I’m always impressed when I meet someone who is truly passionate about turning their dream into reality, a virtue which in my experience, has been present in the many people I’ve met whose main area of interest or employment has been on the more creative side. Fortuitously timed during Wellington Fashion Week, I was introduced to Elisabeth Kwan by a mutual friend at the RUBY x MyDeerFox launch. Almost immediately, I found my eyes drawn to the stiking colour of her metallic blue leather clutch, and without skipping a beat rather promptly asked Kwan about it. As it turned out, her talents extended beyond her day job (also in fashion might I add), as the clutch was a product of her eponymous label, a beautiful collection of handcrafted leather goods with a sleek and minimal aesthetic.
From the onset, the process was of an organic nature, her inspiration drawn from the necessity of a laptop case and iPhone case which were simple, yet made a statement, and could be carried around with ease. This form of pared back elegance is essentially the concept behind each and every piece, combining functionality with a modern design. Not only a good idea, but one that was well executed not just once, but repeatedly over time and across a variation of designs.
Each piece is handcrafted by Kwan, using a mixture of New Zealand and Italian sourced hides, which in itself is a clear indicator of quality. The colours, which for the most part are limited – and some more so than others – range from a neutral dark brown to a selection of bright metallics, making it difficult not to find something to suit most tastes.
I am generally the type to keep quiet about the majority of my finds, relating to some sort of inner paranoia that I might just miss out, but When something is this good, it would be a shame not to share it. While I am once again kicking myself for living in Wellington, if you so happen to be based in Auckland, Elisabeth is hosting a stall at the First Thursdays Market on K Road this Thursday 2 May (good luck girl!), although if like me you are unable to make it, you can find her on Etsy or Facebook.