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© 2019 by Rafael Adón LLC

The Commitment Begins with a Stitch

August 6, 2016


I'm often asked what inspires my designs. And fundamentality, I have to say it's an ingrained habit of collecting, making and letting go.


When I was a boy, I would lose myself in sketching or assembling model car kits bought at the local five and dime; collecting leaves and seashells; and on Saturdays yardsale-ing with my grandparents on quests for treasures. These foraging habits are at the core of my approach as a designer.


The architectural form of my bags emerges from a foraging of sorts. I collect stories from my clients about their travels; what they carry and ultimately what they seek in their dream bag. I get to work by sketching multiple views and details of the design, then seeking the client's feedback. A pattern soon is created, the leather is cut, hardware and thread are summoned all on a single mission: to create a gorgeous made-to-measure bag that will exceed all expectations.


Whereas the process of designing the bag is highly interactive focused on surfacing the client's vision, the ritual of assembling and stitching the bag is a contemplative and meditative journey. The leather panels are aligned and assembled inside out. The commitment begins with a stitch. The sewing machine and I become a team laboring together in a rhythmic whir. 


Once the stitching is complete, the bag is ready to be turned right-side out. Whenever I reach this point of the process, a paradoxical sensation overcomes me. I am eager to welcome a new creation into the world, yet slightly tinged with sadness because the journey is nearing its completion. 


I have come to realize that the hardest part of making the bag are the last steps involving constructing the straps and attaching the hardware. The bag is about to make its way from my world to the world of the client where they begin a journey together. Our bags are physical metaphors embodying the designer's and client's shared vision; a utilitarian form to meet the functions of everyday life. Hence the name Metáforros, a journey of collecting, making and letting go all begun with a stitch.









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