Most tales of design success don’t begin with a girl nerding out in engineering class. But enchanted by a Materials and Process course at University of Illinois—the core concept of which was finding new features and functionalities inherent to each material—Christine Marcelino set out to create products that speak to that ethos. Hell, she even named her line after the class. “I wanted to challenge myself and make a functional product,” she explains. “I wanted to design things that look good so you can seamlessly go between different events in your life, whether you’re working at the coffee shop or just have your iPad in your purse.”
But it wasn’t until she was introduced to vegetable-tanned leather, a natural-looking hide that gets its nude and mauve hues from the remnants of—yep—veggies, that Christine really felt like she was onto something. With its aesthetic purity, it was the perfect match for her design principles, which she also puts to use for clients as disparate as Pottery Barn and Marmot. Plus, the skin looked stellar used for her first undertaking, sleek leather knapsacks destined for people who are always on the go—the sort she encounters daily in San Francisco, and (most importantly!) the type she is herself. —carlye wisel
BEHIND THE SCENES
Got It Made How Materials + Process Gets Down With Leather
The SF designer plays hide and seek.
The Materials + Process leading lady designs with functionality in mind and expects others to do the same.