#IJ provide handmade bags and accessories, we love their touch of luxury and clean cut designs. We caught up with designer Indre to find out what inspired her designs and what exciting things she has in production.
What is your fashion background?
I was always a very creative child, good at DIY and curious enough to experiment – that’s how my hobby gradually grew into a business. Since I didn’t have any background in fashion, it took me countless hours of perseverance and dedication to learn and develop so I am very proud of how much I have achieved so far! I love colours and textures, being able to create something that people enjoy wearing is very rewarding.
What has been your inspiration to pursue fashion?
It came very naturally – a lot of women are drawn to fashion from a very young age and we are good at spotting trends, mixing colours and expressing ourselves through different looks. I woke up one morning with a bright image of a beautiful handbag. I drew the image on a post-it note and shared it on Facebook for a bit of a giggle really. Then the comments started flooding in with people actually encouraging me to make it and that was it. Although there was a big part of me that thought the idea was ridiculous, as I knew nothing about bag making, the fashion industry or sales, there was a small part of me that was too excited and curious to let it all go. A year later the #IJ brand was born and it’s been a rollercoaster ever since!
How would you describe your brands style?
Playful, daring, bright, and elegant.
Who are your bags for?
My designs are normally purchased by smart, playful and fashion-savvy female clients – someone who knows and loves herself well and is daring enough to express her personality through style. She loves trends, walks with grace and always looks elegant and feminine.
I love your Lime Green Clutch, how did you come up with your colour palette?
I’m obsessed with bright colours! I have chosen leathers in pastel colours for my SS14 collection, so statement colour will always going to be the key in everything I create. In fact, when I started, I swore to myself that there won’t be any black, brown or grey handbags ever in my collections. However, I had to bite my words when I needed a simple black clutch for my little black dress, so my AW14 collection will be called ‘Little Black Dress’ and all the pieces will be made of gorgeous patent black leather for special occasion when you need to dazzle.
Do you have a favourite piece?
Lime was the best selling colour this summer, but my favourite piece so far has been ALEX satchel in Peach – a very soft and romantic summer colour.
What were the highlights of your journey so far?
I only officially launched #IJ brand in March this year and it has been a complete rollercoaster of experiences. I guess if I had to choose top 3 that would be…
-Winning a place on “Inspire and Mentor’ programme by Marie Claire. My business was chosen to be mentored by a successful business woman Donna Ida Thornton, CEO of Donna Ida boutiques. I am going through the programme as we speak and the feature on our progress will be printed in Marie Claire some time next year
-Collaborating with designer House of Sunny for Fashion Scout presentation, part of London Fashion Week this year. It was so surreal to see beautiful models demonstrating my handbags
-Nailing a deal with retail chain Anthropologie. Alex satchel has been flying off their shelves this season.
What is your biggest design inspiration?
I guess my biggest inspiration is drawn from other women and our never ending quest to look good and feel special. I want my handbags to inspire confidence and bring out the beauty in every woman out there.
Can you tell us a bit about your design process?
I don’t have a consistent process as such. It comes from every day experiences and things I see and touch. For example, I wanted to introduce something new for the Christmas season that would be small and cute and personal, but decided that it’s just not enough time to pull this off. Then, last month I visited my supplier of felt in Italy and the minute I placed my eyes on the new limited edition glittery felt I knew I had to have it! And despite all odds, I am very excited to introduce these gorgeous glittery clutches with an option of having them personalised with embroidery – a nice treat for yourself or a loved one to sparkle up your Christmas. They will be launching on 1 December so watch the space!
Bags start from £265. Check out the whole collection www.hashtagij.co.uk