Model holding Sandra Park's Audi RS inspired leather bag

Completing the look

We challenged HEIO’s Sandra Park to create an Audi-inspired bag from RS model leather

Close up of Sandra Park's Audi RS inspired leather bag

You can tell a lot about a person from the kind of car they drive and the same can be said for handbags. "A handbag completes your look and it tells others a lot about yourself," says Sandra Park, the London-based designer behind emerging fashion brand HEIO.

That's a lot of responsibility for a designer - fashion, automotive or otherwise. So how do they make sure everything they craft is good enough to be worn or driven with confidence?

To find out, we set Sandra the challenge of bringing the two together and creating a one-of-a-kind HEIO bag using leather from Audi's RS model interiors.

Rolls of quality leather used for the Audi RS bag

Design inspirations used for the Audi RS leather bag

HEIO's Sandra Park sketching designs for the Audi RS bag

Understandably, there was a bit of trepidation at first.

"When I look at leathers, it's from a bag design perspective. But now I have these leathers which have been chosen for cars, and I'm using them for a bag. So that's been kind of a twist."

Fortunately, Sandra's career path suggests she enjoys a challenge. Born and raised in Barcelona, Sandra has turned her lifelong love of handbags and a fierce work ethic into a fast-growing fashion business in the space of a single year.

Her iconic The Cube design was inspired by geometric shapes and the artist Gaudi, whose unmistakable works loomed large throughout her childhood. Besides the distinct design, it's the quality of the bags that set them apart. Sandra spent countless hours with her manufacturer, making sure the cut and colours of the leather were just right.

Sandra Park selecting leather colours for the Audi RS bag

It's a dedication to quality that Sandra sees echoed in Audi models.

"We both try to get the best material for our products. Audi has chosen the best leathers for its cars and I try to choose the best leathers for my bags."

With this commitment to crafting only the best products, Sandra began her challenge: to bring together one of her designs using Audi RS leather.

"When I saw the leathers and touched them, I thought, 'This is what I was imagining exactly.' The leathers were good."

Sandra Park making the Audi RS inspired bag

Luckily, inspiration was not hard to come by either.

"I had this picture of Big Ben at night in my head with a red bus passing by, which was my first thought. I thought it would be good to combine the colours red and blue, like in the Union Jack. 'Minimal and simple but with personality. That was the aim."

After bringing together the design, the bag was sent to Spain for manufacturing before being returned for final inspection.

"It looks like exactly what I had in mind. It's interesting seeing my product for the first time with a different leather. It's strange because I'm more used to suede and vegetable tan. It's different but it's really nice."

What did she think her creation would say about its new owner? And more importantly, could she see them carrying it with confidence?

"It would be worn by someone who takes care of their image a lot. I think that my friends, the ones who really like fashion, would be confident carrying something like this."

We'll take that as a yes.

Written by Tom Oakey; Photographs by Jenni Smith.


Find out more about the Audi RS range


Model holding Sandra Park's Audi RS inspired leather bag