Since 1938, lifestyle fashion brand Oroton has been a powerhouse in the industry. Producing a wide range of products for men and women including handbags, small leather accessories, sunglasses, jewellery, accessories, apparel and shoes, the brand is defined by its relaxed, modern Australian approach to luxury.

Combining chic simplicity with that playful design essence that is unique to Oroton, the brand focuses on casual glamour and timeless style.

Oroton has recently partnered with a host of some of the most successful bloggers in the industry to produce a range of leather bag straps. Collaborating with the likes of Elle Ferguson, Carmen Hamilton and Geneva Vanderzeil has seen the luxury goods brand’s popularity grow even further.

We sat down with two of the collaborators, Brisbane girl Geneva Vanderzeil, the blogger behind DIY and travel blog, A Pair & A Spare, and Elle Ferguson of They All Hate Us Fame.

Can you tell me a little about your collaboration with Oroton?

Geneva: I absolutely love the design process, and so when Oroton approached me to work with them on a collaborative product I was really excited to be involved – it’s always so satisfying to create something from scratch like this. There’s always a lot of challenges and logistics but it’s that sort of detailed process I like to be involved in.

Elle: Working with Oroton was a little bit of a dream come true. Oroton is such a heritage brand. I still have my mums glomesh Oroton bags from the 70’s, so to be working with them in a design capacity was quite surreal.

Did you have a lot of involvement in the design process?

Geneva: Yes absolutely, which is exactly the way I like to work. It was quite a detailed process –  mood boarding, sketching, choosing materials and sampling, I worked with the design time throughout the process to make sure the finished product was perfect. Having designed other products (and creating weekly DIY projects on my website) it wasn’t as much of a learning curve as it could have been, but nevertheless, I learnt so many new things!

Elle: 100%. Oroton left the entire design up to me and were so amazing. I learnt so much! It became hard at one point because I had so much creative freedom.

Where do you get inspiration from for your design?

Geneva: It’s always a little daunting when you’re creating a design for a big, iconic brand like Oroton – you want to stay true to their heritage but also inject your design with all the elements that make you, you. Because of that, I focused on two things, my affinity with nautical style (a love of the ocean), and the pull I feel towards tan leather goods.  I then worked to bring these things together in a way that would be both pretty and practical. Tan leather, blue and white cotton webbing, tan leather whip stitching, gold studding, these are the elements that I finally decided on. And yes, there were lots of reject ideas, but that’s all part of the process.

Elle: I knew I wanted red involved somewhere and also hardware. I had a lot of inspo pictures I brought along to the meeting, but the actual strap came together through sketching with the team.

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What should come first – the handbag or the outfit?

Geneva: The handbag of course! I usually reach for a tan handbag and match all the rest of my accessories with that shade as well as the metal hardware on the bag, and pair it with a simple outfit – I like to let my accessories for the talking. It’s a little bit particular but it works for me!

Elle: Hmmm that’s like the chicken and the egg…I’d say you can go both ways.

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