Founded in 2013 by British designer Sarah Clarkson, The Transience is a luxury leather goods company specializing in handbags, carryalls and travel bags that suit the lifestyle and demanding needs of commuters and people who are always on the go. The products, constructed using a non-traditional “folding” technique, are hand-cut, sewn and individually number-stamped by Sarah and her team of local leather seamstresses in her New York City studio. We talked to Sarah about her line and impressions on the travel bag industry, and the future projects she is currently working on.


Tell us a few words about your background, and what led you to design.

I graduated with a degree in Industrial Design from Columbus College of Art and Design, and then I moved to New York City for a handbag design job. I worked in the fashion industry for a while, and, eventually, I decided to start my own brand, designing bags that are a combination of my design experiences.


What inspires you as a designer?

I’m quite visual and I’m really into interesting materials and textures. I also like to figure out how to make things work – the process, the construction and the manipulation of different elements.

Describe your collection in a few words.

Unisex, sporty, luxe, contemporary, progressive, transitional, transient.

Are there any materials you would like to use for your creations but you think that could be impractical?

Paper is a material we would love to experiment with, especially given our interest in origami.



Which is your most popular piece to date?

The Convertible Duffle has been the most popular bag to date.

What are the perks and what are the challenges of having pieces made-to-order?

Made-to-order has been shaping our business and our brand since we started. Order fulfillment can get a bit tricky at times, when we are busy, but making the product in house has allowed us to try out some innovative techniques that would have been difficult to pull off with a factory. It also makes us very nimble – we can create a new style for an individual customer or retailer in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months.


Your company is quite young. What are your impressions so far on the travel bag industry?

There are definitely some designers and makers I admire, but I believe there’s room in the industry for more expression, character and personality.

What makes a good travel bag?

A good travel bag should be lightweight and strong. And it should provide convenient access to the things you need on the move.



Give us some tips on selecting the right travel bag depending on our needs.

It depends a lot on what you bring on your travels; select bags that can accommodate those needs. Comfort in carrying them whether short or long distance is very important, as well as selecting a style that will be appropriate for you across multiple environments – from the airport to your meeting, to a bar.

What is next for your line? Do you see your range expanding?

We are currently collaborating with an activewear retailer in NYC, and that’s the array we’re expanding into.

Images © The Transience