Meet Giovanna Sessi-Knott: The Italian Designer behind the Morphbag brand
With growing efforts in becoming a more sustainable brand and protecting our environment, FRUK magazine is delighted to tell the world about this wonderful brand. Her latest collection showcases the brands understated aesthetic and timeless sophistication. Whether it’s from work to leisure or a night out with the girls, The Morphbag by GSK has you covered.
Founded in 2018 by Italian designer Giovanna Sessi-Knott, The Morphbag by GSK exudes modern artistry with its innovative and versatile collection. Offering four bags in one with a reversible tote, boasting a spacious interior for larger items, cross body and a purse – perfectly crafted from premium faux leather that is also P.E.T.A. certified vegan. There is nothing not to love about this incredible brand.
From a successful international career in business to interior design and now fashion, Giovanna Sessi-Knott makes it look so easy. And with fashion production making up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions and fast fashion taking a toll on the environment, Giovanna’s mission is to promote sustainability through her brilliant functional handbags.
How did you begin and have you always been interested in fashion and design?
I grew up surrounded by fashion as my late father used to work in the industry. I used to help out at trade shows during my studies and worked in Spain and Italy during two summers during that time as well. However, once I completed my economics and business studies I embarked a career in corporate banking, first in Vienna and then in London. My job was very demanding and after I got married and had two children under the age of two, it became unsustainable so I sadly had to quit. I reinvented my myself not long after I started my ‘mummy break’ and retrained as an interior designer and practiced as a sole trader for a while. This satisfied my creative side but the call-out for fashion started to get louder.
What’s the inspiration behind the brand name?
As I was navigating through life, first as yuppy and then later as a working mother, there were many versions of me that needed to be accessorised correctly in a single day. I was rushing from work meetings to school pick-ups, fitting groceries shopping and play-ground breaks in between to a date night or business dinner. These multiple transitions during one single day did not leave any room for outfit changes and handbag swaps. I needed a handbag that would morph with the many activities of my days. This is why I called it The Morphbag.
Can you give us some insight into your creative process?
My inspiration comes from women. The Morphbag woman is busy, seeks practicality without wanting to compromise on her appearance. She is timeless and effortless in her style, a conscious shopper and invests in pieces made to last. She is conscious about the environment and prefers choosing sustainable products provided they do not compromise on quality or style. I had noticed that multi-tasking women often need to multi-bag, which is what inspired me to re-invent the every-day handbag as a set of three colour-coordinated bags to ensure a polished look when carrying more than one bag.
Many women I spoke to expressed the frustration of being tied in by the colour of the every-day bag they had, which limited them to certain colours in the wardobe when getting ready in the morning. I designed each Morphbag set in dual colours so that it would work across the main colour groups: black, navy and brown/beige. I also chose the dual colours to be contrast colours with one being muted and the other bright to allow to accessorise according to the occasion and to make the handbag seasonless. My aim was to create the essential bag for a sustainable capsule wardrobe. I chose faux-leather and had it textured and coated to look like animal leather because it was important for me that my product would be cruelty-free and have a reduced carbon footprint compared to animal leather.
What has been your highest and lowest points on your journey so far?
Having only launched 2 years ago, I feel still pretty high. The lowest point has been the pandemic because it has prevented me to run events and pop ups as I love interacting with customers as they are my inspiration for bespoke future collections as well.
What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
Creating season-less handbag solution for the busy and stylish woman.
Is there anyone dead or alive you would love to see wearing your designs?
Meghan Markle. Her style is effortless and timeless like my designs.
Can you tell us about your favourite piece from your collection and why?
I wear the colourway Black Forest Green & Metallic Mushroom a lot because green is my favourite colour and the colour of hope.
Is there another designer whose work you admire?
I love Victoria Beckham and admire the work and purpose of Stella McCartney
What’s the best piece of advice you would give your younger self? Buy less and choose well.
Do you feel changed as a person by the events of 2020, and if so in what ways? I think I became more structured with my days by building routines.
Are you looking forward to Christmas and what will it look like this year for you and your family? Our Christmas plans will depend on our ability to travel during the pandemic and see our families who live in different countries.
What advice would you give upcoming bag designers?
Ensure that sustainability is a at the core of your business.
Is there any project or collaboration you are excited about that you can share with us?
The Morphbag by GSK recently started collaborating with One Tree Planted and is planting 3 trees for the Amazon Project with every Morphbag set sold. We chose to plant in the Amazon Rainforest as it plays an important part in regulating the world’s oxygen and carbon cycles as it produces approximately 6% of the world’s oxygen and also acts as a carbon sink by readily absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The Amazon Rainforest is also one of the main areas affected by deforestation from farming which is in contrast with one of the core values of sustainability The Morphbag brand stands for.