Iconic leather brand Braun Büffel’s spring/summer 2018 collection is inspired by the allure of the Greek islands. As the perfect combination of functionality and style, its bags are in cooling shades of turquoise and caramel, influenced by the Santorini skyline and beaches. The Buffy and Bully collection is a playful addition featuring the brand’s quirky characters. Adorning the bags are whimsical scenes of Buffy and Bully dressed for the beach with nautical accents.
This limited-edition capsule collection is designed and curated by new creative director Fabio Panzeri, who has big plans for the brand. Having just moved to Singapore, Panzeri is ready to work closely with his team to mould the brand according to his vision. When asked about his dreams, he says, “I want to create a really successful collection but the real dream is to have people understand the new philosophy of my work”.
Panzeri began his career in 1993 as an accessories and fabrics designer at Mila Schön and has built an impressive résumé since. He has worked with Trussardi, Pirelli and Replay, as well as collaborated with famed Italian fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni. He has held the position of head of design at Dolce & Gabbana, and design director of men’s and women’s leathergoods collections at Calvin Klein. “I think all my different experiences have taught me to keep a completely open mind,” he says.
An advocate for positivity, Panzeri that he wants his collection to give customers a happier outlook. “I want to tell a story, I want to create a small dream because there is so much chaos in the world. I want people to come inside our store and relax.” He also wants customers to choose bags that suit their own tastes. “I hope that customers come into the store looking for something cool and select our products because it’s perfect for them and not because a celebrity uses it.”
With his infectious energy, he describes his capsule collection as a New York-inspired selection dedicated to travel and work. Future collections will also create an escape for customers that may be based on iconic cities. “I want different advertising campaigns to tell different stories,” he says.
Panzeri reveals his feelings about bright colours, claiming that they add more stress. “I try to propose smooth and clear colours, so when people come into the store they are in a relaxing situation.” He even says that he wants to create something classic, but “classic in a positive way. I don’t mean old or boring”.
The men’s capsule collection consists of the Mike and Chester range, which has modern and minimalist designs. The Mike cream briefcase, black messenger bag and tobacco document holder are all made with streamlined designs that have a fold-over closure for a clean but distinctive aesthetic. Chester, also made with medium-grain printed calf leather, is for the modern gentleman with its sleek silhouettes and street urbanity. The range includes a postman bag in marine, a cream backpack, black cross shoulder sling and cream flat clutch.
The Kelis and Elisha range of the women’s capsule collection embodies glamour and sophistication with new intricate details. Kelis is filled with youthful energy, with its turquoise top handle bag and brick clutch. The small top handle bag features luxurious resin and metallic finishes for the handle and adjoining rings. The tri-colour combination of this range makes them elegant pieces that can be paired with any outfit, especially with the contrasting black and gold of the house logo.
Elisha, described as “heritage meets contemporary”, is delicately crafted in assorted calf leather. The shoulder bag and clutch are everyday accessories for the confident woman, exuding sophistication and charm. The iconic buffalo logo is placed centre stage, in vintage gold hardware.
Panzeri declares that the use of a larger logo signals the opening of a new door for Braun Büffel. He admits that the buffalo is not traditionally a very feminine symbol, but he still wants to be able to use it in a big way. “I want to play with the logo and translate it from the strong buffalo into something fun, something new, something unpredictable.”
He will introduce unisex products in future collections, aware that some customers no longer subscribe to gender divisions when they shop. Enlarging the logo is part of the move towards more unisex designs. The creative director also intends to engage with the new generation. ‘We want to communicate much more in a digital area and not just through classic channels.” Being the customer’s friend and interacting with their tastes and needs is foremost in his mind. He emphasises the need for Braun Büffel to talk to the global market rather than just individual markets. “I think it’s important to propose the message that we are global and international because it is best to respect all kinds of markets and all kind of customers everywhere,” he says.
Panzeri was attracted to Braun Büffel’s quality craftsmanship and great history. He likes the label “because the brand is honest, extremely honest”. Going forward, his aim is to add his touch to everything, and his team has a programme to change the store step by step. He wants Braun Büffel’s window displays to reel in customers with the promise of an escape and deliver with relaxing interiors and unforgettable products. He wants to create something new. “That’s why we are completely changing, completely cleaning, and completely renewing the website, store and online store.”
This article first appeared on Feb 19, 2018 in The Edge Malaysia.