OBS: Development of Timeless Product Concepts in Leather Bags and More

“We don’t want to follow a linear path, but do what feels right for us…

We want to design products that enrich, improve and beauty life“

Matthias Schweizer (Co-founder OBS)

You may have come across OBS, the abbreviation written on exquisite leather bags with the phrase “Development of Timeless Product Concepts” adorning the label. OBS caught attention through its unconventional leather bags, expanding beyond fashion and offering clothing, jewelry, print magazines, and homeware.

The Schweizer brothers, Matthias and Johannes, were influenced by their early exposure to fashion and design. With formal education in fashion and a background in furniture design, they launched OBS in 2018. The brand gained recognition when they showcased their products alongside luxurious brands at Paris Fashion Week.

OBS offers a diverse range of products, challenging gender norms with their luxury bags for men. The “Kompakt/Crossbody Bag” became a hallmark of their unique and casual yet luxurious design. The OBS lineup expanded to include the “Kubo/Shopper Bag,” “Kompakt/Top Handle Bag,” and other sought-after silhouettes.

Today, OBS operates from its own office, handling production through multiple outlets across Germany. They prioritize maintaining a small supply chain with premium materials and transparent production processes. Beyond fashion design, they identify as “product designers” with a vision to create an OBS universe that extends to every aspect of everyday life.

OBS ventured into jewelry, showcasing their “Grat/Silver Ring” and “Fuchsschwanz/Silver Link Chain” with transparent documentation of the production process on their website. In January 2021, they released their first print issue, featuring their works combined with personal photos. Their latest endeavor, “Stoneware,” showcases a sculptural approach inspired by the Japanese art of Kurinuki.

So even OBS might have seem like a textile brand, the vision was always more complex with a broad variety of products always in the brother’s minds. Their initial fear of confusing costumers with such a wide-spread assortment of goods under one label was soon found to be wrong. 

OBS is about creating an OBS universe which can be present in every step of everyday life “starting with an OBS toothbrush up to the OBS car you drive“. Of course there is no OBS car in the works – well… not for now, but it’s all about the vision. A vision which constantly expands.

Their next venture – jewelry – was played heavily over their website with all the steps of production always visible for the customer. The production of the “Grat / Silver Ring“ by artist Franziska Schweizer is well documented on their website and lets the customer understand that they are not just dealing with fashion accessories, but with works of art. Same goes for their “Fuchsschwanz / Silver Link Chain“.

“Stoneware“ is the name of OBS’ first collection of ceramic pieces. Influenced by the Japanese art of Kurinuki, in which by shaping a solid block of clay and carving pieces out of it the final form of the art piece is found in the process,. This is a more sculptural approach than the classical art of pottery with the individual treatment showing each workstep of the artists or better said the “product designers“.

The difference between crafting a garment and a vase?  “When we create clothing everything has to fit up until the last millimetre. Everything has to be discussed with the manufacturer. When we create our stoneware we use a knife or spatula to cut everything out to see what remains or what has been created. This is a clear contrast to the production of clothes and accessories.“

Crafting clothing requires meticulous attention to detail, while creating stoneware involves a departure from traditional techniques. OBS embraces the convergence of art and fashion, planning additional ceramic releases and collaborations with other artists.

Explore OBS’s captivating OBS STONEWARE collection, comprising 32 individually sculpted pieces, available for admiration and purchase on their official website at www.obs-official.com.