We Germans have a thing about bags. For us bags are highly functional objects and never meant to be frivolous. Bags are form not fad. Bags are not a fashion accessory, they are a “tool.” Now, don’t get me wrong, color, shape, material and overall look play a big role when buying a bag-but they are considered second to “functionality.” It starts early. Here my brother and I with our very first bags, our kindergarten bags. It took a while to find the right ones, I remember…
In my opinion there is one German brand that has managed to strike a great balance between form, function and innovation and that is BREE. I grew up with BREE bags. BREE bags use the best leather, the best hardware and they last forever.
Designers Wolf Peter + Renate Bree launched their first BREE COLLECTION in 1970 with less than 10,000 Deutsche Marks in cash. They had a dream and they were on a mission. Create top quality leather bags by marrying functionality, perfect design, top quality materials and precise craftsmanship. And with that create a company and a brand. And that’s what they did. “If you start out by trying to do something well, success and moneymaking will come on their own”, was one of their driving principles.
These two designers worked on their dream and in the beginning did what all of us small brands do, you wear every head of the marketing game: you are the brand strategist, designer, purchaser and seller, you are the maker. People loved their products. They received the first design award for their bags in 1972. And what started out as a small, underfunded studio, became a great worldwide company that today is run by Renate + Peter Wol’s two sons.
I grabbed the “Hanna” when I was in Germany. In simple subtle silver. For me it’s the perfect travellers tote. Perfect because when I travel I need a bag and not a backpack ( i tried that for years) A bag that is light yet substantial, has a color that goes with any outfit and any season, has room to expand for all I stuff in, because I will need constant access to my travellers documents, my labtop, my phone, my nicorette gum and my sketch book, my pens, my camera, my lip gloss….You get the idea. I like my bag. Now, carry on.