Max Poglia’s bags are never alike.
What is the essence of your creativity?
Many of us look for inspiration in what we admire, people, places, childhood memories. For some artists and designers, returning to their roots is an option to free ideas and lead creations, but for Max Poglia, roots are the beginning of everything.
Born in southern Brazil, Poglia became a citizen of the world, passing through Milan and New York, but never left his origins within the Italian culture behind. Inspired by his grandfather's handicrafts, he started to explore age-old craftsmanship and natural materials.
Poglia sought to learn and improve his leatherwork before turning his name into a business. In 2013, he founded Poglia: a lifestyle brand based in Brooklyn that specializes in handcrafting knives, leather bags, and loom-woven blankets.
In addition to being unquestionably durable, his designs made with tanned cow-hide leather are totally unique, no two Poglia bags are the same. He exposes leather to the weather, so everything happens in a very organic way.
But let Poglia tell you about his perfect result in imperfection, and how he manages to maintain a unique work philosophy that's clean and filled with his traditions. Scroll for a chat like no other.
Why are you so passionate about this process, and what are the rewards?
It all began as curiosity about how I could introduce ancient materials into the modern world.
“I love the idea of the "imperfect beauty” of handcrafted products and natural materials, I think this is the best reward and the fact that the product evolves over time.”
I’m passionate about the process because we preserve distinct markings of all our materials, not only leather, as a reminder of the past and rugged simplicity.
You work with timeless materials and classic craftsmanship techniques ― can you tell us about the creative process of executing fresh designs that embody old traditions?
Our collection is made to age, giving our products a sense of timelessness and heritage. For me, The New York Times said it best: "Poglia, a throwback to simpler days for the modern man.” That’s our approach to design, what makes it fresh is the fact that we are re-introducing it to modern living. We like to think we are creating the “vintage” of tomorrow.
In what ways do your Brazilian and Italian heritage influence your leatherwork process?
“I’m a native of Southern Brazil, but I was raised with Italian heritage. I also lived in Milan, Italy, for some time before moving to New York City. I was always passionate about natural leather and started looking back to my own culture and the gaucho heritage. After many trips back home, I started to knock on some doors in order to create some leather products to incorporate into my lifestyle in NYC… later I turned into Poglia, the brand. My roots are still an everyday inspiration and influence in our process as a whole.”
Lastly, what up-and-coming brands & designers that have caught your attention with leathercraft skills should we look out for?
I really love the work of RECOUTURE in Japan, especially their early work and their skills to replace classic sneakers' body/soles for refined leather and workwear soles. Another amazing leathercraft work that I can’t just not mention, even if there's nothing new, is my collaboration with local artisan Simone Taddei in Florence, who is the third generation in his craft, to introduce a small and very limited line of exquisite, highly polished leather goods in Poglia’s signature Weather Aged and Natural finish.
We have no doubt that POGLIA is creating the vintage of tomorrow.
More designs that embrace time and traditions here.