The Spring/Summer 21 season is fast upon us. With the world slowly but surely opening up, there has never been such a surge in demand for mood-lifting, fun-inspiring fashion. International top tier labels such as Bottega Veneta and Valentino are quick to join the race as they launch full lines of accessories in bright colors and eye-catching designs. However if you want to stand out this season with something other than Prada and Chanel, these are the up and coming handbag designers you need to know now.
Tubici: The Trendsetting Label With An Attitude
Tubici is not just a handbag label — it’s a way of living and expressing, with an Italian attitude communicable via style. The brand’s easy-going, nonchalant cool-kid vibe was quickly recognized and adopted by the glitterati, and Tubici’s designs have subsequently been spotted on the who’s who in the world of fashion.
Tubici’s cofounders Domenico Iovine and Vincezo Sabatino both come from architectural and design background, which is a field in which they are still very much involved through work at their design studio DSIGNINCMILANO. These lovers are the definition of merge in talent, as they got married 3 years ago after 5 years together. Tubici was only born in 2019 when both Iovine and Sabatino wanted to transmit their creative thoughts into something more tangible. “We define aesthetics and design flows in our veins, in our blood!” The pair declares passionately.
“Bags have always been a status symbol, and when we wear one we all want to feel good, to be noticed. And at that moment this object is communicating who we are.” Iovine and Sabatino refer to the drop of their miniature bag ranges “Mykonos” and “Paris”, which are made of various materials and can be worn as a necklace. “They can always be worn practically, at any hour of the day and in any place, a genderless object that could always accompany you.”
With the second season the Tubici family is enriched with 2 other shapes: “New York” and “Roma” — “two mini bags to be carried by hand or worn over the shoulder, with well-defined stylistic connotations.” The former range is made in satin or leather, covered with crystals or feathers; whilst the latter is more of a day-to-day bag made with soft leather in an array of colorful shades.
Dara Hamarneh: The Definition of Minimalistic Elegance
Having grown up whilst moving around the Middle East a lot, Dara Hamarneh is not your typical Arab girl and has always been obsessed with fashion. When she went to Florence for her undergraduate degree, Hamarneh took the chance and dived in to learn more about the industry, and launching her namesake label of bags was a natural next step after the designer failed to find one that is perfect in the market.
“My main inspiration comes from my mother’s wardrobe. She has always been so good at choosing closet staples – she’s had things in her closet for years and years that still look incredible today.” Hamarneh says of her inspiration for her design, and explains it is important that her design stands the test of time whilst still look classy and timeless. “My references usually come from the 90s or the 60s, these are two periods I feel I can always look back at, and find something that just looks so relevant.”
It comes as no surprise that Hamarneh would want her customer to feel reassured, as the brand is not at all about fast fashion: “I want them to know they made the right decision, that this bag will stay with them for a long time, it will be practical, and it will work for them!”
The aesthetics of the line is simple yet sleek, made with quality leather that is duarable. Hamarneh’s favorites are the Baguette in Iceberg (£440) and the Valletta on Chain in Taupe (£410): “They are such great everyday pieces! The styles in Canarino are also amazing as it is such a great shade of yellow.”
Simitri: The Joyous Clutch That Keeps Giving
“That was 12 years ago and today that feeling and excitement is exactly the same. I still get butterflies in my stomach when I create a new design and even more so when I see the end result and the product come to life. These bags literally live in my head and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Chopra says with a smile.
Simitri’s designs are distinctly unique and colorful, with a vibe that is unmistakably uplifting and fun. When it comes to creating her bags and accessories, Chopra loves combining different colors with various textures, fabrics and handicrafts; things like clean lines and shapes with exaggerated and artistic experiments. “Like the ‘beautiful chaos’ in India, ‘structured chaos’ is how we define our products. We love to be just a little bit extra.”
When the designer is asked what her favorite designs are, she says despite being visibly torn: “The Ombré bags, Beetle Briefcases and the Red Lips Don’t Lie Clutch have always been some of my very favorite brand staples from the start. My current obsession lies with the Dino Briefcase Bag.” Chopra is currently in New Delhi working on another collection, that she thinks could be her brightest and boldest one yet. The brand is also now officially available online through Anthropologie.