PB 0110 is a label by Philipp Bree, featuring fine bags of natural leather and linen. Bree believes in the significance of beloved objects, in things which develop an individuality through daily use and become essential companions over time. PB 0110 produces bags and accessories of vegetable-tanned natural leather, pure linen and brass. The bags and accessories are crafted by selected European manufacturers who have been skilled in the production and processing of high quality materials for generations.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I was born in 1971 in Germany and grew up in a family business of bag makers. Later I ran the business in the second generation together with my brother for more than ten years. In 2012 I left the company and followed my idea to create something very focused and founded PB 0110. PB stands for my initials and 0110 for the first of October, my birthday.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? We are working on our seventh collection and preparing a new collaboration. Last summer we launched our first object apart from bags and accessories — a swing. I personally love the feeling of swinging. Your feet are off the ground and your mind can relax. I have very positive associations with swings. I invited the Berlin based label New Tendency. Everybody is a bit surprised to see the swing in the collection but the reactions were overwhelming. And for me the swing fits perfectly into the idea of the brand.
How did your interest in art or fashion begin? A marvellous book by Tom Wolfe titled From Bauhaus to Our House incited me. It was the starting point for my serious interest in art, architecture and later in fashion.
If you had to explain your work or brand to a stranger, what would you say? 27 years ago my father gave me a travel bag made of natural leather. I carry it until this day. I love when objects grow in our hearts and accompany us through life. This is the reason I founded PB 0110.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? PB 0110 produces bags and accessories solely made of vegetable-tanned leather from Belgium, plus pure linen and brass from Tuscany, Italy. These are ideal materials, which become even more beautiful with the passage of time and develop a unique patina. The bags and accessories are crafted by selected European manufacturers who have been skilled in the production and processing of high-quality materials for generations. These ingredients are the bases of the development. I invite different designers to work on the collection. The only restriction they have is that they have to use ‘our’ materials and that we have one color concept for the whole collection. The final products are named after the initials of the designer.
What artists or designers are you interested in right now? During my last visit in London I saw marvellous sculptures by Carol Bove, a contemporary artist based in New York. I also love the ZERO movement, but unfortunately I missed the exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum at the beginning of this year.
What’s your favourite thing about your city? I live in a mid sized city in Germany called Hannover. A beautiful forest surrounds it. I enjoy the quietness and nature during the intervals between presenting our collection in Florence and Berlin, and twice per season in Paris.
What are your thoughts about the fashion scene in Hannover? The European scene is a wonderful playground but also exhausting. I am happy that in my hometown there is no fashion scene.
What is your snack of choice when working in your studio? A mix of nuts and dried fruits, which in German has a rather funny name: Students’ fodder.
What are you really excited about right now? About the discussion how we are living up to the challenge of so many refugees coming from the Middle East to Germany. The public debate is bringing the western way of life in the right perspective. It is a positive change for Germany.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? The worst was when a customer called me and complained about two spots on top of a handbag. She was upset to have two obvious marks in the leather. I had to explain to her that it was our brand mark on the outside of the bag …We just use two simple brackets. The idea behind is that the one who is carrying the bag is filling the space between the brackets. The best reaction was when I presented my second collection in Paris at Tranoi Fair. A very charismatic lady in a beautiful white linen garment passed by, watched our products for quite a long time, and said nothing but “I like your work, it has no ego.” Later she came back and introduced herself. She is the founder of the unique store in London called EGG.