You can also feel affection for things. If one is accompanied through life by a bag of the label “macharten”, this is even very likely. Monika Assem’s bags and accessories are conceived like architectures, material, form and texture find their composition and shape in a design process that is not alien to architectural thinking.
No wonder, because she is also an architect. Timelessly, the objects are made to last a lifetime, just as houses do when you enjoy living in them. From the very beginning, since the label’s founding in 2003, the designer’s creative thinking has been borne by a purist holistic thought, which, however, is not found exclusively in the functionality inherent in the objects. Her work is pure and clear in its form and at the same time has a strong sensual appeal. Like a good perfume, the bags enter into a symbiotic relationship with the wearer. The materials are finely selected and processed and draw attention to themselves in spite of or perhaps because of their restrained “making”.
Starting with felt and strong colors, soon supple cowhide and special salmon leather came into the further material selection of the designer and finally “Mesh” – a textile with a net-like structure. In the truest sense of the word, the bags are “held”, connected and closed again with completely reduced stainless steel connecting elements such as eyelets, rings, brackets and chains. In this way, the joining of the individual materials fades pleasantly into the background and the design as a whole appears like a well-composed piece of art.
What drives the designer and architect? Monika Assem is always on the lookout for “aesthetics” in both small and large things. She is a great discoverer who has a special eye for the “beautiful”, which perhaps initially takes a back seat and is brought onto the stage by her. Felt, for example, had a somewhat dusty eco-image on its forehead for a long time – Monika Assem transformed the material felt into an elegant, clear personality without, however, taking away its warm charisma. She is a true transforming artist who has already created something unique in the history of design and fashion.
This has also been recognized by many juries and museums. In 2007, for example, she received the Designpreis Form and was the winner of the Hessian State Prize 2007, followed by the red dot and even more awards and nominations. The leather models Bess, Brenda and Bo have been included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Applied Arts in Frankfurt a. Main.
In elaborate and extremely careful handwork all models are manufactured in a small family-run manufactory in Germany. Each model has its own development history and becomes unique in dialogue with the wearer. Traces of use give the bags a special touch and tell in their own way about a lifelong friendship.
Text: Daniela Keck, www.raumundwort.de