Braun Buffel: Time For A Change

Braun Büffel’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection opens up a new and more moving chapter for the 131-year old leather goods brand. Ricky Ronaldo reports from its launch in Singapore winning over millennials is undoubtedly a difficult venture. But for Braun Büffel, the challenge might be even harder. as a 131-year-old leather goods and accessories brand, who for more than a century pioneered collections of classic elegance, turning that dna into something else sounds nearly impossible to do, and also risky, as its faithful customers may not react fittingly to the change. yet Braun Büffel has taken the leap into a whole new strategy, by appointing Fabio Panzeri as the house’s creative director.


Fabio Panzeri & Seungri

The Italian designer joined the brand on June 2017, bringing to it 20 years of experience designing leather goods and accessories for major fashion houses like Prada, Helmut Lang, Etro, Dolce & Gabbana, and Calvin Klein. But what seems a natural match at first, what you see is not what you get as panzeri has something more visionary planned for the brand. since he came to the house, Panzeri has been turning Braun Büffel’s classic and elegant DNA into something more eclectic and retro futuristic. his radical vision has been subtly hinted couple of times in the past, but never became so prevalent until recently, when Braun Büffel launched their Spring/Summer 2019 collection, which marks Panzeri’s first full collection for the house.

History in the Making
To celebrate the occasion, Braun Büffel held an exclusive launch party at its Marina Bay Sands store in Singapore. The house had never any shortage of celebrity guest stars before. last year on its 130th anniversary, they invited Orlando Bloom. This time, to celebrate Panzeri’s first full launch, they invited k-pop star Seungri from boy band Big Bang. As expected, devoted fans crowded outside the store hours before he arrived, carrying posters and fandom light sticks to welcome him. The crowd screamed in excitement when Seungri finally arrived and later, sang happy birthday to the K-pop star. Braun Büffel too surprised him with a large birthday cake that had been decorated by the house’s iconic bully dressed in a space outfit, which is the theme Panzeri chose for Braun Büffel’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection. Naturally, the store itself has a recurring space theme, with blue neon lights and a spaceship backdrop. “My idea of the Spring/Summer 2019 collection is to create a new DNA of the brand,” Panzeri said earlier that day of his first full collection, “That’s why the name of the new collection is ‘retro future vision,’ because it is a combination of different point of views.” he explained: “retro in respect of the previous DNA, such as the craftsmanship and quality, future to make the collection jump into the future and vision, as in my vision to move the brand to a new direction.”

Embracing Modernity

In line with the retro future vision theme, the collection heavily broke away from Braun
Büffel’s usual classics. The Spring/Summer 2019 collection, as the press release perfectly put it: “embraces modernity for the 21st century urbanite,” a point that can be found in so many different aspects of the collection, not only in its design. The Bully collection, which this season is introduced in new shapes such as Braun Büffel’s very first cap, is made out of 100% leather cutoffs of the season, meaning that no leather in the Spring/Summer 2019 collection is wasted. For the very first time, the entire Bully collection too is unisex, meaning the house has eliminated Buffy who used to be the feminine counterpart to Bully. As a matter of fact, many pieces on Braun Büffel’s spring/summer 2019 collection are more gender-neutral, a rising trend that has taken over many major fashion houses today. These pieces are found in mostly non-leather accessories. yes, Panzeri mix and matched many new materials such as neoprene and nylon to the collection, so it’s not just about the leather goods anymore. a particular highlight is ones featuring retrofleX fabric that reflects any light shone upon it. in the men’s collection, retrofleX is introduced in four collections, including the Kirk, where neoprene backpacks, messenger bag and drawstrings feature a futuristic holographic embroidered patch of the house’s buffalo logo. More innovative was the use of retrofleX in the danny line, over backpacks and cross shoulder sling bag and at the Z-gen collection comprising of a clutch and tote in black. Both these collections too, especially the Z-gen, can also easily be worn by the ladies due to its sleek and abstract silhouettes. last but not least, panzeri also debuted a new design, the 16-hour backpack, made both for the work and active lifestyle as a multifunctional backpack that will carry you from the day to the night. This design is found in kirk with the retrofleX fabric and also at the Harrison, a line distinguishable by its electric blue and topaz leather accents. The 16-hour Harrison backpack too has been equipped with multiple compartments to make organizing easy, including a washable-nylon shoe and clothing bag. While the more classic leather offerings are still very prevalent at the house, like at its famed homme and halen line with its clean-lined and structured silhouette that is perfect for the modern businessmen, the direction that Panzeri steered on to Braun Büffel is much more eccentric and youthful. it is also a lot sportier. “The classic market  have now changed completely,” explains Panzeri, “Modernity means respecting the brand’s DNA through its craftsmanship and good quality. But that can also be translated into new materials.” Safe to say, the Braun Büffel we know now has changed, and will change even further in the future. And while it definitely won’t please everyone, what is fashion and style without a little bit of risk taking?

In Indonesia, Braun Büffel is available at the brand’s boutiques in Plaza Senayan, Pondok Indah Mall 2, Grand Indonesia, Senayan City, Kelapa Gading 3 Mall, Puri Indah Mall, Central Park, Kota Kasablanka, Trans Studio Mall and Paris Van Java in Bandung, Tunjungan Plaza 5 and Ciputra World in Surabaya and Centre Point in Medan.