A deep love for strong leathers and the unique beauty of luxury fish skins are fused together in the designs of London based bag brand SETH SOBEK. Leonie von Lieres, a Paris based former trend scout for WeAr Magazine and current creative consultant, teamed up with London leather master Jas Sehmbi, the creative mind behind the JAS MB bag line, to create SETH SOBEK, a unique high-end line that combines the elegant chic of Paris with a London edge. [-> view SETH SOBEK at SUPERIOR ONLINE November 2012].

Leonie, when did you decide to work with Jas Sehmbi to create your own high-class bag-label?

Last year I helped a friend with the presentation of his first haute-couture collection. He wanted to show some bags on the catwalk and I asked Jas if he would collaborate with us. Working together felt so natural, that Jas and I decided to start our own luxury line.

Was it always your dream to become a designer as well?

Yes, I was always interested in creation. I started studying design before turning to clothing management and later fashion journalism. During my work as a trend scout and editor I worked mostly with young designers and it became more and more obvious to me that I wanted to go back to design.

Is there a special reason why you have chosen Jas Sehmbi as your partner?

Jas and I know each other for a couple of years now (we met through my work as an editor for WeAr Magazine), I always loved his work and we are also friends, so it almost suggested itself to work together…

The material you use for your bags – fish skins – is sophisticated. Do you have a special relationship with this material?

When we had our first brainstorming for the brand we knew we wanted to work with exotic skins and discussed advantages of different materials. We loved the sustainable aspect of fish skin (it’s a by-product of the seafood industry). And we found a tannery that has a great artistic approach in treating the skins. The color palette is very unique with metallic effects and special coatings. Also the fact that fish skin hasn’t been used that extensive in fashion was interesting for us. Of course we are also thinking about working with other exotic skins in the future, but for the moment we focus on fish.

After two collections for women, do you plan to launch also a men’s collection?

We plan to start with a mini capsule collection for men. We already had unisex models in our last collection and the reaction was very positive, so we decided to extend this offer. We will have several women’s models transformed into men’s versions with bigger dimensions and tougher materials. My boyfriend who’s a stylist is joining us for this challenge… It’s exciting!

Thanks a lot for the interview.