Monday, 30 December 2013

Blogged: Sitting Pretty at my Desk Styles the Sara Satchel Urban

We always love to discover a Blogger who’s been a fan of our bags for quite some time, and that’s exactly what happened when we found Sitting Pretty at my Desk! So, we challenged her to style our latest Sara Satchel!

And most importantly, we loved the outcome! She incorporated the satchel into quite an urban feeling outfit, opting for skinnies with a Tee, boots, a tartan shirt and a cool beanie hat. It’s great to see the Sara satchel being styled totally differently from how other bloggers have already done it, and it proves yet again just how versatile it is!

You can read her full review here, or even shop the satchel here if you prefer!

And remember to show us how you’re styling your own Sara satchels by tagging your photos @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram.

-X -

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Behind the Scenes: Nica Handbags A/W 14 Shoot

We know, we know, we’re only just about to enter S/S14 but did you follow our A/W14 photo-shoot just before Christmas on Instagram and Twitter? We gave you a sneak peek into the theme of our next campaign, and most importantly, gave you a cheeky glimpse at some of the beautiful new handbags that we've got in the pipeline!

So, just in case you missed our live behind the scenes coverage, we’re going to give you a quick sneak peek at some of the shots right now!

Our shoot took place in a studio apartment in Whitechapel on Commerical road, which offers spectacular views of London! Here we are setting up one of our first shots of the day.

And here's a close up of the shot! We have some beautiful floral prints just waiting to become part of your A/W 14 wardrobes.  

Our photographer for the shoot was Caroline Parker. And here's a glimpse into our Fall colour palette.

Here's make-up artist Lilly Keys working her magic. What do you think of this look?

Senior Designer Nica Kim always plays an active role in all of the shoots. Here she is helping to direct a shot. 

Our satchels have been transformed into rich seasonal hues that we're really excited about. This is one of our favourite shots! What do you think?

We had what seemed like a million outfit choices, thankfully, Stylist Jo Sawkins was on hand to help us out! 

Are you excited about our A/W 14 range? Tell us what kind of handbags you're hoping to be part of the collection by tweeting us @Nica_Handbags

- x - 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Sale Style Tips!

The Christmas sale has landed at Nica HQ and we’re pretty excited about it. So much so in fact, that we thought we’d go one better and not only offer you a selection of heavily reduced goodies, but also show you how to style them. Update your arm candy collection with Nica this Christmas!

*Image Sources (From L-R): Dress, Bag, Boots, Bag, Brogues, Dress

Printed bags have the power to transform an otherwise plain outfit, whether slung over the shoulder or worn on the hips, prints have the wow factor. We have a number of printed bags on sale including the Nica Milly tote, the ideal accessory for bohemian lovers.

The trick with the print trend is to pair block coloured garments with one printed item as featured in our look book -see above. 

When wearing prints, try and blend colour tones evenly so that the outfit has a consistent flow throughout. This technique is much more effective when trying to make a fashion statement and is guaranteed to win you compliments. For instance, both bags pictured are seasonal shades of brown and taupe, we mixed these colours with rich oxblood, pine green and warm tan.

*Image Sources: Dress, Bag, Shoes

We’ve all been in a situation where for one reason or another, we barely have time to grab two pairs of matching socks in the morning, let alone plan a head-to-toe, wow-factor ensemble. But we’ll let you into a little secret here at NICA HQ, for the days where getting ready equates to a 10-minute dash, we like to enlist the help of a little thing known as, ‘the go-to outfit’.

For this look, pick two matching wardrobe staples such as a t-shirt dress and pair of t-bar flats then add a colourful accessory like the Nica Lulu Crossbody to give the item a welcome pop of colour. Add a patterned cardigan or detailed coat and you’re good to go. Make turning up to the office looking like you got dressed in the dark a thing of the past with simple, yet chic style solutions.

We hope our Christmas sale style tips have given you some outfit inspiration for when you bag those bargains. For regular fashion style advice and the latest Nica news, follow our official blog.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Blogged: How To Style our Sara Satchel with The Style Rawr

There’s something extra lovely about opting for an English heritage infused look around this time of the year, so, we especially love how The Style Rawr blog has styled our pretty Sara Satchel – proving again just how versatile of a handbag it is!

