Designers go hell for leather
The small Mrs Herskin workshop is in District VII’s Rumbach Sebestyén utca, near the Printa Design shop and Madách Imre tér, which is a neighbourhood becoming more and more the hip party quarter of creative minds. A look at Larisza Pasztircsák’s and Linda Gergely’s wooden bench and the scattered tools tells you that something rather rough is happening here. Because Mrs Herskin does not work with silk and tulle; leather is a more intractable, durable material.
Pasztircsák, who studied leather design at MoME Budapest University of Arts, practically grew up in this workshop. Her father, also a designer, used to work here but he retired during her years as a student and left his workshop to the next generation. Thus Pasztircsák already had the thing that other MoME students could only dream about: an own studio. After Larisza founded Mrs Herskin in 2008, Gergely, – a student of graphic design – joined the label in 2012.
Courage to use unusual shapes
Mrs Herskin breaks free of convention and does not bend to fashion rules that dictate what shape a bag should be. Asymmetric is sexy! A sharp corner reinforced with metal sticks out from an otherwise round design.; another backpack is built up by two cylindrical containers and looks like it would bite any hand reaching for it, courtesy its protruding leather teeth.
This is how the two creative minds produce the unconventional designs of Mrs Herskin. They might take grotesque forms, such as in the collection named “The Witch’s Tale”, where one of the small clutches is coffin-shaped and closes with a dagger-shaped latch.
However, Mrs Herskin also offers a collection that places more emphasis on practicality and can be a good accessory for its owner in her everyday life. Despite the practical design and functionality these are also absolute eye-catchers, which unite with their unforgettably individual shapes and loveable details everything that constitutes the essence of the brand. There are pieces with small playful horns protruding left and right from the edge of the bag, or a clutch bag that looks like a boomerang and can be grabbed with a leather handle.
High quality leather and careful craftsmanship ensure these pieces would be the pride of every woman’s bag collection. The “MRSH ISM” collection is the continuously available line of the brand, which is sold among other places in the online store of notjustalable.com, which is an online platform for independent design labels.
Design that tells a story
Mrs Herskin does not compromise. “We do not follow the trends,” Pasztircsák explains. “We are creating designs that we like and which are telling a story.” The subjects are often mythical creatures such as witches. “The Witch’s Tale“, for example, explores the diversity and symbolism of this creature’s folklore and tries to translate it into a sensitive, eloquent style for fashion-conscious urban witches.
Other collections such as “MH for DM” tell sensual stories of lusty pain, using shiny patent leather, metal rings and leather harnesses that remind us of the BDSM sub-culture.
Unexpected success in exotic places
When Pasztircsák and Gergely founded Mrs Herskin they did not dream that a successful market for their products could be found in the East rather than in the West. They had even less idea how far in the East they would go: today Mrs Herskin can be found in design shops in Beijing and Dubai.
You can find Mrs Herskin bags in Budapest shops, for example in the alternative design store Retrock. However, they noticed quickly that Budapest is not the right market for them, Pasztircsák explains: “One thing is that in Budapest the necessary purchasing power for high-quality leather design is missing, and the other is that people in Asia are simply braver and they are looking for more unusual pieces.”
Mrs Herskin tries to adapt by selling certain models at a more favourable price here but their future is clearly in the East. They have a new website at www.mrsherskin.com.