GRACE HAN PLEATS INNOVATION
One of Grace’s signature design innovations, the leather pleats are an element that took seven years to perfect, a testament to her persistence and commitment to quality.
Grace was inspired to create the pleats during a period of introspection in which she came to see them as a physical representation of herself and the women that encapsulate the brand. The contradicting fluidity of the unbending lines expresses perfectly the modern woman: multifaceted, profound, soft and strong, folding in on themselves yet poised. The pleats are also a celebration of the sun and its golden rays that emanate from the horizon, lending serenity and warmth to the beholder – a central element to the Grace Han brand.
Grace developed the technique for the pleated panels in her studio and such was the expertise required that she has only found one workshop in Taiwan able to replicate her standard of finish. Each panel takes at least 24 hours to make and once completed is sent to Italy to be assembled with the rest of the bag.
The pleats came to influence many of Grace’s evolving bag designs, even down to the shapes and subtle patterns of the hardware. She also took inspiration from her love for Baroque architecture, with the shapes reflecting her interpretation of the arcs and layer’s synonymous with the movement. They complement our bags with their simplicity, elegance, durability and slender form. Bespoke hardware can require months of tweaking and stress-testing hundreds of prototypes before moving on to the production stage. Our hardware partner then uses the latest technology during manufacturing, which ensures our hardware does not corrode, rust, or stain. Grace has always worked closely with her hardware designer to ensure the right quality, metallic hues, and shapes met the desired unctions and complemented the leather rather than stealing its limelight. Balance was key.
MAKING A GRACE HAN BAG
It can take three months to one year and hundreds of prototypes to perfect a single Grace Han design, the same way good artwork takes time. Over the course of the years more than 100 glues were tested, hundreds of leather samples were experimented with, hundreds of bag prototypes were assembled, and over 100 hardware prototypes were created – a reflection of Grace’s resilient character.
The Ballet Lesson chain bag, our most iconic creation, is a perfect example of how much work was dedicated to perfect a single design. Today, one pleated leather panel on a Ballet Lesson can take at least 24 hrs to complete and over 36 hrs to assemble a single bag.