Interview with Paradise Row London: Calling all handbag lovers!

Friday, 9th June 2017

Calling all handbag lovers! Have we got a treat in store for you.

Up and coming handbag designers Paradise Row London have been in contact with us and have shot their photoshoot in our store amongst our button boxes. In return we had a Q&A with Nika, the founder of Paradise Row London to get all the info about her designs. Let’s see what she had to say.

When did you start Paradise Row London?

Paradise Row officially launched online ( November 2016, however I have been working behind the scenes for a good year and a half before that.

What inspired you to work with bags?

They say you are either a shoe or a bag person and during my formative years, I was definitely drawn to bags as an accessory. I remember nothing excited me more than to have a handbag, which you could store your life in. My first ‘proper’ handbag was at thirteen years old, where I bought myself a Kookai stereo bag. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! Since then, my taste has changed, however the excitement over bags has not! I just went with what I am naturally attuned to and with bags, I kept having ideas of what I personally would like and one day I was like to myself ‘just go and create them’.

What gives you inspiration for your designs?

London, our beautiful capital, gives me the inspiration for my designs. The history, the architecture, the culture, the community and its people, the buzz of what’s trending next within our city, its style and fashion – the list goes on! Obviously the first collection is dedicated to a very special part of London, sometimes underappreciated but not any less central to its culture and history.

What is your favourite in your collection?

Oooh that is a difficult question to answer. I love all the colours and all the charms and the narratives behind them, I really do. However, what I will say is that The Pearly is the most popular selling handbag at the moment. I think it is to do with the texture of the black bubble Italian leather, which is different from the leather used on the other bags in the collection. The bubble leather makes the handbag look so elegant and timeless and it contrasts brilliantly against the pearl charm, making the whole bag feel luxurious and classic. Pearls especially are set to be big this year and you will start to see this beautiful ornament used more creatively in accessories as well as jewellery. Read more about it on our blog (Paradise Trend Watch: Pearls)

The Pearly Kings and Queens inspired you to design one of your bags, The Pearly, around them, could you tell me why you chose this particular charity?

Paradise Row leather bags are designed and handcrafted in East London. Our first collection, CORE, draws inspiration from and celebrates the legacies which formed the beating heart of the East End. The Pearly Kings and Queens charity are one of those legacies of East London and are a major organisation in the area. You often find Pearly Kings and Queens walking around East London going about their day in their full pearly suits. It couldn’t not include them in the collection!

How important is it to you, to use the best quality materials for your products?

Incredibly important. Our bags are made from the best Italian vegetable-tanned leather. Vegetable tanning is an old world artisanal process, whereby the leather is dyed naturally, which is chromium-free and does not process any harmful chemicals. This fair trade practice takes advantage of the tannic acids naturally found in barks, branches, leaves and some fruit, creating a more natural and organic look. The metal fittings on the bag are 12 carat gold-plated and are designed by our in-house designer who has previously worked on world-renowned designer handbags.

What are you working on next?

Now that would be telling. What I can tell you is that I will be working with the same type of leather, same colours and gold-plated fittings. However, the next collection, in terms of shape and style, will be completely different. Be in the know and follow @paradise.row on Instagram.

View the CORE collection now.

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