Vladimir Prochazka brand is a tribute to my great-grandfather
My name is Šimon Knotek, but they call me Vladimir Prochazka.
This is the name of my great-grandfather, whose legacy I revived after almost seventy years, breathing new life into the once famous brand bearing his name.
Vladimir Prochazka was an extraordinary man who founded a wholesale of stationery and office supplies, supplemented by handmade leather goods in Brno in 1930. The assortment from his shop – travel suitcases, briefcases, photo albums, pen cases or diaries – belonged to the elite at the time and was in great demand. Until 1948, products from Vladimir Prochazka’s workshop enjoyed great popularity not only among regular customers, but also among Czechoslovak celebrities. Leading Czech actors starred in his campaigns. The company rocketed. Until 1948.
In 1948, a political coup took place in what was then Czechoslovakia, and the Communists seized power and established a totalitarian dictatorship, gradually destroying the private sector.
Vladimir Prochazka, who lost the company (almost) overnight, was one of their victims. His business, including goods, a car and all his finances, was confiscated. Vladimir Prochazka was fired effective immediately and afterwards the company was renamed.
The brand ceased to exist.
Until 2013, even I had only sketchy information about my great-grandfather's brand from his still living contemporaries. Until, by a twist of fate, I got my hands on a set of travel suitcases with the VP logo. They were my great-grandfather's personal suitcases. I immediately fell in love with them. I was fascinated by the amazing combination of black and brown leather, I was amazed by their construction – without a zipper, without wheels and plastic hinges that most of today's suitcases have.
I thought the great-grandfather's suitcases were a sign. A sign that I shouldn’t leave them buried in the dust of history. That after 85 years I should pick up where my ancestor had to stop. And so in 2015, I registered the trademark Vladimir Prochazka, retaining all its original attributes – especially the logo and the font.
Today, all the products from the collection that came out of our workshop under the name Dorcadion proudly bear the almost century-old VP logo: travel suitcases, ladies' handbags, wallets and diaries, all inspired by my great-grandfather's products, all reflecting the tradition of precise workmanship.
Despite the respect for the brand's heritage, I felt it was my duty to give the new Vladimir Prochazka collection a fresh feeling. The absolute biggest difference was the material used. I chose carbon fibre as my main production material, inspired by my wife Natalie Perkof’s art projects, which also strongly influenced the morphology of the products.
Historically, the first collection of the revived Vladimir Prochazka brand was named Dorcadion.
The lightest suitcase in the world became its flagship.
A tribute to my great-grandfather, the founder of the brand – Vladimir Prochazka.