Interview: Amey Martin – Dive in with SS16

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Jean-Baptiste Amey and Kitesy Martin launched their luxury Parisian handbag label AMEY MARTIN last year after realising they shared a similar vision. Now they are nearly inseparable, recognised by their joint name, their label. “When you work as a creative duo, you spend a lot of time with your ‘other-half,’” says design duo Jean-Baptiste Amey and Kitesy Martin of AMEY MARTIN. “That means that you always share ideas, images, references with one another, in terms of aesthetic, concepts and art – there is a lot of personal feelings in our lives. We try to share them to create something really true every season.”

This season AMEY MARTIN was inspired by the blue abyss, and deep-sea divers and their equipment. The designers share how they met, and tell us more about the depths of their SS16 collection.

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How did you both meet and what made you decide to launch a handbag label? 

We have known each other for years. We were both working as creative directors / designers in different luxury brand’s studios (Balenciaga, Balmain and Louis-Vuitton). Two years ago, we were hired together by an old luxury brand to revamp the creative direction and all the collections. When we started to work together, we immediately clicked.

We perfectly know that it is quite rare in a career to fit like that with someone else, in terms of universe and creativity. It felt like: You are the one I was looking for to launch a project with. As we were both fascinated by these old classic French leather houses, we decided to create AMEY MARTIN Paris – a modern maroquinerie luxury brand mixing high quality materials and creativity.

Can you tell me more about your production? 

All our pieces are handmade in France by traditional leather craftsmen. There is no use of any mechanical operations to build an AMEY MARTIN bag. Furthermore, we select all the leather and exotic skins, one by one, in the most prestigious French tanneries, to offer the best quality to our customers. We are really demanding in terms of quality. For us, luxury is a question of innovation and quality.

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SS16 was inspired by deep-sea diving. What sparked this concept? 

The first season was about deep sea diving. The summer before working on this first collection, we were both on holidays in two different Mediterranean countries’ seaside. When we came back to Paris, we shared our pictures and realized that we had the same beautiful natural landscapes, no earth, just the deep blue ocean. We talked about this fascinating world of deep-sea divers, with all their innovative technical materials (masks, belts, ect) that they are using to dive 300m under the sea. We watched many times The Big Blue (directed by Luc Besson in 1988). The movie is the story of a friendship and sports rivalry between two contemporary free diving champions.

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How is this translated in the collection? 

One of the most interesting part of our creative work is to find a way to translate these universes, which are so far from the luxury references, into a handbag. The first issue we came across was to integrate deep-sea diving references and materials, on a women bag. We loved the neoprene and we decided to mix it with traditional leather. In terms of color, we worked on strong dark colors and bright true light. We had robots and futuristic universes in mind while seeing the divers with all their technical total-black equipment. Extrapolating that, we designed the shoulder strap, the Épaulière AMEY MARTIN, including futuristic graphics designs on it.

Interview: Janine Leah Bartels

Images courtesy of Amey Martin

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