Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Karina's bags'

I want to share Karina's bags' with you today. These beautiful creations are the very inspiring handywork of designer/maker Karina (suprise, its all in the name!) from Newcastle Upon Tyne. She handcrafts every handbag individually with her own fair hands, from cut to finish, and uses original English leather on the bags. The trimmings and hardware are vintage, some fittings date back to 1910. The handbags are often embellished with stamps, travel decals, vintage scarves, leather flowers and bows.

Vintage Scarf detail.

In a time where there is so much 'throw away' fashion and handbags that can be bought for such low cost prices only to be discarded a few months later. I personally crave something that will stand the test of time and has a little charm and history. Mass production often leads to boredom and a desire for something else after a few weeks. If you buy quality in the first place I think there is a tendency to appreciate the item a little more. This is personal of course. I love pieces that have been thought about and especially those that have been handcrafted and inspired by designers from years past.

Karina, takes inspiration by looking at an eclectic mix of designers and artists as well as from travelling and picking up vintage trimmings. This inspiration can certainly be seen in her bags and the sheer volume of handbags and the difference in their designs and embellishments is extraordinary. Have a look at Karina's bags' flickr to see a lot more of her fabulous designs.

With real attention to detail they really are a work of art and a pleasure to have on your shoulder. I know as I own one (pictured below) and I always feel a little bit special when I use it! I always get comments when I use my bag and I think it's not only because it stands out in its design but because you can see the quality in the design too.

My Beautiful handbag

I love this bag and all it's detail.

Lined with pink leather.

What I really like about the bags is that they are very sturdy and spacious, so I can throw all my bits and bobs in there. The inside of the bags are lined with heavier hide so the stress is placed on the inside. They are one off's and limited editions (max. 5 in different colours).

New Collection
Here is some of the new collection of handbags, all available in other colours.
Check the link below the bags for other colours, designs and information.

Softest lamb nappa hand pleated to make a slightly barrel shaped bag.
Available in donkey brown, chestnut and dove grey (with a pinkish tint)

Isn't this lovely?
Beautiful saddle tan leather handbag.

Made of the softest lamb nappa,
which is then woven by hand to give it a cross hatched effect.
Available in chestnut or a pale olive/pistachio green.

Forest green satchel inspired bag.
Also, comes in scarlet red and traditional saddle tan.

Spacious shopper or roomy laptop bag.
Made of antiqued british leather hides with two extendable brass buckles.
Embellished with vintage travel decals.

Everyone needs a little bit of tartan in their life.
This bag is a combination or pure wool tartan and glazed leather.

Karina's obsession for design and making is truly amazing. For someone who began making items at the age of 6 her passion has continued and never stopped. With a long history of designing and making for labels in London at a young age, she went onto setting up her own label 'Arrivee Peau' in 1982 selling to various Independent boutiques, a section in Fenwicks in Newcastle and began exporting. This came to an end when she gave birth to her second child but her obsession with making has never disappeared and in this period she continued to be inspired and researching technical skills.

In 2007 Karina handcrafted her first collection of handbags. What I find really magnificent is that she only designed her first handbag a few years ago and it was only because a friend had asked her to make one for her, for a high society wedding. Having never made a handbag until this point she soon realised it was a natural forte and has never looked back. It's funny how things happen like this sometimes. At the age of 53, Karina stepped back into the fashion arena and proves that you can do anything at any age you just need to go for it! Not only is her handcrafting skills inspiring, but she is a huge inspiration too, having learned new skills to bring Karina's bags' into the virtual arena too and allowing not only the UK but the world see her beautiful creations.

Here are a few you can pick up for bargain prices!
There are more designs and colours on the sale section of the website.

Scarlet red leather bag with red suede lining.
A bargain at £100

Look at this beautiful little clutch bag, made from suede, leather and exotic skins.
A steal at only £50

Clutch bag made with a variety of different leathers.
Again, a bargain at £50.

One of my favourites.

Suede with amazing feather detail.

Keep checking Karina's bags website for her latest updates, events and 'bag of the week'. There are offers on the site and sometimes discounts so keep an eye out. Karina's first love is designing and making clothing and intends to re-launch a limited edition range of clothing. I will certainly be looking out for that.
You can contact Karina on: karina.hesketh@gmail.com
0191 276 5109

Check out the website: www.karinasbags.co.uk
Facebook Group Karina Hesketh
More Information: Handbag Designer 101

All the photos that I have used (apart from my bag) within this article are copyright of Karina's bags.


  1. So beautiful bags! Scarlet red leather bag is just awesome :) Have a nice weekend! Kisses, Helena / My Best Friend Jules

  2. Thanks Helena! They are beautiful aren't they! Keep checking Karina's website for more handcrafted treasures. Also, keep checking here for more vintage delights :) xxx