Paradise Row x Venetia Berry
The Hourglass Collection
‘I hope people take away from this collection (both men and women) a better understanding of the pressures women feel from society on a daily basis. That women’s bodies are precious and were designed to give life, whether we decide to take up on this or not, they play an important role to humanity and are not to be commodified in such an unequal way to our male counterparts’
– Nika Diamond-Krendel (founder of Paradise Row London)
The Female form. The Female gaze. The Female hustle.
An Introduction to Paradise Row London:
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Nika Diamond-Krendel (founder of Paradise Row London). She’s featured in the 2018 edition of #TheCollective filed conveniently under the section entitled “Decision Makers”. Why? Because as a business owner, as a social entrepreneur and a real life influencer, the decisions she makes have a powerful and positive impact on the local community around her.
For those who of you are new to this journey welcome, and allow me to bring you up to speed. In 2017 Nika launched a limited edition collection of locally sourced and manufactured leather bags after reading in her local paper that an East London tannery was about to close down. Nika was not a designer by trade. She didn’t study design. She quit her job in banking and consultancy, and poured her savings into this new venture – empowered purely by a desire to protect a local community’s source of income and employment. London has already lost many of its factories to the fashion and design industries sourcing manufacturers in Italy and Turkey. Nika’s decision to launch a brand new start up, designed and manufactured here in East London was a bold move.
If you’ve seen Paradise Row’s 2018 Empathy Collection in Fortnum & Mason’s, Fenwick’s or in Bergdof’s in New York – then you will know that Paradise Row is not your average sustainable luxury lifestyle brand. Every bag, every design tells a story. If you hold it in your hand, and feel the quality of the leather, the finishing of the gold detail – this is a performance of British craftsmanship at its best. What places it in the same heritage of the Wedgewood’s and Smedley’s of this world, is the fact that it is yet another British brand backed by a social conscience. I’ve always maintained, in order for luxury to truly be luxury, it must first be ethically produced, and guilt free.
Paradise Row London x Venetia Berry
“For our third collection, we’re collaborating with the artist Venetia Berry” Nika confided excitedly over coffee last April. It’s exciting to witness her vision manifest – her goal at creating curated pieces – coming into fruition. The Hourglass collection is a celebration of female agency. The latest collection by Paradise Row is a dialogue between a female artist and a female entrepreneur about the politics of the female form. Each individual design opens up the conversation about how femininity and womanhood has been understood, represented, objectified and politicised throughout art history and the modern day.
There’s an understated rebelliousness about the Hourglass collection that stays true to the British aesthetic through and through. The twelve carat gold plated accentuated fixtures designed by Venetia Berry contain her signature abstract, pure line-making motifs. The collection is available in four colours: Contrapposto (Tan), Serpentine (Black), Odalisqu (Burgundy), Venus Pudica (Navy). Retailing at £425.00 – this bag is a work of art.
‘Working with Venetia has been a dream and the smoothest collaboration I have ever experienced, not only she is the most wonderful and grounded person, but I think it helps that our core values in life are the same. We agreed on the design, the theme of the collection and the stories behind the bags with such ease, I can only see it as that we were meant to create this collection together.’
Nika Diamond-Krendel (October, 2019)
The @workinfashion manifesto ‘Functionality vs The Aestheic’ declared that fashion is art. This latest collection meets our criteria of combining the aesthetic with functionality in the pursuit of truly ethical and sustainable design.
NB. While the fashion and textiles industry negotiates what are the most sustainable materials with the lowest environmental impact, ethically sourced leather – produced with non-toxic vegetable based dyes – will remain fairly high on the list. Why? Because it’s durable, it’s hard wearing and if you want to buy something that will last and justify the investment (that is not plastic) then with the exception of Pinatex – it’s still the most pragmatic option.
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