A conversation with Lore Kramer


When an architect turns bag designer: in the early 1960s, Ferdinand Kramer designed a women’s handbag for his wife Lore. The Frankfurt-based bag label TSATSAS now presents EDITION FERDINAND KRAMER 1963, a range of three bags based on the architect’s original design, which has been developed in close collaboration with Lore Kramer.

How this collaboration came about, which design values Esther and Dimitrios Tsatsas share with Ferdinand Kramer, more about the both elegant and practical bags and about her husband’s signature.

What is the story behind the fact that your husband designed a handbag for you?
He wanted to surprise me, to make me happy. I didn’t have any bags as beautiful as these two, the versatile one and the elegant evening bag.

What do you like most about the bag? And what is it that makes the original design look so contemporary?
It’s the form, the balanced proportions, the unique handle articulation and, last but not least, it’s the clearly structured interior that allows you to keep things neat and tidy – that’s why this bag is still up-to-date. Above all, it’s because of its multi-purpose functionality. The bag doesn’t look like it was designed more than five decades ago. It looks like it was designed today.

What unites this bag with your husband’s architecture? Where, in this design, do you see his signature?
The bag stands out by virtue of its timelessness, functionality, versatility, elegance and reduced form – just like his buildings. I see his signature in the unique handle articulation I mentioned before, that’s the particular ‘clou’, as it were.

Do you see any commonalities between your husband’s design approach and that of TSATSAS?
Yes, I do. The TSATSAS bags are also defined by functionality and versatility, by a clear design idiom and by a fine feel for materials and perfect craftsmanship.

What was special about the collaboration with Esther and Dimitrios Tsatsas?
Both are very nice people, who are open to other ideas. They are creative and, like my husband and me, they love clear and reduced forms and appreciate the special qualities of materials.

Would it be fair to say that this a Frankfurt handbag? And if so, what makes it so?
No, it’s definitely not a Frankfurt bag. It’s an international bag!

Is there a particular anecdote in relation to the bag that you would like to share?
I don’t remember a particular anecdote, but sometimes people would ask me: Where did you get this bag from? And my mother loved both bags so much that we had them made for her, too. I’m sure Ferdinand would be delighted to see that so many people can now use his design in three different variations.

All images: Copyright © Gerhardt Kellermann, Munich