Colombian designer Nancy Gonzalez launched her range of handbags believing that she could bring something fresh to the accessories market, drawing on the vibrant colours and abundant nature of her native land. And, ever since Bergdorf Goodman picked up her initial collection of just seven models, she seems to have persistently proven her theory. In the years since NYC’s famous luxury department store picked up her early collection, it has grown steadily into an international must-have brand, available in some twenty countries in addition to being something of a reliable staple of Bergdorf’s famed accessory department.
Her bags have proved a huge hit with those who want something playful, luxurious and feminine, but also expect high-quality manufacturing standards. Handmade in Colombia by traditional artisans using the best quality materials, Gonzalez has also been noted for her fair trade ethos, ensuring that the revenues generated by her now international business are invested in improving the future prospects of the community in which they are made.
Her approach to design is one in which she repeatedly evolves her personal fascination for the beauty of natural hides and leather into new ways of exploring their potential and versatility. She has a particular penchant for tanning and dyeing leather into hitherto unknown, or at least unexpected, shades and patterns. A poppy leopard print from calf-hair that offers all of the exoticism of the jungle without harming any endangered species is just one such example in the current collection. However, rather than using such colours or patinas in a busy and over the top way, Nancy Gonzalez is the mistress of bold blocks of a signal dominant colour that reveals its intricate detail on closer inspection. Small details, such as beautifully crafted tassels that might be inspired from local flora and fauna, are also one of her signatures.
Although her brand now produces over 150 different designs from elegant evening clutch bags to sturdy and practical weekender bags, its pretty self-explanatory as to why her current collection of tote bags is a big hit. Offering all the roomy practical space to carry the necessary equipment for the busy contemporary woman, their elegant forms and handsome colours make a bold fashion statement that segues easily from office to evening event, a day of shopping to heading for a holiday resort without even having to change bags.
The current collection features a tote bag with feather detail that is particularly fetching. For those who are more daring, the elegantly mottled python model in pastel shades or bold azure crocodile options are an effective way to make a strong statement, particularly when combined with the white and soft pastel shades that dominate in many of this season’s looks. But, the diehard classicists need not fear: it comes in both basic black and a muted medium brown too.