FK talks to Kristy, from Melbourne based accessories label Sisken.
Tell us about your leather accessories brand, Sisken.
The Sisken label provides gorgeous handmade leather accessories as an affordable, everyday luxury.
Combining style and functionality, Sisken bags and accessories are practical yet elegant, sensible and sophisticated, useful yet sleek. With a variety of styles and a huge range of coloured leathers, there is a Sisken to suit everyone’s lifestyle.
When did you get started and how did it come about?
Sisken was launched three years ago when, working as a graphic designer in metropolitan Melbourne, I desperately wanted a laptop bag to cater for my needs, aesthetically and in function. Despite an extensive search, I could not find anything suitable and had a bag custom made to my own specifications. And so Sisken was born.
Since this humble beginning, the Sisken collection has expanded to include handbags, purses, satchels, overnight bags and – more recently – beautiful ballet slippers.
Where do you find inspiration?
It is my everyday life that is my inspiration; since starting Sisken I find I have a more acute awareness of everything that surrounds me; I take notice, I enjoy, I sense and I “feel” exactly where I am at that precise moment in time. From an aesthetic perspective it may be as simple as a pattern in a stone fence or beautiful trees and leaves, from a design perspective it may be feedback from other stylish women about the functions they need in a bag but have been unable to find. The actual challenge of creating something that combines beauty and functionality is another inspiration. One of my biggest rewards is when someone tells me how much they love their SISKEN product. On occasion this information filters back through family and friends, leading to the same sense of pride. This feedback ultimately inspires future products. I adore Swedish design, its simplicity, clean lines and delightful combinations of bold colours. Earthy colours, raw textures and often nature-inspired patterns complement perfectly the beautiful leathers we choose.
What do you love most about working with leather?
Leather is a diverse and dynamic material which effortlessly exudes style. I love the texture, the luxurious feel and the fact that no two pieces are exactly the same. As I work closely with leather tailors each season, I learn new and exciting methods which I incorporate into subsequent collections.
Leather is a stylish and practical material which provides me with great motivation. I truly love working with leather and gorgeous fabrics and feel grateful that Sisken has allowed me to use my creativity as a graphic designer and turn my passion into a reality.
Talk us through your creative process.
While being creative has definite synergies with spontaneity, I find structure crucial to maintaining Sisken’s direction. I sketch all my ideas to maintain a record of my thinking process at that time and have books filled with inspirational images and ideas I have collected and recorded, which I return to when working on subsequent collections. I specialise in working with small family owned factories of leather workers who assist me in achieving the high quality products we release each season. I find this personal, hands-on approach allows me to achieve my vision in each and every Sisken piece.
What can we expect to discover in the next Sisken range?
This year has been incredibly busy and I am very excited to be launching a new collection this August. The new collection combines all the Sisken elements our clients know and love – luxurious, rich leathers and stylish and functional design, with a host of new items. Our classic pieces are still on offer as well as new pieces which I just love and hope will become your favourites too. We have gorgeous new totes, more handbags, stylish cross body bags – a beautiful new addition to our range – and simply divine new clutches. I hope you will love our new products just as much as I do!