ABOUT. UNIVERSAL DESIGN. RETAILERS.
ABOUT. UNIVERSAL DESIGN. RETAILERS.
Thanks for stopping by and reading about my line, Some of the Parts.
My name is Anna-Maria and I am the designer of SOTP, mimiTENS and a few other projects. This mini-interview of me is being conducted by me. You are correct to sense some discomfort and awkwardness...
What is Some of the Parts?
Some of the Parts is a collection of accessories, mostly bags with the occasional dabble in other departments.
What are Some of the Parts bags made of?
Wax cotton canvas on the outside, 210D water repellent nylon on the inside and nylon webbing. That is the special sauce.
Why don't you use zippers?
Because they break and they are hard to replace. Also, I wanted to create something that is easier for people with arthritis to operate. Arthritis runs in my family so I am really conscious of it.
How did you come design bags that work for people who use wheelchairs?
My friend Luke uses a power wheelchair. He was over at my house one day and I kitted him out with bags. While I was attaching the bags to his arm rests, Luke told me how much it meant to him to have a bag that closes. He told me that most wheelchair bags are wide open and vulnerable for theft. This really hurt my feelings. I don't know how else to say it.
I make sure that all my bags have D-LOOPS that enable being attached to wheelchairs and I will stick to the zipper-less design. Clips to attach bags to wheelchairs of free of charge. I also makes straps whatever length a person needs for their body, free of charge. You just need to let me know and indulge with with a little patience while the sewers sort out the custom work.
What is your design background?
It was not my plan to become a designer, though my parents will tell you the signs were there. I am not trained in design. I have an English Lit and Liberal Arts degree. I have read a lot of books, but I have read way more magazines. What I am really good at is solving problems and being tenacious enough to see my ideas through. I am also good at talking to people. I talk a lot.
I have always loved to make things, this was super encouraged at home too. My grandparents and mom can do everything with their hands, knit, sew, needlepoint, grow their own food, woodwork, make clocks (!), stain glass, ceramics, and on and on. It rubbed off but only a little. They are all way more talented than me.
What is you design MO?
mimiTENS and SOTP came from a desire to solve a problem, mixed with some aesthetic ambition and an interest in equity. Pure design.
I love to create clean and complimentary lines -- as simple as possible. It is harder than it seems and I am really proud that mimiTENS and SOTP are recognized for their aesthetic as much as their function.
Also, mimiTENS and SOTP make as little waste as possible. We upcycle and repurpose a lot of our fabric. Our factory has told me that both our lines are really efficient and that feels better...
Where do you make Some of the Parts?
SOTP are designed and made in Toronto, Canada.
Where can I buy SOTP?
Online, of course but also at Parkette, Jacob and Sebastian and the Observatory shop. There are a few more retailers fishing around and we should be up to ten by the end of the year.
What are some random facts about you?
I am half Polish and half Chinese. This is how I see the world and it is pretty important to me. I live in Toronto. I watch a lot of basketball and EPL soccer. I wish I had someone to play tennis with me. I am a causal runner with no ambition. I really like sneakers but despise sneaker re-sellers. Cardinals are my favorite birds. Red is my favorite colour, followed by royal blue and fuschia. Niagara Falls is one of my natural miracles.
My favorite designers/lines are Sacai (everything hybrid-perfection), Comme des Garcons (they have the real ideas), Chanel (for the lines and the tweed), Nike (special collabs, esp.) APC (straight up best denim), Prada (best shoes + boots, last ten years), Molly Goddard, Simone Rocha, Undercover, Celine (Phoebe AND Hedi)...and before you think I am some kind of fancy pants, please know that I buy nearly ALL my clothes second hand/vintage.
Not that I would mind being some kind of fancy pants...I'd still carry my SOTP bags because they are quite good.