Steven ma is a London-based eponymous leather accessories brand founded in 2021.
A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Ma has been forming the idea for this label for over three years, focused on a mission of transforming creative inspirations and emotions into physical objects. Built on highly personal experiences of trauma and rebellion against normativity that have surrounded him throughout his life, steven ma doesn’t just share a name with its founder. It is part of his identity as it translates ephemeral thoughts and moments into things that are meant to last forever.
The design ethos that sits at the heart of steven ma revolves around contrast – angular versus oval, hard versus soft, natural versus manmade. Shoes and bags explore the conflicts within their own form – yet another homage to bending the rules. By reimagining classic notions and fashion tropes into sculptural accessories, Ma transforms ordinary into extraordinary. He also builds frames around his objects with the idea of protecting emotions that have been poured into the concepts.
Natural stones play a big role in Ma’s designs, not only as inspirations for colours and shapes but as actual embellishments that are moulded into the hardware. Use of natural materials like jade and shellfish also makes these pieces completely unique – a true testament of luxury of the 21st century. All of the objects are also adorned with a single malachite bead which represents a talisman of steven ma’s narrative, a celebration of individualism and spirituality.
steven ma’s first collection, Collection No.1, can be seen as a start for the brand and rebirth of classic design codes. Traditional loafer, Mary Jane and Chelsea boot shapes are given a modern touch and breaking with norms, all styles feature oversized soles and double heels, whether illusory or stacked together. Shapes of the heels are inspired by both bold architectural shapes as well as crystalline structures. Genderfluidity runs throughout the collection, men’s dress shoe elements are found on women’s heels and many styles are available in both men’s and women’s sizes. Contrasting colours are used to create a bold impression and natural stones feature throughout, making each piece a little bit different and unique.
The brand’s first campaign has been shot by Casper Sejersen, featuring models Chu Wong and Dominik Sadoch in a stark, industrial environment contrasting with the rich colours of the footwear and bags on display. Alongside the campaign, a fashion film shot by Rei Nadal was exclusively premiered by SHOWstudio on the 19th September.
With a season-less approach that follows its own pace, objects are being released individually, therefore allowing the craftsmanship and artistry to be fully appreciated and have its own moment to shine. Product launches are supported by collaborations with artists and creatives, under the artistic direction of stylist Ellie Grace Cumming.
steven ma is dedicated to its founder’s late mother, who has always been the biggest supporter of his uniqueness. And while she might not be physically here, she continues to play an important role in his life.
Key colours of the season are Burgundy, Dark Green, Camel and Dust Blue.
All images courtesy of Steven Ma @stevenmastudio
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