The next Fashion Crossover London Designer who graces the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK is sustainable leather handbag brand BonaBag. Splitting their time between Turkey and Switzerland, the sustainable leather goods label celebrates their rich artisan legacy and history, as each piece is handmade by skilled artisans in Istanbul. Furthermore, the label urges everybody to become not only a more conscious shopper, but truly take on the role of designer with their MyBona initiative. Read all about the dream for a minimalistic yet unique handbag!
Tell us a bit about your brand, you are based between Zurich and Istanbul, how did you start your brand and how has the journey been since?
Every journey starts with a touch of passion, and this passion was the search for minimalistic handbags with iconic details. The production journey started in a second-generation leather bag workshop in Istanbul and lead to the opening of a showroom in Zurich, Switzerland. The sense of pure artisan legacy is incorporated in our brand name with the word ‘bona’, which translates to genuine and fortunate. We believe that fortune favours the brave, and Bonabag is proud to witness this journey in every single story.
"Every journey starts with a touch of passion, and this passion was the search for minimalistic handbags with iconic details."
Your bags are available on the E-commerce platform, Fashion Crossover London, how has this experience been for you?
We always wanted to discover and branch out to the London market as it is a city open to designs from all over the world. As we were looking for a collaborator with a style that matches our brand, Fashion Crossover London found us. This proves as evidence that our styles coincide perfectly. The team supports and understand our brand needs, which is very comforting.
BonaBag has recently launched the AIRY collection, what was the inspiration behind this collection and the title of the collection?
AIRY stands for lighter, smarter and stronger. BonaBag’s Airy Collection features multi-functional and laser-cut design, made by artisans in genuine leather each having their colourful twist. The inspiration for this collection was authenticity and uniqueness, we wanted to create smartly designed yet carefully and crafted timeless leather pieces.
"The inspiration for this collection was authenticity and uniqueness, we wanted to create smartly designed yet carefully and crafted timeless leather pieces."
With your collection, you champion craftsmanship and sustainability, how do this manifest itself through your design process and final garments?
Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. In our pure artisan atelier, we meticulous pay attention to every detail from dyeing, crafting and the stitching of genuine cow leather and how we combine this with the finest materials. We never use exotic leather and blend our timeless designs with sustainable details, such as nickel-free handles, anti-allergic fabrics and sustainable zip fasteners.
Lastly, what other plans and dreams do you have for yourself and your label?
I believe that we are all designers at heart. In the era of mass production and fast fashion consumption, I chose craftsmanship and custom design. MyBona is the most exciting plan that I have launched for people for the BonaBag community. We offer customers the option to design their own and truly unique BonaBag, using a selection of their favourite colour, special details and you can even personalise it with your or the name of a loved one, MyBona challenges the customers creative and offers something truly unique.
"In the era of mass production and fast fashion consumption, I chose craftsmanship and custom design."
Shop Bonabag's full collection
Words by Lupe Baeyens