Indy Style: How Métier and Lucasfilm Collaborated on an Adventurous New Line
Métier founder and designer Melissa Morris and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny costume designer Joanna Johnston speak with Lucasfilm.com about hatching a handsome range of bags and leather goods.
It started with an Instagram post. Melissa Morris, founder of luxury leather goods house Métier, published an image of Indiana Jones on the brand’s official account. It caught the eye of Joanna Johnston, costume designer of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, who also happens to be a Métier fan.
“It was kind of surreal, actually. Joanna reached out to me through Instagram,” Morris tells Lucasfilm.com. “She saw I referenced a picture of Indiana Jones on Métier’s Instagram, just as an inspiration image. And she messaged and said who she was and what she wanted to do.” What Johnston wanted to do was collaborate on an Indiana Jones-themed line tied to Dial of Destiny, which arrives in theaters on June 30. The two met in Métier’s London store in between Covid lockdowns and became fast friends. The collab was greenlit shortly thereafter.
“It’s just so interesting how everything happens for a reason, right? The fact that Melissa posted at the point when I was just starting [on Dial of Destiny],” adds Johnston. “Her product is beautifully made, and that warm, slightly yellowy, rusty suede is a very good color for Indiana Jones because it’s such an earthy tone. So I immediately just loved it. I aligned with her ethics, her ethos, her approach to design, and I think it is a perfect fit.”
The resulting collections arrived earlier this month, all consisting of beautiful and rugged leather and suede handmade items that look like something Indy or his goddaughter, Helena Shaw, would carry on the subway or around the world. The limited-availability Collector’s Edition range, which includes the Vagabond Duffle, Messenger, and Runaway handbag, is deserving of its name — featuring actual costume fabrics from Dial of Destiny that have been woven into the interior of the bags. “At the end of the film, we had a lot of leftover fabrics from manufacturing of all the costumes,” Johnston explains. “When Melissa and I were talking, we said, ‘Why don’t we input those into the Métier product?’ Indy’s leather jacket is in there, Indy’s shirt, Helena’s trousers and shirting… I mean all these different pieces, they’re truly one-of-a-kind items. Those are super collectible because that’s finite and it won’t be mass manufactured. We thought it was fun, because it’s the real deal.”
The main collection, which also includes the Vagabond Duffle, Messenger, and Runaway handbag (utilizing chocolate suede, as opposed to the Collector’s Edition’s Marrakesh material), is a diverse range with its own surprises. It also features the Hunter Messenger, a suede bag with a ‘60s sensibility, based on a bag used by Helena Shaw in the film. “I think that was actually the biggest challenge. Trying to take something like that and reinterpreting that with a luxury hand and that made sense for modern life,” Morris says. “We didn’t want to just copy it in expensive materials. It was like, ‘Okay, how can we take the essence of it and repurpose it in a way that will work — that it’s not costuming, that it’s something that will make total sense.’” Morris points to the bag’s modularity — its use as a shoulder or handbag, with internal elements that can be removed, and plenty of storage space — as the functionality solutions they needed. For a little extra Indy flair, all bags in the line include a collab plaque on the interior, while the Vagabond Duffle, Messenger, and Runaway also feature an understated illustration of Indy’s iconic hat and whip.
For the main collection’s small leather goods, including luggage tags, a notebook cover, a wallet, some playing cards, and more, Johnston came up with a unifying motif: the unmistakable silhouette of the film series’ titular archaeologist, which Morris adored. While Métier usually goes for subtlety, this was just too much fun to pass up. “That was something we were really cognizant about — wanting to create, take inspiration. But we didn’t want anything to feel like merch. We wanted it to feel like collectibles,” Morris says. “And so adding that on the smaller leather goods felt like a really fun way to have something more playful on the outside, but it also still felt really refined.”
Both Johnston and Morris are excited for the release of their collaboration, but also appreciative of the adventure along the way. “I think this has been really nice, because Melissa and I both, we come on the same level as regards to our ideas and our enthusiasm about goods. So we come from different springboards, but we absolutely do meet in a perfect pitch, I think, together. And I think that’s really a joy,” Johnston says. “But I have to say that, usually, if you are doing things, it’s with a much bigger company, and I’m a big, big supporter of young, new, slightly smaller companies. And I like the thing of a huge brand like Indiana Jones collaborating with a smaller company as Métier, and the fact that Melissa’s the only designer. She’s got this small, intimate company, which are making extremely, high-quality goods. I think that’s the really nice thing.”
“I think you can tell, my respect [for Joanna] and what this experience has afforded me, just in my own skillset and the way I think about things now, it’s just totally different,” Morris says. “It’s just completely a different thing when you’re working with someone who has a real understanding of product. I mean, the things that she was thinking of just completely made me rethink how I [approach design]. It’s just been really special.”
The Indiana Jones x Métier collection is available now.
Indy’s past adventures — the original four films and The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones TV series — are now streaming on Disney+. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny arrives in theaters on June 30.
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