Belgian brand Hedgren is having a welcome makeover, launching a new line of bags aimed at global nomads and creative souls. With Amsterdam-based, British designer Tony Spackman at the helm of this new venture, the capsule collection is putting firmly Hedgren back on the style map. The Belgian company – which was founded in 1993 – commissioned backstage maestro Sonny Vandevelde to shoot the journey of his own bag, travelling from the sunny shores of Australia to cold and grey Belgium.
How did you get involved with Hedgren?
They approached me and presented the collection, asking if I would like to shoot the bag. They wanted something unusual for its press launch and I guess that’s the reason why they called me in the first place.
Do you think they picked you because you travel extensively for your job?
I think Tony Spackman had Djs, models and photographers in mind when he designed the collection, which makes sense actually.
How did you find the whole process of shooting the bag?
It was a bit stressful, because we didn’t have a lot of time. The bag was a sample and had to be couriered to Sydney. I had three different jobs to do and took the bag everywhere with me. I like the contrast between one of the first pictures -which was taken in the first class lounge of Qantas Airways, designed by Marc Newson– and one of the bag on the NMBS train.
Did you find the bag useful and functional?
Yes, I did. It was very interchangeable and you could use it in lots of different ways. That’s what makes it interesting. It took me a while to get used to it, because I have my own way of using a bag and placing things in it, but I realized it was a very good one to use on a photo shoot, because it totally opens up and everything is easily accessible. You can put all your things in it quickly, have your laptop available and use it while you’re shooting. It’s really functional. I was impressed.
Will this collaboration lead to other projects then?
I’d love to sit down with Tony and the Hedgren designers to actually create a bag with them. I guess I would like to imagine a style that’d be purely for photographers.
Is it the actual design process that would appeal to you?
I wouldn’t mind, to be honest. There are several things I need from a bag. It has to be safe, robust and light, but it also has to be able to fit in the overhead locker on an airplane.
People know you through your backstage images of shows in New York, Milan and Paris. What was it like shooting a bag, instead of cute models?
Well, I don’t just shoot people, you know. I photograph clouds, too. (laughter) I shoot rocks on the beach, whatever grabs my eye.