Based around the local community and craftsmanship, East-London-based handbag brand Paradise Row works on season-less and meaningful collections.
Founded three years ago by Nika Diamond-Krendel, Paradise Row was born out of a need for leather goods in between the luxury and high street sectors.
The brand launches a collection a year, crafting products customers will keep for a lifetime. Three collections have already been released, all of them still available on the website.
The unique appeal of Paradise Row stands in its ability to work with local craftsmen and to develop sustainable seasonless collections.
“We are trying to recover that sense of lost identity, work exclusively with local workshops and revive this East London to produce something that is quintessentially British in design, but also in terms of values like sustainability,” explains Nicholas Diamond-Krendel, the husband and partner of the founder.
Diamond-Krendel imagined her first collection, named ‘Core’, as a celebration of the East London community. Each bag represented and was named after a local institution, from the Pearly to the Silkweaver.
The second collection ‘Empathy’ was all about psychology and human emotion, while the third, called ‘Hourglass’, pays homage to the female form and how women are depicted in the arts. Artist Venetia Berry collaborated to the latter, creating bags whose hardware depicts an aspect of how women have been represented in the arts throughout the years.
Sustainability, singular designs and timelessness are the core values of Paradise Row. “The collections are not seasonal,” says Nicholas. “It’s the idea of a timeless product; we don’t want to just produce bags and then forget about them. The idea is that people continue to buy from the three collections, and they do.”
Indeed, the entire line is selling pretty much equally, showing the customers’ interest in their sought-after designs. To reinforce the uniqueness of the products, all the bags are sold with story cards that explain the idea behind. “It’s meant to be a bag with an education, with a story,” explains Nicholas.
Customers are enthusiastic about the idea of a non-trendy product, which closely links the worlds of fashion and the arts. “Lots of [our customers] come from a creative background,” says founder Nika. “I see a lot of customers who are architects, interior designers, because they really relate to products that have a story and have been designed here.”
Women who do not want to buy ostentatious brands and are looking for a product with a story adhere to the concept behind Paradise Row. Although men are more and more interested in the products as well. “It has become like a non-binary product,” says Nika. “[Men] absolutely love the heritage of the brand, so they purchase with their partners. They know that where you put your money is where your power is.”
At a time where supporting local communities is more important than ever, Paradise Row is the brand to keep an eye on. It has recently raised more than £2,500 for local charities thanks to its #SupportYourLocal initiative and 25% of the proceeds from the remaining stock of the ‘Core’ collection are still intended for charities such as The Pearly Society or Stitches in Time.
The next collection, which will launch this autumn, will be a home and office collection, showcasing smaller pieces like lifestyle goods and laptop covers. The brand will also increase its collaborations with art establishments, charities and the hospitality industry moving forward.
There is no doubt Paradise Row will keep on innovating and supporting its beloved East London, while still proposing one-of-a-kind products. After all, as Nika says, “it’s the design that makes you recognise Paradise Row, rather than a logo.”