evolving and experimenting with parisian bag designers côte and ciel

With the release of their new campaign, Cote & Ciel give us the low down on what it really means to create some of the coolest bags around.

by i-D Team
09 April 2015, 1:26pm

Transgressively chic, Paris-based Côte & Ciel launched in 2008 and have gone on to evolve in their experimentation and creation of modern bags and accessories. Co-founder and creative director Stephan Webmacher explains that they "started out to create products for ourselves and friends who appreciate design and quality. From a design point of view, we naturally evolved around fresh ideas and started the brand not with a business plan or a customer in mind, but with pure ideas of shapes, materials, constructions, and the freedom to do whatever we like."

Do technology and technological innovations inspire you when it comes to fashion?
For the moment, I would say it does not really influence us very much. As we do bags and accessories, it's clear that we add compartments so you can transport and protect your phones and laptops. But other than that, we are not into it. Maybe that will change down the line, but for now we really want to create beautiful functional shapes for people. That is already ambitious for a small team like ours.

What is the future of fashion and accessories?
Fashion is probably the oldest business in the world. So I don't really know if I am capable of predicting what the future will be. But I guess there is always a soft evolution in styles and ideas, there will always be revivals of trends. I guess technology will play a bigger role, like adding functions to charge your gadgets, to add smart functions via sensors. We are just at the very beginning but I guess this will be a big thing at some point. On the other hand, the way people discover and buy stuff will ultimately change and one day most of the products will be bought not in a physical store.

Did working for Apple have a big impact on how you approach design?
Before that I worked with great companies like Porsche or BMW, but I must say working with the folks at Apple just pushed me and my team forwards so much, it obviously had a huge impact. They are all perfectionists and every little detail matters and that influenced a lot of my way of thinking, even now. This perfect combination of functional and beautiful aesthetic which Jonny and his team create is at least inspiring.

What advice would you give to young people wanting to get into start-ups?
If the fire burns in you to start something on your own, and you feel you got the right idea and enough energy, than go for it. Be aware that a lot of things can go wrong, that sometimes you have to deal with big risks, but at the end it can be very rewarding. In my case it was clear that I am not really suited to working for somebody else. I'm not great at compromises.

What inspires you most?
There isn't really a single thing or situation. I was always inspired by people who just had the energy and persistence to change the way we live, like obviously Steve Jobs did with Pixar and Apple, and the way he also changed how people manage companies. But then there are so many people out there which do great things in art, architecture, and design which I admire and they might subtly inspire me or the people I work with. I am just trying to be open, to see things, but at the same time add a filter to it because beside all of the beautiful and inspiring things, there is so much randomness nowadays in all areas, from music to art. 


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