By Robin | January 08, 2017

Atelier de l’armée


Atelier de l’Armée, which literally means workshop of the army, was founded at the end of the summer of 2011. Their brand is rooted in Amsterdam and built on years of experience in the fashion industry. The founders, Elza Wandler and Joost Doeswijk are both partners in life and at work.

Elza and Joost both studied at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. When Joost finished his study, he started as a Quality Controller at Scotch & Soda and later worked as a merchandiser and fabric researcher at G-star. Elza used to work as a freelance designer for Levi’s Made & Crafted.

After years of working in the fashion industry they decided it was time to create their own world. A place where they would be free to explore and wouldn’t have to compromise on quality. ‘Joost: It was really hard for me to find a bag with a high-end feel for a reasonable price. I strive to make high quality goods that last a lifetime.’ Elza adds: ‘I love designing fashion forward accessories with a masculine touch. For me, there are two main elements that create a well-designed item; style and function.’

It is their shared passion for high quality products and craftsmanship, combined with years of experience, that makes Atelier de l’Armée a unique and progressive brand.


Meet the Maker - Atelier de l'armee

Style combined with function

When it comes to completing an outfit, accessories are a key element. They have to be functional as well as stylish. Accessories have to complete the outfit and they have to protect your personal belongings as well. The current collection of Atelier de l’Armée is focussed on the progressive urban personas, who live in or around the city. Because they are in constant motion, their accessories have to support them. The selected materials and the way of construction ensure that your belongings are protected whatever the day brings along. And, whilst not at all frivolous, the well-designed goods will definitely make you stand out of the crowd.

Elza: ‘Every design is created with an eye for details, which means that every detail is both stylish and functional. I think that our designs are innovative, fashionable and composed out of an unexpected mix of materials.’

All products are handmade in their own workshop in Amsterdam, or by one of their high quality manufacturers in Europe. During this whole process they take environmental and ethical aspects into account.



As the name suggest Atelier de l’Armee took a lot of inspiration from army gear. Functionality as well as durability are some major values of the brand. Other sources of inspiration include modern architecture, art and traveling in foreign countries. Elza: ‘we’re always on the lookout for that new or special something. We observe city life and we’re constantly exploring new and interesting territories. We learn from observing people in their daily routines, analyzing their needs.’


Meet the Maker - Atelier de l'armee

The Materials

All the materials are carefully selected from the best suppliers in Europe. The bar is set very high and they will never make compromises when it comes to quality, only the best is good enough. The goal is to create durable goods that will last a lifetime.

The mainly used leather is vegetable tanned full grain leather. Vegetable tanning is the most eco-friendly method of tanning. No chemicals are used during the whole process. Full grain leather is the strongest and most durable part of the hide of an animal. Over time, full grain leather will look nicer and it will develop a patina from being used. Besides leather, the bags are made out of heavyweight water repellent military canvas. This canvas keeps your belongings safe and dry during all types of weather and activities.

The current collection of Atelier de l’Armée is the ultimate combination between quality, durability & style. Curious? Head over to and find out for yourself!