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spring/summer 2010

Why have bags Italian male names?

In December 2009, the design sisters Leona and Hasna Erziak presented the new spring/summer 2010 collection of handmade Italian handbags by their label Lena Erziak. The bags have a modern international look that seems to come from their Belgian-Moroccan heritage which they are combining with the practical ready-to-wear appeal that is typical for New York where Lena Erziak has its showroom.

Fashionoffice has asked for more information about Lena Erziak, if the photographs are telling a story between men and women with bags in the leading role and why each one has an Italian male name?

Question: When was Lena Erziak founded?

Lena Erziak: Lena Erziak launched the first collection in fall 2009. 

Question: Why have you chosen the name ‘Lena’?

Lena Erziak: LE is the 2 first letters of Leona, and NA is the 2 last letters of Hasna. The contraction of the 2 names of the sisters. 

fig.: Bag by Lena Erziak spring/summer 2010; captured by the New York based photographer Giacomo Fortunato. The photographer publishes on his website an insight into his work with biography. Giacomo Fortunato finished his education in photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. Recently, he got attention for his 'Adults' series which have been exhibited alongside to David LaChapelle's work across Europe.

Question: The bags from the spring/summer 2010 collection have men’s names like Alessandro, Luigi or Romeo. Why have you chosen Italian men’s names?

Lena Erziak: Because we have a privileged and personal relationship with our bags just like we do have with men! The spring/summer 2010 is Italian male names, the next collection will be male names, but not only Italian names.

Question: You are presenting the catalogue with photos showing sceneries; books, newspapers and cosmetics seem to have important roles in your stories about a woman who is never part of the scenery herself. Who had the idea for the catalogue photos?

Lena Erziak: We had the idea of a mise en scene, without a woman because after all the bags and the mise en scene is telling us even more about who this woman is. She likes to read. She loves the good wine, music, shoes, a warm cup of tea. A beautiful dress and soft sheets. 

Question: Please tell us the story with your words.

Lena Erziak: The Lena Erziak woman is intelligent, independent, a world traveller, and a free thinker. She loves beauty but not only the outside beauty, she thinks that the real beauty is inside and reflects on the outside and make her what she is today.

Question: Is the functional coin purse clasp closure and the decorative tassel Lena Erziak’s signature?

Lena Erziak: Definitely, beauty is important, but being functional is also extremely important to us. 

Question: Why have you chosen the tassel? Does it come from the Marrakech culture? 

Lena Erziak: Actually it is Fez culture. But it is something that has been there for us all through our childhood. The notable in Fez wear is the tassel in their hat. It also comes from the Ottoman Empire and the 'baroque salons de Paris'.

Lena Erziak is available in Japan, Kuwait, West Indies, New York, and California. On the website, the design sisters are showing the collections and list the press articles (print and online) from the last months

Source: Original article with image on


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