Why buy multiple bags for multiple occasions when you can customise one to suit every situation? That’s designer Samantha Rogers’s idea: her recently relaunched brand, Duzenman, makes adaptable bags that cleverly transform from tote, to clutch, to cross-body bag.
Versatility has long been a focus for Rogers. “Customisation was something I felt the industry was heading towards,” she says. “We’ve seen brands do customised monograms and colour options, but I saw it differently.”
After initially launching as Duzen in 2015, Rogers put the brand on a one-year hiatus to explore the concept further. She returned as Duzenman (her full maiden name) earlier this month, with a new range and millennial-pink location on High Street, Armadale. The Duzenman atelier is part showroom, part workroom. Each bag is handmade on-site by a small team of leather workers, who you’ll see hard at work in the front of the store.
Duzenman gives customers the option to either build their own bag, or opt for a ready-made item from the collection. The full customisation process works like this: choose from 10 classic bag styles (including a bucket bag, tote and cross-body bag), then pick from the numerous detachable handles and straps (one or more), and finally, choose a detachable pouch.
At each step along the way there are a number of leathers and colours to choose from, including classic blacks and tans, but also gold, silver and a vibrant pink. Bag shapes are kept sleek and simple – styles you know you’ll be carrying for the next couple of years.
And, through various interchangeable mechanisms, customers are given the freedom to adapt the bag to their needs; use a leather strap for weekday work, then switch to a chain body strap on the weekend. “People just like to have options,” Rogers says, “You can adapt a bag to your needs and to your mood.”