Rosa Mosa

Professionally playful approaches to material – a visit to rosa mosa

Rosa mosa’s shoes and bags are anything but mainstream – I want to meet the designers and see their studio, so I look up the address on the WIEN PRODUCTS city map. Then I make my way to the 6th district, where the world of rosa mosa is based in the brilliant architectural ensemble of the “Kaiser Franz Josef Jubiläumswerkstättenhof” at Linke Wienzeile 178/Mollardgasse 85.

Warm November sunlight shines through the gigantic paned windows into the workspace, where the walls hold shelves stacked with boxes of product samples and binders. It’s not surprising that so much has accumulated since 2001 – rosa mosa puts out two collections per year that are successfully presented at international shows with support from Wien Products. There is a pleasing scent of leather in the air; the quiet tapping of computer keyboards breaks the silence.

I find the latest pieces presented on a display table – leather shoes with flexible soles, bags lying next to knitted woolen vests and mittens that are made in cooperation with a women’s initiative in Tibet.
Material is extremely important to both designers, who met while studying Footwear and Accessory Design at Cordwainers College in London, explains Simone Springer while her Japanese partner Yuji Mizobuchi sorts colorful leather hides.

We are sitting at an oval conference table as I learn about how new models are created and how the year is divided into collections and production processes.

“We actually sketch few classic designs, instead we cultivate a professionally playful approach to material,” Simone Springer explains. The designers like to seek their inspiration at exhibitions, while traveling, and at flea markets. They pick up the material and immediately begin developing a new model. Two industrial sewing machines are set up in the next room along with a whole universe of materials – and this is where the two designers make their prototypes. When the collections are running, the bags and shoes are completed in the studio.

Two other employees work here with the designers – one handles administrative tasks and the other colleague is in the middle of measuring and cutting fabric straps for shoes. She has a production sheet in front of her – organized according to model, color, and size.

Nearby is a stack of the famous rosa mosa basket bags in various colors, waiting to be completed.

There are solids and stripes – in 2018 the different variations will be perfect for the summer holiday (“Sommerfrische” / “Il Fresco”)– the name of rosa mosa’s 2018 spring/summer collection. French linen makes an appearance here as well as turquoise, white, and blue – the rest remains a surprise.

The two fashion designers are, meanwhile, already thinking about next year’s fall/winter collection, waiting for material coming from Italy – such as leather, preparing cuttings, discussing colors, and, in the back of their minds, planning 2019’s spring/summer collection. In the meantime, they are producing the current collections, planning trade show appearances, communicating with customers, shipping orders, and networking.

The 2017/18 fall/winter collection is on sale now. Where do rosa mosa customers live – I ask the designers.

Serving the Japanese market is an obvious choice, as Yuji Mizobuchi comes from Kyoto – more than 30% of the designs are purchased there and worn with gusto. Customers in the US, UK, and Italy also love rosa mosa. Austria is just starting to discover the cool products. Maybe it’s because not many people know where they can buy the brand. The MAK Shop sells small leather goods, for instance, like the Kaisersemmel leather coin case, now a classic and the perfect gift for a good friend. The rosa mosa online shop is, of course, a comfortable 24/7 source for those who don’t live in Vienna.

But the best option is buying directly from the designers at the “Kaiser Franz Josef Jubiläumswerkstättenhof” – by appointment. There is a small showroom in the studio on the second floor.

I would definitely do this – first of all, you get to meet the designers in person; second, you get the best first-hand individual guidance; third, you see the entire collection, understand design and first-class quality; and fourth, the architectural space is absolutely worth the walk.