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DESIGNER OF THE DAY

Steven Kirk-Harkin

Steven Harkin Design

Australian born Steven Harkin is one of few bag designer/makers in the world. With 25 years+ experience and researching unusual materials, graduated from Milan Ars Arpel School (bag pattern making), 3 years spent in Italy, selling bags to the Italians, he landed in London as a Senior Lecturer at Cordwainers London College of Fashion in 2004. The brand was launched in 2006 with a collection of women’s sculptural handbags for everyday use and clutch bags for special occasions, weddings and horse races. Bold colours and clean lines, timeless and contemporary designs make Steven Harkin bags unique among the crowd of high-branded and accessorized fashion it-bags.
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Steven Harkin Bags stand out from the crowd by their clean sculptural lines and bold colours. Handmade leather bags that do not look every other handbag you see on the street. This is a collection for the discerning and well educated fashion woman or man.

Steven started making bags in his late twenties as a hobby. He learnt how to mold and dye leather first and made one-off pieces, which he sold to private collectors and museums. He then experimented with unusual materials like rubber, Formica, aluminium and PDF, even creating special tools and making all the fittings for attache-cases and ladies handbags. When he won an award for a stunning red aluminium bag, he went to Europe. After 3 years in Italy, the Mecca for a leather designer-maker, he got offered a job teaching his art at London College of Fashion. He launched the Steven Harkin Design brand at a London Trade Show in 2006.

Steven went first to Art School in Sydney, then did a course in Visual Arts but dropped out. In his early forties he went to Milan, Italy where he did a Bag Pattern Making and Prototyping Course at world-renowned Arsutoria School.

"Lines and curves seen both in femininity, Italian sports cars and architecture (I would have liked to be an architect) have influenced my collections in various way. The same shapes sort of always appear in my bags like the gap in the Pepe backpack and the Barbara handbag handle, the aluminium handles in the Mew and the Heather bucket bag. I don't do square and I don't do soft. My bags are often referred to as Objets d'art that will look as good on a mantelpiece as they do on an arm."

Steven Harkin bags are made using Italian or Spanish cowhide, pigskin Suede lining and metal fittings as well as, in some cases, anodised aluminium parts. "I rarely draw a bag project. I prefer to make a pattern immediately, refining it when actually making the bag I have visualized in mind".

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