meet our artisan leathercraft makers

simétrie draws its name from the word symmetry ~

All of our pieces reflect the kind of balance the word connotes. Balance in the design. Balance in the crafting. And balance with the natural world. Each is made with the kind of slow and mindful processes that only hand cutting, stitching and finishing allow.

The utmost care is taken at every stage to ensure we bring you pieces that never harm people or the planet. Simétrie has built an inclusive team of artisan crafters who create and maintain this balance and, like our bags, it’s made by their human hands and hearts.

We’ve introduced you to some of them here, but thanks to our latest partnership, (you can read a little more about why we collaborate with other brands here) we were fortunate enough to expand our team to include even more talented makers. When you invest in a piece of simétrie, you are investing in them and their stories.

 

Melody [she/her] 

Can you share with us how you came to leathercrafting?

I was in a very stressful corporate job that I knew I could not see myself doing much longer, let alone for the rest of my life, so I went looking for what’s next.

My plan was to do a bunch of different short courses to see if anything stuck, and I stumbled upon the shoemaking short course at RMIT.

I did the course in 2017, made my very first pair of shoes and haven’t stopped since.

What’s your favourite part of the bag making process?

I enjoy the sense of satisfaction you get as you complete each step! I also love how much more quickly a bag comes together in comparison to a pair of shoes.

What’s one sustainable step simétrie is taking that you love?

simétrie's very mindful choice of materials. I like that everything that goes into a simétrie bag is chosen for its sustainability and eco-friendliness without compromising on quality and longevity.

What does it mean to you, being part of an inclusive artisan team?

I LOVE being part of an inclusive artisan team. There are no egos, and the camaraderie and respect we have for each others’ skills makes the atelier a very comfortable place to be making and creating.

simétrie believes that luxury is all about our accessories being handmade and bespoke - what does luxury mean to you?

Luxury to me means quality and having something made by someone who has paid meticulous attention to detail in creating the item that you’re purchasing.

 

Aleks [she/her]

Can you share with us how you came to leathercrafting?

I’ve always been a creative type, always finding curiosity in making and constructing things with my hands.

During my final years studying fashion design, I experimented and fell in love with quite a unique fabrication – leather. Its imperfections, ageing process and high luxury feel fascinated me most.

Not long after that, I found myself researching multiple leather craft books and YouTube tutorials. This led me to study Custom Made Footwear and continue to learn the many exciting techniques and processes involved with leathercrafting.

What’s your favourite part of the bag making process?

If I’m being honest, I’m not really transfixed on one specific part in the making process, rather the entire creative journey. For me, It’s the coming together - watching a 2D sketch come to life and become something to be worn, something to be loved. A bag doesn’t come to life out of nowhere, it takes multiple prototypes and feedback before the final design is made - and that’s what excites me most!

What’s one sustainable step simétrie is taking that you love?

At simétrie everything has a purpose, nothing is done for ‘the sake of it’. What inspires me most is that everything used in the atelier is recycled – take for instance - our leather strap off cuts stay with us and are re used to tie up/ hang things on; it’s nice to be a part of a brand that strives to be circular, even in the smallest of aspects.

What does it mean to you, being part of an inclusive artisan team?

There’s something really special about being a part of an inclusive artisan team in an industry that is so male dominated. It makes me feel so happy to be supported by strong individuals that come with such inspiring creative backgrounds.

simétrie believes that luxury is all about our accessories being handmade and bespoke - what does luxury mean to you?

Luxury is having a story to share behind the product you wear. To me, it is having an appreciation for quality, materials, and the artisans involved that helped bring the product to life. Handmade and bespoke is designed and made to be forever – and that speaks luxury to me!

 

    Kirk [she/her] 

    Can you share with us how you came to leathercrafting?

    I studied visual art, majoring in sculpture, then went into millinery and created my own accessories label making hats, bags and gloves. l moved into upholstery, then back to bag making again. That’s when I met Simone and joined her team. So I guess I have always been making and it has led me here. Yay!

    What’s your favourite part of the bag making process?

    Always learning new skills from the makers and designers I work with. I love the problem solving involved in working out how a piece can be made.

    What’s one sustainable step simétrie is taking that you love?

    Designing handcrafted pieces you can buy once and buy well. No fast fashion destined for landfill here.

    What does it mean to you, being part of an inclusive artisan team?

    I love it, it’s an inclusive environment and I feel we are building something special. I’ve been a part of many male-dominated workplaces in the past, so this is a refreshing experience – and a fun one at that.

    simétrie believes that luxury is all about our accessories being handmade and bespoke - what does luxury mean to you?

