Tucked away in a studio in Neukölln, Australian designer Rebecca Martin is busy focusing on the shape and form of things to come. Alpha Cruxis is her Berlin-based design project, which has recently launched its first collection made up of five bags under the theme “GEOMETRY”. Here, she speaks to Sleek about minimal bag design, and all things angular.
Alpha Cruxis is just a couple of months old. How did you first get into bag design?
It started when I was studying at RMIT in Melbourne, and when in my graduate year I started working with this 3mm thick leather, which is actually what these bags from this collection are made out of. I started to explore the material and what I could do with it, and I ended up creating quite dramatic shapes with it. My collection then was only womenswear but I went on to do some accessories. After I graduated I was part of an exhibition during L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival and I made my first bags for that. That was really just an exploration of the material, and what I could do with it. Learning new techniques and manipulating the material; the collection grew organically from that.
This collection has a very clear visual aesthetic. What was the inspiration behind it?
It’s a lot of play and exploration. And then from all of the little prototype parts that I do, and basing it on the construction methods, it leads to me me being able to fold it and bend it in this way.
There’s nothing in particular that inspired it as a starting point as such, but there are definitely influences and things that inspire me such as geometric shapes, or any man-made structures that incorporate that geometric look within them definitely catch my eye. I think that is quite clear when looking at the bags as they are also super geometric
Why was the decision made to keep the collection to only five pieces?
Being a small label I didn’t want to bite off more than I could handle at the beginning. Keeping it concise, and to have a clear message in the work is important for any brand, and that was something that is important for me and the collection.
The lookbook brings a little humour into the collection. How did the shooting unfold?
I met the photographer, Monika Holzner, in Berlin quite some time ago and she loved the bags and wanted to borrow them for her own shoots. We then got together and started talking, and somehow the idea of everyday objects being placed with the bags came up. For me, it doesn’t really make sense that you would put these cute, colourful everyday objects next to these bags that are so black, angular and industrial. The bags have an avant-garde aesthetic, and for the lookbook I really wanted to do something that was fun and a little bit more light hearted.
Do you think being based in Berlin is an advantage for starting a new label?
I think being an Australian based in Berlin is quite strange, and I think being based in Berlin is fantastic [laughs]! There is so much creativity going on here and a lot of people view this city as something vibrant and creative, I think that definitely helps. There is a buzz around Berlin, people are excited about it and I think that can only help a young label.
What does the future hold for Alpha Cruxis?
There are already ideas for the new collection. Definitely not ruling out colour; there is one colour that might come into the next collection, maybe two but in a smaller detailing. But black is definitely going to be the main colour. Definitely sticking to black for a little while (laughs).