I have Twitter to thank for discovering Londono Bags and the extraordinary talented Mauricio Londoño. It’s always exciting to connect with designers to learn firsthand what inspires them to create and how it all started.
HR: When did you first begin designing bags? Did you always want to become an accessories designer or was it a gradual transition from a different career path?
ML: I started designing watches for a high end watchmaker company in London, and I always got amazed by the technology and exotic materials this industry was using, specially carbon fibre; a material five times stronger than steel and very light, with an amazing finish. When I returned to my country (Colombia), I got the idea of combining this material with leather in order to create bags and accessories. Thus the Londono brand was born.
I never thought I was going to be working as an accessories designer or as a watch designer. Actually, if you asked me that question 7 years ago, my answer would be working with plastics or engineering. The opportunity I had working with watches gave me a different view of how to create products which can have the integration of engineering and beauty, and that is what I am trying to achieve with the bags and accessories.
HR: What is the most challenging/rewarding aspect(s) of designing and being in business for yourself?
ML: Designing products is something I really enjoy doing, and start a company from scratch is very challenging but very exciting, has not been easy at all, but I consider myself very lucky because in less than two years I have been able to start from a concept to a running business with a very good acceptance of the products, then you realized that all the hard work is paying off.
HR: What is your design philosophy?
ML: I try to create a new concept of products with the combination of engineering materials and innovation, with the traditional techniques of handcrafted products. That is why I chose the slogan “handcrafted innovation”.
HR: Where did you find inspiration when creating each Londono bag?
ML: The inspiration comes from the beautiful things that are made from engineering. For instance, with the bag Scuderia (pictured at the top of the post), my inspiration came from the fighter jet F-22 Raptor and the Lamborghini Aventador. These machines have sharp edges and very futuristic design so I tried to integrate these features into a bag. I think the result is quite nice.
HR: Describe the man who you design for.
ML: I design the products for business men that want something different and also have to travel quite a lot; they may like products such as exotic cars and fans of motor sports.
HR: Name five celebrities you would like to see carrying a Londono bag.
ML: Because the concept of the brand, I think the best celebrities may be f1 drivers or motor sports personalities such as Fernando Alonzo, David Coultard or Bernie Eccleston, and actors such as Daniel Craig or Clive Owen.
HR: What five accessories should every man invest in?
- a sports watch
- a dress watch
- a business bag
- travel bag
HR: What are your personal favorite accessories?
ML: Even though I am working with leather goods, I think watches are and will be the only piece of jewelry men should wear all the time, also watches reflects the personality of the person who is wearing it, and I think no others accessories can do so.
HR: What’s next for Londono Bags? Any plans for expanding the brand?
ML: The next step of Londono is to start developing products with carbon fibre using molds in order to create products such as The Doctor (pictured above). I also hope in less than 2 years to have the tools and machinery to develop my own hardware, and of course, expand the brand but always keeping very limited production and keeping the best quality possible.