2012 Melbourne Design Awards

Key Dates

The Etiquette Winter 2012 Collection [DRAFT]

Image Credit : Marc Buckner Photography www.buckner.tv



Project Overview

The handbags and wallets from the Etiquette Winter 2012 Collection, serve above and beyond the necessary function of a practical accessory. Each Etiquette handbag or wallet is a portable piece of art, a faithful companion, a container of treasures and a keeper of secrets.

The designs are conspicuous creations; they are noticeable and admirable. There is an element of surprise in each piece, and this surprise, is ironically steady throughout the Collection. Using rare vintage leathers and new sustainable materials, each part of the design is unique and exclusive.

Style and quality sit at the heart of Etiquette Handbags & Wallets. They apply these ideals to every detail of everything they do, from conception of design to completion of product.


Etiquette Handbags and Wallets


Designer & Creator – Mindy Mason Buckner

Mindy is well known for creating the Spencer and Rutherford brand, named after her parents, and pioneered a look of very unique fabric and leather combinations in girly handbag shapes - becoming in vogue and showcased many seasonal collections at Premiere Classe trade accessory show during Paris Fashion Week. Mindy was the handbag designer selected for the Australian Olympic team at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. She was then awarded 'Top 5 international accessory designers' by the Next Who’s Who by Lexington New York, USA. Mindy’s handbags are honoured in the book title “Handbags. The Power of the Purse” by writer Anna Johnson, for her contribution to the international accessory industry. Mindy launched Etiquette Handbags and Wallets in 2002 and continued her dream of producing the perfect handbag and wallet that she continues to explore and develop incorporating more trend fashion shapes. The Etiquette by Mindy Mason flagship store was opened in 2002 Osaka, Japan. It was the first Etiquette retail store launched by Japan's Itochu Corporation. Today, the Etiquette brand is showcased in five national showrooms across Australia and sold into 150 retailers across the country. Mindy attributes the companies success to the company team at Etiquette Handbags in Melbourne.

Project Brief

When you wear an Etiquette piece, it’s yours; an identifying, distinctive and characterising design.

The Etiquette Winter 2012 Collection awakens the senses this season by delivering new colours and textures to the predictable landscape of traditional winter designs. The Collection introduces splashes of colour and varying textures, aiming to challenge the ordinarily dull winter tones.

Adding more distinction to the range in the Collection, they designed, developed and manufactured a brass emblem that they call the ‘Etiquette license plate’. To complete each design, they add a special finishing touch; highlighted trims of velvet and silk, hand-covered fabric buttons, and of course, the Etiquette license plate.

Project Need

Etiquette like's the idea of offering something new to excite and stimulate the overall market, and the individuals who make this market.

This project sets a benchmark of what can be integrated into classic and predictable winter designs: splashes of colour and contrasts of textures and shapes. This Collection has added an element of diversity to what was established as winter designs in the wider market.

Design Challenge

Challenges are part of the fun because they always hope they can be overcome! They start with designing and don’t end until delivery. The first challenge was partnering the innovations of their design concepts with the established needs of the market. Etiquette's desire to challenge what was pre-existent on the market was in using the contrasting splashes of colour. To avoid shock to the consumer of this ‘new winter look’, they integrated the ‘spice-market’ orange hues with the predictable heavier tones and textures. This gave them the opportunity to design with colour and distribute distinctive pieces for winter.

Further to understanding the needs of the market, they thought it a priority to employ an assistant designer, who holds the capacity for accessing a new market through the contrast in demographic.

Another challenge arose in manufacturing. They use a range of high quality recycled and new materials and this quality is integral to their philosophy. This design principle was threatened due to the conflict between profitability and a severe price increase from their manufacturer. This forced them to seek more manufacturing options, maintaining the standards of quality established by the previous manufacturer. They achieved this thankfully!


For this project, they ran the (exciting) risk of using fibres made from recycled plastic bottles. The result was fantastic and prompted them to explore the globe for more sustainable options in a wider range of materials. Etiquette sourced an array of vintage leathers and recycled polyester fabrics, all of which maintain durability of quality, and enforce our efforts of making each design an exclusive piece.

This award recognises a component or overall product. Consideration given to all aspects that relate to human usage, aesthetics, selection of materials, and resolution of the overall function.

Judging Note : Judging for this category will be finalised on Monday 27th August and Finalists will be announced on Tuesday 28th August.

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