    I love punk couture godmother Vivienne Westwood. Her pieces are my idea of luxury with an edge, and I dream of owning just one magnificent piece. And I think she may have coined the phrase ‘Buy once and buy well’

     

    Ruby [they/them]

    Can you share with us how you came to leathercrafting?

    I have been working at a leather shoe and bag store for a number of years and we were looking to bring our bag production in house.

    This prompted me to look around for some leatherworking courses, though they were all cancelled due to Covid.

    After learning some basic skills during lockdown, I decided to enrol in a Cert IV in Custom-Made Footwear which has allowed me to dive deeper into the leathercraft world.

    What’s your favourite part of the bag making process?

    My favourite part is when all the patterns are cut, sitting, waiting to be made into a beautiful, practical item. The moment before the leather's potential is fulfilled.

    What’s one sustainable step simétrie is taking that you love?

    The sustainability initiative that resonates with me most is the up-cycling of existing items to aid in production. Old jars to store the water-based glue, old yogurt tubs for table-top bins and pre-loved cardboard boxes for storage. True commitment to avoiding new products and reducing waste typically associated with the leather industry.

    What does it mean to you, being part of an inclusive artisan team?

    I find that there is an unspoken sense of camaraderie and an ease of conversation that can be challenging to find elsewhere. It opens up a richer world of collaboration and learning that I am very appreciative of.

    simétrie believes that luxury is all about our accessories being handmade and bespoke - what does luxury mean to you?

    For me, luxury is the fusion of beauty and practicality. A bag needs to function, but it doesn't have to be aesthetically pleasing. Having beauty front of mind in the design process creates a little bit of luxury in every product.

    Tash [she/her]

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0134/1862/7136/files/rm-williams-production-14.png?v=1634136624

    Can you share with us how you came to leathercrafting?

    My passion for leather craft came to fruition in my final Honours year of Fashion Design, where my research project ‘Resurfacing the body’ explored the replication of animal skin through hand-embossed leather.

    I fell in love with the material and the endless possibilities leather holds for creation. I spent hours hand embossing the leather to replicate reptile skins and baseball stitched off-cuts together to form wearable body fragments.

    What’s your favourite part of the bag making process?

    I love anything that involves using my hands, so I find the entire production process to be rewarding -  you truly appreciate a product more after being apart of every step of the making process. But, if I had to choose it would be the stitching stage. This is when the product really takes its form and is such a satisfying process.

    What’s one sustainable step simétrie is taking that you love?

    I truly admire the slow production approach simétrie takes. Their focus on creating handmade pieces to help reduce waste and consumption, while being able to produce such beautiful and valuable pieces is what inspires me.

    What does it mean to you, being part of an inclusive artisan team?

    It is such an inspiring and empowering space to be working in. Working with like-minded people creates such a wonderful work place where we can share our own interests, passions and experiences – learning so much from one another is what I appreciate so much.

    simétrie believes that luxury is all about our accessories being handmade and bespoke - what does luxury mean to you?

    Luxury to me means something with a high value – not monetary value, but something which has had a lot of time and thought put into the piece itself. It is the production history and processes which to me adds the most value and to a ‘luxury’ item.

    Clem [she/her]

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0134/1862/7136/files/rm-williams-production-2.jpg?v=1634137139

    Can you share with us how you came to leathercrafting? 

    I have started working in the luxury industry back in 2009 with an apprenticeship. I have worked in several companies back in France including three years at Hermès Paris and one year in Doha, Qatar.

    What’s your favourite part of the bag making process?

    Pattern making and development of new products is what I enjoy the most in my work; collaborating with designers and being challenged with singular ideas is a very rewarding experience. On a more technical side, I love machine stitching and making sure the stitches look clean and perfect when I get to hammer them for a perfect finished look.

    What’s one sustainable step simétrie is taking that you love?

    Making things locally in Melbourne as well as working with kangaroo leather and non-toxic products such as water based glue, and natural gum for the edge finishing.

    What does it mean to you, being part of an inclusive artisan team?

    It’s empowering to be part of an inclusive team. As this is a mostly male-dominated industry in Australia it’s very important to highlight that women are skilled for using hand tools, machinery and can do manual work that can sometimes be physical. At simétrie the team is mostly women and they show a real sense of leadership, empathy, intuition and optimism. We share constructive communication and encourage teamwork. I’m very supportive of gender inclusivity in the workplace.

    simétrie believes that luxury is all about our accessories being handmade and bespoke - what does luxury mean to you?

    To me, luxury means having access to something unique, something that is very special to you. It has to be a sensorial experience that makes you slow down and realise how appreciative you are for it every time you come across it.

     

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