High-class leather bags with a puristic design aesthetic

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS © ARNT HAUG, FELIX PÖTZSCH

The label NOTO by Edition NOTO GmbH, combines Japanese aesthetics and Italian lifestyle: NOTO bags are clear and elegant in their design language, the simple forms are an analogy for Japanese minimalism. All bags are made from Moroccan lambskin leather and have a natural colour spectrum ranging from sandy clay to black-brown amber.

Company founder Bernhard Hansl loves leather bags, but before he established his own label, it was hard for him to find exactly the leather bag he was looking for. What bothered him was how carelessly brands often treat materials. What he wanted was to create bags with a long lifespan, bags that their owners feel a connection with and value for many years to come. And so NOTO is anything but fast fashion: Using lambskin leather – up to six skins for a travelling bag, for instance – the bags are made to last. NOTO bags, no matter if a classic office bag, a purse or a functional weekender, are bags for life and never just a quick fashion buy.

Koko, for example, is a contemporary leather backpack that NOTO developed for fashion-conscious travellers, commuters and those travelling by bike. “The backpack is indeed a bag that can be worn on the back,” says company founder Bernhard Hansl about the design aspect that makes the backpack unique. The bag adjusts to the wearer’s body no matter if worn on the back, over one shoulder or – thanks to an additional strap – in the hand. Koko is available in the colours amber and ebony.

A second bag that showcases NOTO’s design aesthetic is the pouch bag Chika, a very feminine shopper with a slim and elegant form. With a functional and wide strap, the bag sits comfortably on the shoulder. It is an ideal bag to carry all one’s daily needs, as well as any new purchases made throughout the day − at the supermarket or the market, for example.

Functionality is as important for NOTO as the overall design, and often enough, Bernhard Hansl gets his inspiration from his use of other bags and the realisation sometimes that while they might look good, they consider far too many practical aspects. “My bags are minimalist and purist not only in design, but also in their functionality,” explains Bernhard Hansl. Which means that the backpack Koko, for example, does not have compartment after compartment for the sake of it, but rather gives the user an appropriate selection of pockets that one might normally need.

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