Repost of Interview by Echo Park Craft Fair
We fell in love with the timeless classic Are Studio Disc Bag the moment we saw it! We caught up with designer and founder Cecilia Bordarampé and asked her about the creative journey that brought her to her current line. Are Studio specializes in capsule collections of clothing and leather bags that are minimal and timeless. Cornerstone to the brand’s ethos is focusing production and sourcing in Los Angeles, as well as working with family-owned businesses and manufacturers.
Describe the path that led you to the work you do now. Did you take any risks to get where you are?
I’ve always made art in one form or another. I ultimately attended art school in Chicago and in the end, I realized I didn’t see myself in the gallery scene. In returning home to Los Angeles after graduating, I continued that rhythm and exploration of experimenting with different materials and techniques. Designing bags came out of that experimentation. There was some fear at first of not having the appropriate “design training,” but I quickly realized that coming from an arts background, I thought in more of a sculptural way, which was really all I needed to make that first push into designing a collection of bags. It was really no different than any of the art projects I worked on in the past.
What is the first memory you have of encountering art or the artistic process?
While taking photos in high school, I tuned in to that feeling of intention behind the work I made. It felt different than just taking an art class and making work based on assignments. There were concepts I wanted to investigate and an aesthetic I wanted to hone. It was the first time that my art overlapped with daily living, in that I could take my camera everywhere. Part of my continual art practice is photographing my surroundings and all things that inspire, which definitely makes it into my design process.
What are your artistic goals for the future?
The possibility of designing home objects is especially exciting to me. I have a few ideas that I’m mulling over, so when the moment feels right, I’ll begin investigating new materials.
How does practicing your art or craft impact your life or way of thinking?
Design inspiration is something that weaves itself in and out of daily life. I have a tendency to analyze shapes wherever I go and my photography practice aids in being able to document ideas, even when they are found in the most unlikely places.
Photos by Nastassa Bruckin; model Louise Nouvellon Rademaker