There is something so special about moments when art and fashion collide. We’ve long been enamored with historical art + fashion collaborations: Salvador Dalí and Elsa Schiaparelli’s “Organza Dinner Dress with Painted Lobster”; Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Takashi Murakami on their accessory collection; Roy Halston and Andy Warhol’s friendship that inspired each other’s art and fashion creations for years.
Art is extraordinary in its timelessness. Every piece is unique, distinct, and inimitable. Those qualities inspire us in the design of our handbags. They don’t exist as part of a trend; they’re embedded in our customers’ lives.
While the way our handbags function on a daily basis is a consistent focus, we’re captivated by the allure of a product that exists both as a functional accessory and as a piece of art. We find the seamless union of form and function endlessly inspiring.
On a handful of occasions, MODHER has had the opportunity to realize exciting artistic visions through collaborations with incredible artists. Two of these artists, Daniela Pasqualini and Maria Rocha, are beautiful painters with truly impressive bodies of work. When we saw their work for the first time, we could envision Daniela’s bold colors and Maria’s clean lines against the simple body of a MODHER bag. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to share a MODHER tote bag with each of them, and to watch as they each created something fantastic and unique.
Meet Daniela Pasqualini
Daniela Pasqualini is an Italian abstract painter currently based in the U.S. who has been passionate about the arts since she was a child. “Since I was young, a phrase of an artist stuck in my head: "Observe the world around you closely, hungrily," she says. “This is what I did, being very fortunate to grow up in a nature-filled atmosphere.” Daniela has been inspired by the natural landscapes and cultures of the places where she has lived, from Tuscany to New England.
In using the Elba leather tote bag as her canvas, Daniela says she was challenged but excited for the opportunity to explore. “Experimenting with new and different techniques and materials allows an openness that gives me the ability to express my feelings and emotions to send a powerful message to the audience,” she says. “Something I fully believe is that art can be a medium for communicating what may not be able to be expressed in words.”
Daniela’s finished piece is true to her aesthetic, but it feels brand new in its application. Of her painted MODHER handbag, she says, “They say that if you do what you truly love, then you will never have to work another day of your life. That day [I finished this piece], I understood the meaning of that phrase because it was describing my innermost feelings!”
Meet Maria Rocha
Maria Rocha is a Mexican-Canadian artist specializing in multiple mediums and artistic styles. She is heavily inspired by the freedom and expression that color provides in her work. “Color has the power to evoke a certain feeling or energy in a piece, and it also has the power to weaken or strengthen the composition of an artwork,” she says. “With the Elba bag I painted, my intention was to depict simplicity, elegance, and cleanliness. For this reason, I felt that utilizing white, clean lines, was most appropriate.”
The leather surface of Maria’s MODHER tote bag was different from the canvases on which she usually paints. And, “I was terrified of ruining the beautiful leather or creating something I would not be happy with and not be able to start over!” she says. “Luckily, I overcame these challenges and am very happy with all I learned.”
Ultimately, Maria’s collaboration with MODHER gave her the opportunity to consider a totally new application for her work. “This project has given me the opportunity to explore a new surface and create from a ‘fashion design’ perspective, which is different from what I usually do.” she says.