The Mode Meets...
When The Mode chats with a brand, we ask the questions that matter to design enthusiasts. We want to know how the businesses came to be, how easy it was to develop in the face of huge corporations and what drives the people behind it to keep going in this often tough economic climate. The Oboyi team clearly love what they do and their leather accessories collection demonstrates so much thought and consideration, it’s no wonder that their timeless pieces are attracting so much love and attention online. Here’s what happened when we caught up with the brand for the latest instalment in our Mode meets series.
WHAT WAS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND YOU STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Oboyi started as a backpack brand 5 years ago, when the market was full of technical backpacks for laptops and camera equipment. Everyone needed an ideal accessory that lasts, that is particular and transformable, that adapts to their needs and become part of them in time, a perfect backpack.
HAVE YOU STAYED TRUE TO YOUR ORIGINAL ETHOS OR HAS YOUR BRAND EVOLVED CONSIDERABLY?
The ethics of the brand from the start were very much like producing good quality food- home made, quality local ingredients and a bit of imagination.
IF YOU COULD SUM UP YOUR CREATIVE STYLE IN A SENTENCE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
Functionality, fluidity, natural imperfections of the material, simplicity and unisex are the things that come at first place in Oboyi design.
DO YOU FIND THAT YOU HAVE A KEY CUSTOMER DEMOGRAPHIC?
Because of the “unisex” approach to the design Oboyi customers are both male and female. Sometimes a specific product o color speaks more to a certain gender, that also varies from age 22-62.
WHERE IS YOUR BIGGEST FAN BASE; CLOSE TO HOME OR DOES YOUR BRAND SPEAK TO AN OVERSEAS CUSTOMER MORE THAN THOSE ON YOUR DOORSTEP?
Many of our customers live in Italy, where we’re based.
DO YOU HAVE A STANDOUT CUSTOMER STORY?
There is this one customer, a cook that has each single model in our collection plus a custom made knife bag. Sometimes we think he’s more passionate about our bags and accessories than us!
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR BRAND IN YOUR ULTIMATE BUSINESS DREAM?
The ultimate dream would be to develop a studio-workshop that it could host big numbers of young people learning how to work with leather, patterns, exploring different materials and also art techniques and producing limited edition pieces of any kind of design.
HAVE YOU CONNECTED WITH A MENTOR FOR SUPPORT OR IS THERE A PUBLIC FIGURE WHO INSPIRES YOU IN YOUR BUSINESS?
Our inspiration has always been an Italian creative director; the chief executive of his brand, Brunello Cucinelli. His desire was to create a different way of doing business in the twenty-first century, based on a contemporary form of humanism identified as a “humanistic” capitalism, where profit can be sought without damaging mankind…search for top-notch quality when procuring raw materials, excellence in craftsmanship and manual work, as well as an exclusive pret-a-porter proposal, the expression of true Made in Italy, appreciated by sophisticated consumers as a form of “contemporary lifestyle”.
YOUR DESIGNS WILL LIKELY HAVE INSPIRED SOMEONE PREPARING TO LAUNCH THEIR OWN COLLECTIONS. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU BEFORE YOUR INITIAL LAUNCH?
Invest in marketing!
Discover the Oboyi collection here.