When Net-a-Porter’s buying team rang the doorbell at the London Airbnb where Elza Wandler was presenting her brand-new namesake collection, she couldn’t find the key to let them in. “It was a big wooden door that you had to lock on the inside,” she says. “When I finally opened the door, my hands were shaking!” Apparently, though, her bold and bright Italian calf-leather bags were worth the wait: The high-end retail giant quickly secured the exclusive to the debut range, which launches online today.
“I’m not a person who draws on a white piece of paper,” says the Dutch designer, who’s attracted to the sculptural nature of accessories. In lieu of a notepad, Wandler’s process began at her sewing machine (specifically made for handling leather), where she crafted the bags’ starting frames. The first to take shape was the rounded, trapeze-edged Hortensia that’s already a favorite of stylist Georgia Tal. “Once I had that, it was easy to build off of it,” Wandler explains. Next came a roomy tote, a half-moon sac, and a mini bag, the last of which can be worn cross-body, slung around the waist, or, sans straps, as a wallet.
Though Wandler kept the lines clean and architectural, her colors, which she developed herself, err on the “feminine” side. “I took a risk with the first collection not to have [much] black in it,” she says, adding that she was inspired by the German artist Imi Knoebel’s layering of like-minded tones. Think a white palette that combines pearl, cream, and sandy beige, or a green one of mint, sage, and olive. Meanwhile, other styles like the Miles, which comes striped with lime and flamingo pink, riff off of Knoebel’s exploration of vibrant, saturated hues. “It’s really nice, actually,” Wandler says of the eye-catching combination. “If you have a more tonal outfit, it’s very chic.”
As for what to expect from coming collections (which have already been snapped up by MatchesFashion.com, The Webster, and others)? More wacky color combinations, surely, as well as a host of new materials. “Next season,” Wandler says with a smile, “You’ll be surprised by the textures.” Sounds like a street style staple in the making.
COURTESY BY: https://www.vogue.com