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Mismo
Insight on the design process behind the enduring Danish bag brand
by Richard Prime
on 07 August 2012
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Danish bag-maker Mismo was founded 10 years ago by husband-and-wife duo Alexander Bach and Rikke Overgaard, before the notion of the minimal everyday bag became so popular. "I think the reason you might say we develop great bags consistently is because we have this very steady platform from where the design and idiom originates," explains Bach, pointing out that the inspiration for each new line builds on what they've done in the past.

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As many an experienced designer knows, there's no such thing as a completely new shape or idea uninfluenced by what already exists. In this vein, Mismo's design approach remains robust and contemporary and, at the heart of the pair's creative process is the quest for detail and functionality. "Seriously, you could put us in a dark room for a few months, completely sheltered from what's going on in fashion and we'd still crank out bags in line with what you see here," says Bach with the straightforward and unapologetic frankness so typical of the Scandinavian sentiment toward design.

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The spirit of its designers infuses Mismo bags with a real depth of pure function and stripped-down essentials, bags which shrug off frills in favor of continually evolving material selection and intelligent use of color. For Spring 2013, Mismo brings its own unique mustard yellow back into the fray, first seen in 2009 in a collaboration with Storm.

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"It's funny because brighter colors don't sell well generally," says Bach, revealing what's perhaps a counterintuitive strategy for a modern designer. "The mustard color, for instance, we already know won't sell well but it draws a lot of attention to what we're doing and is authentic to who we are. Finding the right balance of colors is like creating your own painting. It's a delicate process."

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The new line features interesting new materials for Mismo, which have been developed over a prolonged period of time. There's a floral nubuck leather, which has been embossed with a botanical print before being hand-dyed and brushed for a more broken-in feel. There's also denim sourced from Limonta that shares a similar perfectly worn feel to the touch.

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Visit the Mismo website to find online and worldwide retailers.

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