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Q&A: Mädi - Jennifer Berger 

You were trained as a goldsmith before the launch of Mädi, how does your current leatherwork reflect to your previous trade?

This training gave me a lot of technical knowledge of how to construct objects and the attention for details and finishings. What I have learned on small scaled product like jewellery pieces, I can use for a bigger scaled product.

From an aesthetic perspective, the way I integrate decor into my bags, comes from the ornamental aspect of jewellery.

We love Mädi’s dynamic shapes and bold colours. Where do you usually get the inspiration for your designs?

I find inspiration in things that surround me in my everyday life; from nature to other designers. The shapes of my bags are inspired from vintage swiss army bags. I like their simple, robust and functional design. One of the many designers I like to follow is Delpozo. I love the bold and architectural silhouettes yet very romantic and feminine. 

Can you give us a little insight on your design process?

Usually, before I get into the creation process, I need to experience a certain period of frustration and boredom first. This is where I start dreaming and developing new ideas. I collect a lot of images, words, etc, and then a design starts to take shape in my mind. After comes the urge to put in action these ideas and make them come true. 

How does your Swiss background influence your aesthetic?

My swiss background influences me in many ways. First, from a development process perspective, where efficiency and quality are very important. It will automatically influence the aesthetic.  

Secondly, by the aesthetic in traditional popular art that often talks about life in the countryside like the paper cut pictures. Instead of using this typical imagery, the symbols I created are inspired from the industries in the region where I live, like watchmaking and pharmaceuticals.

Do you have a piece you will reach for time and time again?

For the moment, I would say the mini bag. I am very attached to this one because it looks like a precious little box and wearing it brings an edgy touch to the look. 

You were a freelance designer for Bulgari. What was your experience like, working for a big fashion house? Do you have any advice for freelance designers/ illustrators/ graphic designers etc?

Working for Bulgari was a good experience because it was the first time, I was designing leather goods for a client. Since I have always worked in the watch and jewellery industry, this gave me an insight of the working process of this specific field. It gave me confidence to start developing my brand.

Some advice I would give is, be very clear at the beginning about how you want to proceed, establish the different steps in order to give a frame of work for yourself and the client.

The hardest part is to give a price to your work because when you create, it is not easy to count the effective hours you make. It is an estimation when you start as a freelancer but never forget that what you create, your work has value.

What advice would you give to a young designer wanting to start their own brand?

Start small. Don't wait for it to be perfect because you will always change and adapt the concept on the way. Move on to the pace that fits you best because what you are building must look like yourself not like your neighbour. Surround yourself with trusting people for advice and help. 

How would you describe your customer?

Strong Personal sense of style that is sensitive to material and the quality of the products. 

Are you working on a new collection that we should know about?

Yes, I am planning to design a new collection, but I haven't started yet. 

Where do you see Mädi the future of Mädi going? You obviously have talent and interest in jewellery design, do you have plans to incorporate more jewellery into the Mädi brand?

Yes! I would love to design a jewellery line but for the moment, I keep my focus on the leather accessories.

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