Paradise Row: East End Handmade
Paradise Row is a luxury handbag company based in East London. The brand designs and handcrafts these gorgeous bags in East London using locally sourced material. I had a chance to quiz founder, Nika Diamond-Krendel on everything Paradise Row.
How did the idea for Paradise Row come about?
Paradise Row is the name of a quaint cobbled street in east London. It perfectly encapsulates old and new London. I thought it was a beautiful name for a leather goods company and it felt classically British, slightly nostalgic yet contemporary. The idea behind Paradise Row was born there. With the name of a street in east London and the bags also made in the area, I decided to dedicate the first collection to the history and culture of this side of the capital.
Are you an East London girl?
Yes and I am obsessed. I live here, work here and socialise here. I am a visual and sensory person and therefore I am completely inspired by the environment around me. You can definitely see this in the aesthetic of the brand, the collection has taken the design of the classic British bag and it has been fine tuned into something fresh and contemporary.
Have you always been in design?
My route to becoming a designer is unconventional. I came from a corporate background and my career was in consultancy and banking so I found myself applying my creativity elsewhere. My plan was always to start my own company throughout my career, however to start a fashion brand, well that was definitely a novel idea!
Will Paradise Row always focus on East London or are you looking to draw inspiration from further afield?
Paradise Row has evolved into brand about arts and culture, because of its focus on history on the first collection. Since then, the Town Hall Hotel has asked for me to produce leather goods for their corporate gifting and VIP clients. We are doing a collaboration with Subject Matter, a fine art photography gallery in Somerset House, additionally we have just been approached by a restaurant which due to open in a few weeks with one of the world's best chefs to produce their leather goods for them. Therefore, with this direction, I have decided that each collection will have an arts and culture theme and with storycards explaining the inspiration about the bag in the collection.
If you could have any person wearing the Paradise Row bag, who would it be?
I have recently hit that milestone due to the lovely Daisy Lowe wearing one of our bags, The Boxer. She is the ultimate Brit girl and edgy Londoner who I would want to be wearing it. She absolutely loves it as her grandfather was a Boxer in Bethnal Green so she completely relates to the brand.
How would you describe the aesthetic of Paradise Row bags?
The bags are made of vegetable-tanned leather, an old-world artisanal dying practice which takes advantage of the tannic acids naturally found in barks, branches, leaves and fruit. This provides the rich earthy colours of the bags and contrasts beautifully against the gold-plated fittings, creating the unique character of these bags and it is the epitome of the Paradise Row’s style.
Each bag has a distinct charm representing its namesake and comes with a luxury black passport holder with an accompanying story card placed inside offering an east London narrative behind each charm. Buying a Paradise Row bag not only supports all the different components of the local trade chain, but actively promotes the social and cultural heritage of the local area through its charms. Paradise Row is both a product of the rich and varied history of east London and a catalyst for its continuing regeneration.