For the first collection of their accessories label Amey Martin, designers Jean-Baptiste Amey and Kitsey Martin looked to the art of deep-sea diving. They mixed neoprene, rubber, and plastic inspired by the technical equipment used by divers with high quality leather, python, and robotic metal detailing.
“The ocean is something that greatly inspires us,” explains Martin over the phone from their atelier in Paris. “The minimal landscape of the ocean, the ocean floor.” The duo was particularly influenced by Luc Besson’s 1988 film Le grand bleu (The Big Blue). “We grew up with that movie,” says Martin. “Every shot in the film is very inspiring in terms of the colors, the shapes, and lines.”
“There was something quite personal about it,” adds Amey. “When we go on holiday, we each like to go to places that are pretty understated, pretty natural, where there is just water and we are happy to dive.”
Both 31, Amey, who was raised in Antibes, and Martin, who grew up near Paris, met two years ago when they were hired to revamp a luxury label. They clicked immediately, and after a year of working together decided to launch their own project. “From the moment we decided to start a leather goods collection, everything was simple—from the name we chose to the style to the artistic direction and visual identity,” says Amey. “Amey Martin is a fashion accessory—a leather good—but we think it’s something more than that—a focal point that can really distinguish a woman and tell her story,” he continues.
The duo developed a straightforward ethos for their brand: to mix excellent quality, natural leather, made exclusively in France from the same tanneries used by the likes of Hermès, with contemporary touches. Their aim is to bring the luxury leather goods industry into the modern era both aesthetically and morally. “It’s important for us to work with tanneries that care about ethics —the treatment of the animals being raised—and the environment,” Amey explains.
The first bag they designed together, a shoulder bag called the K23, quickly became their most popular model. “It was very important for us to keep function in mind as we designed—that the proportions of shoulder strap and bag size made it comfortable to wear, that the clasp was easy to open, that there was a small pocket inside, that the interior was lined with lambskin so that it would be pleasant to touch” says Martin.
For their next collection, however, the duo plans to do something completely different. “We want to surprise people who have been following us from the beginning and show that we are capable of doing something that appeals to another type of woman,” Martin tells us. “Because it’s a winter collection, it’s going to be inspired more by the interior than the exterior. We are going to go inside the apartment,” she continues. “We’re going to replace the neoprene from the first collection with something that you frequently find in Parisian apartments.”
“It’s go to have more of urban, Parisian feel to it,” concludes Amey.