Under Your Skin: Nancy Gonzalez lands in Hong Kong

Nancy Gonzalez, Accessories, Designer, Colombia, New York, Hong Kong, China, Boutique, IFC Mall

Nancy Gonzalez’s new boutique in Hong Kong

I’ve always been on the fence when it comes to croc skin handbags – on one hand I love the fact that they look super luxe and have a cool vintage vibe. At the same time, some styles can border on frumpy. The trick is to find a designer that maintains that feeling of luxury while transforming the skin into something that looks contemporary and fresh.

Nancy Gonzalez ticks all the right boxes. I’ve seen the brand before in magazines but got a chance to see the products up close when she opened her first boutique in Hong Kong at IFC Mall last week.

Born and raised in Colombia, Nancy has always been a fashionista (she’s now in her 50s but boasts an enviable wardrobe of fabulous Haute Couture). In 1998 she presented a small line of bags to Bergdorf Goodman and they picked them up immediately. Since then she has built an incredibly successful business which sees her releasing 150 styles each season (and 450 styles a year). Fans range from Blake Lively, Mary Kate Olsen and China Chow (who was in Hong Kong for the opening) to chic tai-tais who love to collect her whimsical styles.

Nancy Gonzalez, Accessories, Designer, Colombia, New York, Hong Kong, China, Boutique, IFC Mall

Must-have styles from Nancy Gonzalez

So what is it that I love about the bags? First of all, the colours are sublime. Although she offers a classic palette, it’s her bold and vibrant shades of yellow, orange, cobalt blue and fuchsia that I really love. What also makes her unique is that she experiments with new techniques to transform the skins. As a result you’ll find bags that are studded or made out of strips of woven crocodile. It’s interesting to see her unique perspective on how to manipulate croc – other designers in contrast tend to leave the skins plain and untreated.

For spring/summer 2013 Nancy offers both simple and funky styles ranging from two tone clutches (the black and white is a must-have) to a larger than life cherry bag that looks as though its made from wicker. In reality it’s crafted from hand woven and dyed croc skin that’s been sliced into tiny strips. Her latest style is the very chic Cristina, a structured  bag with top handles that comes in a limited edition gold just for Hong Kong (its also named after her daughter).

In addition to new styles each season, its worth checking out the tried and tested classics that you’ll keep forever. Some of my favourites include the foldover clutch and the boxy flap crossbody which comes with three compartments and a detachable chain also made from croc (love it in metallic gold). Also on my wishlist is the Slicer clutch with its asymmetrical shape.

Nancy Gonzalez, Accessories, Designer, Colombia, New York, Hong Kong, China, Boutique, IFC Mall

The new limited edition Cristina bag created especially for Hong Kong

Nancy Gonzalez is at Shop 2028A, IFC One, Central, Hong Kong (tel: +2295 1328). Also check out their newly launched website, www.nancygonzalez.com

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