The man has worked with notable labels such as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Calvin Klein. Now, he is adding another feather to his cap by joining German maker of leather bags and accessories Braun Buffel.
Fabio Panzeri’s appointment as creative director is aimed at bringing a touch of modernity to the heritage brand. As he puts it, his designs denote a sense of “the new and cool”.
“I saw an opportunity to draw from the history and background, yet at the same time, translate the present into the future with construction. Think classic and comfortable, but strong designs,” he explains.
“My creative direction for Braun Buffel is to balance creativity with the extraordinary legacy of the house, and to articulate this contemporary vision into realising its full potential.”
Panzeri, 48, studied at Instituto Marangoni in Italy and began his career in 1993 as an accessories and fabrics designer. A strong advocate of collaborative design partnerships, he is familiar with change.
“Fortunately, that’s my personality. To adapt and evolve. With that, I was able to work with many different brands. I’m hired to stay ‘outside’, meaning that I’m able to take a step back and look at things from a fresh perspective,” he notes.
“My inspiration, in general, is from life itself – music, for instance. I’d maybe use a soundtrack to vocalise a perfect world. Then find new colours or new ideas to make it ‘real’.”
Keeping It Fresh
In his new role, Panzeri directed the Braun Buffel Spring/Summer 2018 advertising campaign. The visuals transport viewers to the Greek islands using a warm and almost magical vibe.
The men’s collection is inspired by the wanderlust desire of transitioning from urban spaces of metropolitan city life to the eclectic dynamism of nautical adventures in the Grecian archipelago.
Elaborate hints of contrasting details, paired with clean silhouettes and utilitarian functionality define the women’s collection.
The blossoming hues found in the collection’s colour palette embody the demure romanticism and spirited passion of a summer holiday.
Panzeri’s actual design debut for Braun Buffel, however, comes in the form of a capsule collection. His new creations adhere to a philosophy of balancing two different halves.
This is seen in the elements that he fuses together. While provocativeness paired with sophisticated femininity is part of the women’s collection, a sharp, overt masculinity defines the men’s.
For the ladies, there are the very chic Kelis and Elisha bags. These showcase luxe finishing, as well as eye-catching embellishments like vintage gold hardware and top resin handles.
Gents can look out for the Mike and Chester bags. Crafted from durable medium grain printed calf leather, they blend the essence of rugged street urbanity with sleek, sophisticated silhouettes.
“Of course, it’s challenging to create something that fits everyone’s expectation. So I try to come up with designs that are cool and young but classic. Something a person can use every day,” Panzeri notes.
“The message I’m conveying with my collection is about being relaxed. Most of the time, life is already stressful. So the designs counterbalance that aspect of life, to inject a bit of fun into the everyday.”
A Fitting Legacy
Braun Buffel celebrated its 130th anniversary last year. It is currently helmed by the founder’s granddaughter, Christiane Brunk. She is a fourth generation member of the Braun family.
The brand started as a saddlery and upholstery business. It was in Kirn – more famously known as Germany’s town of leather, that the late Johann Braun first plied his trade in 1887.
The years however, have afforded Braun Buffel a steadfast and stable growth. Its products are no longer of the functional leather goods variety, but fashionable accessories as well.