Discover Benelux | Dutch Design | Made in the Netherlands
Bag it up A self-proclaimed bag freak, Nicole Blaauw was becoming increasingly exhausted by the lack of diversity when it comes to handbags worn by the Dutch. Working as a business analyst with no background in fashion, she took a handbag making course just for fun and discovered a hidden talent. “I wasn’t taking it too seriously and jokingly decided to rent a stall at a fair for self-made handbags. To my surprise, I sold almost every one of them. That, and the fact that my circle of friends wanted to have my bags, was what kick-started my career.” Residing in the Dutch town of Tiel, Nicole never makes two of the same handbag
TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN | PHOTOS: MOONNICK
and her label Moonnick has earned a loyal clientele over the years. Her decision to use leather as her base material was easy. “I love that sturdy product. You don’t have to hem it, it doesn’t thrum and it has a very long lasting life.” Nicole likes to play with colours, combining different types of leathers and experimenting with straps and pouches. “My partner is a painter, so we did our research on what paints can work with leather. An image can be made on any model, so the bags become truly unique and personal.” Nicole also does her own workshops now. “A lot of ideas just happen when interacting with my students.”
With Nicole caught by the leather-fever, she has been branching out to other items as well. “I used to dislike backpacks, but when somebody came here to make one with leather, I was sold. I’m getting more and more into men’s bags, toiletry bags, and have had some fun requests such as making a leather watch holder. I’ve made furniture with leather, magazine holders, wine racks and much more. The possibilities are endless.” Web: www.moonnick.nl
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