A Stiebich & Rieth bag is more than the sum of its parts — though the parts are also pretty important for the Hamburg-based designer team.
Detlef Stiebich and Julia Rieth met working for Wolfgang Joop, then opened an accessories design consultancy together, serving brands including Bogner, Wunderkind and Hanro. They founded Stiebich & Rieth in 2013 with the aim of stepping away from designing by computer, and taking matters in hand.
Their bags are hand-finished with a two-needle saddle technique from leather too stiff to stitch with machines.
“We love the look, the smell and the aging of this material,” said Stiebich about the leather, which is tanned only with natural ingredients, such as chestnut roots. All production takes place in northern Germany.
Excess adornments are eschewed for a love of the pure line. Logos are minimal, and hardware is solid brass. This functional-chic aesthetic garnered the pair the Young Designers Award for Accessories given out by trade show Premium in January.
The 10 bags in Stiebich & Rieth’s current collection, the brand’s second, are vivid and playful, defying the serious design. Colors include blush, orange, cobalt blue and light gray. There’s Kit, a zippered pouch with contrast strap, (350 euros or $398); Oblong, a classic handbag, (2,100 euros or $2,391), and Catch, a clutch with a bold clasp (870 euros, or $990).
Stockists include Khadi & Co. in Paris, Linette in Hamburg, Odeeh in Berlin, and Off & Co. in Munich. Next up, the designers are aiming for London, Tokyo and New York.