FKM: Maxwell in LA, 10 Corso Como in Milan and Loveless in Tokyo.
J@BB: If you werenâ€™t a handbag designer and had to choose any other job, what would it be?
FKM: I would love to attempt a life as a sculptor.
J@BB: What other designers out there do you admire?
FKM: Alber Elbaz, Nathan Jenden
J@BB: In the beginning you started out making limited edition brocade clutches, since then youâ€™ve added gorgeous minaudieres, evening clutches and handbags, but whatâ€™s next for the Kotur brand?
FKM: Who knows- each idea has grown organically…perhaps jewelryâ€¦
Here are a few beauties from her current collection:
J.B. Renna Ayers Snakeskin Clutch
J.B. Renna Ayers Snakeskin Clutch
Dâ€™Abo Acacia Ayers Snakeskin Clutch
Large Wallace Courier
Large Wallace Voyager
Mortimer Python Tote
Pfeifle Snakeskin Foldable Tote
Today you can find her beautiful creations at Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel and Scoop in New York, Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong, London and Dubai, and Browns in London.