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Nadia Minkoff: London's Designer

The designer's slant on the city is as beautiful as it is inventive

Published on December 7th 2011.

Nadia Minkoff: London's Designer

SINCE 1988, the name Nadia Minkoff is associated with handbags – high quality ladies handbags that is, featuring innovative designs with imaginative detailing and globally recognised for their distinctive ‘boutique style’ image and vintage inspired feel.

A quintessentially British brand, Minkoff’s creations always look to London as the main inspiration – in the latest collection the new designs are even named after key London locations. This season sees an extensive range of totes and mid-sized bags as well as oversized clutches, such as the Belgravia and the Regents Park in key colours, like cream, ecru, tan and copper with antique gold.

Belgravia Clutch CopperBelgravia Clutch Copper

However, the for the Nadia Minkoff S/S 2012 collection the driving force is the London 2012 Olympics – an interesting combination, high end handbags and sports.

Different London areas – including Liverpool St and Knightsbridge,– served as a key focus of inspiration for the SS12 bag collection. What is the story behind each location?
Armed with my trusty notepad I jot down key points that I feel are relevant to the area: buildings, demographics, colours, parks, unique features etc. I like to watch the people passing through the different areas. I think about the kind of bag I think a person living or working in this area would use. My Liverpool Street carry all was actually inspired by the new look of Liverpool Street Station, a mix of traditional and new. It’s a smart getaway point in London so I looked to create a modern take on a traditional bowling bag with the use of fine leather and textured leather and some clean, modern hardware.

Liverpool St CarryallLiverpool St Carryall

Is there a personal connection with the Olympics or sports in general?
It was great news for London to win the Olympic bid and any London based business would have also felt this is a great opportunity to celebrate our capital being in the spotlight and to be inspired by the Games. Nadia Minkoff is London based and our core manufacturing is London. I really do love this city and am very proud to live and work here.

I see the build up to the Games as a great window of opportunity to create London inspired designs. Especially when it comes to our range of costume jewellery, made from original 1960-1980 moulds that were made in London. We have slowly been casting and assembling these together with Swarovski Crystalized Elements to create a fun, London look.

How are the Games represented in the collection?
The collection is not about the Games, as such, it is about the city they are being held in. We haven’t represented the individual sports but we have represented all that we felt was truly British and truly London. London Eye necklace, Big Ben Necklace, London charm bracelet…

Fish and chips gold necklaceFish and chips gold necklace

Fabrics and the colour scheme of SS12 are a break from what you have used traditionally, why?
In the past I focused on a lot of bright colours, especially in my silk clutch range. But over the past year or so I have moved towards more classic tones. I will always inject colour where I think it is needed but the natural tones are extremely popular.

We’ve never used a lot of ‘bling’ but this doesn’t mean that we don’t want to infuse some glamour amongst our neutrals hence the use of metallic trims and textured leathers.

The Liverpool St Carry-All is a boxy bowling bag – are these set to be the It bag next season?
Bowling bags are having a comeback; we feel that ours is a very modern take on an old style. It can be handheld, worn across the body or over the shoulder and as such can be casual or very smart. Wear it across the shoulder with your jeans and jumper or hand held with your smart suit. The textures are great and we are launching this in a fabulous snake and milled leather version with gunmetal plating, which in itself is an irresistible combination. If you are anything like me and carry a lot, this bag has lots of pockets inside and out, so it is very functional, with a great full-length zip for easy access.

Covent Garden MiniCovent Garden Mini

Who is the Nadia Minkoff customer?
My clients are fashionable but not fashion led. They appreciate quality and enjoy observing the latest trends but also appreciate classic pieces. They are smart but subtle and like to add charm and character to their clothing with well-designed accessories. They like to travel and explore and have a love of texture and fine materials. They love vintage but with a modern twist.

Describe the collection in three words.
Timeless, individual, tactile.

What can we expect next?
Lots – including a new range of scarves with our specially designed prints and an on-line range of bespoke bags and small leather goods with personalised messages embossed into the leather.



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