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Strathberry X Mademoiselle Maurice

The Strathberry X Mademoiselle Maurice collection launched 30 November 2017 at strathberry.com. A truly artistic collaboration inspired by nature and human interaction, this limited edition collection features hand folded leather birds which appear in Mademoiselle Maurice's signature rainbow palette. 

Strathberry visits the studio of french street style artist Mademoiselle Maurice at her studio in Marseille, France to explore her practice.


What began your passion for origami? 

My passion for origami began after I spent a year in Japan, where I discovered origami. Unfortunately I was there in March 2011 and experienced the big earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima event. And after that when I returned to France I wanted to use this Japanese technique to put some colour in the city and to say no to nuclear power, and after to give a lot of different messages. I take a lot of inspiration in the legend of the 1000 cranes, and the story of Sadako. Everything came from Japan. 

What inspires you? 

What inspires me comes from nature, everything from nature inspires me. Flying birds, fishes, and all of the colours I’m using come from nature, flowers, sunrises, stuff like that. 

What is it about the rainbow that is so important to you? 

The rainbow is really so important to me because it is a natural phenomenon that we can find in the sky, and the rainbow for me is a message about harmony, about living together, we are all the same all human but different with all different colours. Nelson Mandela talk about the rainbow nation, and Greenpeace with the rainbow warrior, they are using this colour, and the movement LGBT too, use these colours. So it’s a colour for peace and harmony.  

Many of your installations take place outside. What are some of the positive things about working outdoors? 

I really like to work outside because I like to bring some colours in the city, and a little bit of poetry. Our cities in Europe are really grey and so its to put some natural colours in the city. and I like the contact with people, to talk with then and explain them why I put these colours in the city. And finally to work in the streets is like to work in an open museum, but for everybody, not just for the people who go to museums or art galleries.  

What attracted you to Strathberry as a brand? 

What attracted me to Strathberry is the feeling of a small family, a small company, and so the human dimension was really really important to me. And because this is a brand from Scotland and so we stay in Europe. And everything is made in Europe, in Spain. And it is because of the quality of the product, and really good design, really contemporary and handmade design.  

What are some of the positives, and the challenges of working on a handbag rather than on a wall? 

To work on a handbag with Strathberry, there were a lot of challenges. And what was really good was to find a new way to represent origami, and to create leather origami, to work on shapes with embroidery, and so that was really interesting. I really like this collaboration because Strathberry really respects what I am doing as an artist and the colour I like to use, and the shape, and so that was not only a graphic design, it was a beautiful human experience sharing with the team at Strathberry. 

How did the collaboration begin? 

The collaboration began after a giant wall I did in Paris, a wall of 120m long, and I just saw that Strathberry took a picture of one of their bags in front of that wall. And I just sent them a big thank you, because I was so honoured. And after that we exchanged some messages, and after that they proposed me to meet each other and think about a collaboration.  

What is important to you about this collaboration? 

What is important to me about this collaboration is that we can put a lot of colours on a handbag. Because you see in the daily life a lot of people are wearing the same colours, a lot of black and a lot of grey, and I think that we need colours in the daily life. And with the bag we designed together with Strathberry we put a lot of colours and it is a call to wear colourful clothes because its good for the spirit. 

With attention to detail and uniqueness at the heart of the project, each bag is beautifully packed in an elegant box painstakingly hand customized by the artist herself, with no two boxes the same.