Alfa Romeo UK has unveiled two concept designer bags for its sporty compact Alfa Romeo MiTo as part of the company's centenary year and to help support young British fashion talent.
Students from the prestigious MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins College, London - which has produced the likes of Stella McCartney, Giles Deacon and the late Alexander McQueen - created the specially commissioned bags for Alfa Romeo.
Taking inspiration from the stylish Alfa Romeo MiTo, together with the Italian manufacturer's celebrated heritage, 15 graduates each submitted sketches for initial consideration.
After being critiqued and judged by some of the leading faces in British fashion, the bags created by CSM students William Hendry and Tamara Elliot were chosen for the limited run.
Describing his design, which represents a modern interpretation of vintage luggage, William says: "I was attracted to the Alfa Romeo project because it enabled me to gain an insight into an area of design that I had previously had little opportunity to discover.
"I was impressed by the way in which ergonomics influences Alfa's own design processes; whether it be a coat pocket or a steering wheel, the important thing is that form follows function."
Tamara feels her bag design, which cleverly doubles as a suit carry case, reflects the longevity of Alfa's rich styling pedigree. She explains: "I wanted to design a bag that worked with the car and the requirements of travelling. I was inspired by classic garment and boot bags and I developed these ideas into a bag that changes shape and function to be versatile enough to use in every situation.
"I kept the exterior simple and classic so that the design has longevity and will not date, to reflect the Alfa Romeo style."
Course director at Central St Martins, Professor Louise Wilson OBE added: "I've been hugely impressed by the designs the students came up with following the brief. Alfa Romeo is a classic Italian brand with lots of history, so research was an important part of what they had to do.
"The two final designs by William and Tamara deserved to win the competition and the bags look great."
The two bags are prototype designs for Alfa Romeo UK who will now look at producing a limited range of both in the near future.Published 5 January 2011