Opting for a pair of skinnies, some casual boots and T-shirt, with a leather jacket and a very on-trend tartan scarf, it's a great laid back look for this time of the year... On those few lucky days when you can actually get away with going out without your winter coat! 

You can read the full review over on The Style Rawr blog, or alternatively, shop the Sara satchel now

We'd love to see how you're styling our Sara satchel too, so, please share your photos with us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter and @nicahandbags on Instagram. 

- x - 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Style Recap: A Year in Fashion

2013 has been a whirlwind year for fashion, the nineties have returned in a big way, check prints are everywhere, no handbag collection is complete without a satchel, and let’s not forget about this year’s unexpected big trend, the feminine pale pink coat!

Come with Nica as we recap over the past twelve months of fashion and even take a sneaky peek at what’s in store for 2014- did someone say twosie? :-S

Check Prints

Whether in the form of tapered leg trousers, a canvas backpack or shift dress, check prints have made their way into pretty much every fashion collection this year. In the past, check prints were closely linked to grunge and punk subcultures, but 2013 has seen check prints expand into the wider fashion market, with many discarding plainer garments in favour of red plaid scarves and checked tea dresses.

At NICA we must admit to also being swayed by the check movement, and over the months have collected a number of pieces of the check variety. We love the way check prints can bring a welcome pop of colour to an otherwise understated outfit, see our look book below for styling inspiration:

Image Source: Satchel, Tea Dress, Trousers

Image Source: Satchel

With our obsession for everything vintage at an all-time high, it was only a matter of time before the satchel became a favourite amongst lovers of an era gone by.
This year has seen a series of 1950’s diners pop up all across the UK and an influx of vintage clothing and craft fairs. It’s hardly surprising then that the satchel has risen to fame as the most covetable bag of 2013.

We too have fallen head over heels for the beloved satchel- it’s just so easy to style! Available In two sizes and four unique colour shades, the Nica Alicia satchel is designed to suit a variety of looks and is our go-to bag for whenever we’re in need of a fast fashion fix.

Back to the Nineties

Image Source: Jeans, Scrunchie, Satchel, Dress

Velvet scrunchies, ‘Mom’ jeans, poloneck jumpers, collegiate jackets and dungarees- the 90’s has made a huge comeback this year. This casual-cool trend has had us revisiting cult 90’s films such as Clueless and The Breakfast Club and swooning over the style- we need Cher’s colour co-ordinated wardrobe in our lives!

Our foray into nineties fashion has included the introduction of clashing, feminine prints into our daily look to make a statement. We love experimenting with playful prints such as a pair of polka dot dungarees mixed with a vintage botanic satchel and we’re apparently ahead of the trend as clashing prints, twosies and colour pops are tipped to be in for 2014.  

That about wraps it up for our favourite trends of 2013. Meanwhile, we’re eager to see what will come next! What are your trend predictions for 2014? Tweet us your predictions @Nica_Handbags

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Blogged: How To Style our Sara Satchel with So on Trend

We love seeing how some of our favourite Bloggers style our beautiful handbags, and this time we've asked the Blogger behind So On Trend to show us how she’d wear our small Sara satchel.

Emulating what could be a Throwback Thursday look, she teams it with retro feeling glasses, and a Sixties vintage jumper in lovely mint green.

She adds a modern touch to her outfit by adding a sleeveless jacket, statement necklace, and leopard ballet pumps. And don't the clashing mint jumper and damson skinnies work so well together?! 

What do you think of her outfit? You can read the full review on So On Trend. And remember, we always love to see how you're styling our handbags, so, share your photos with us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram!

- X - 

Friday, 13 December 2013

Blogged: PinkBow Shows us how to Style our Sara Satchel

Have you seen our beautiful new embossed Sara satchel? It’s the perfect piece if you love carrying around a traditional shaped satchel but long for an individual twist, as it comes finished with a pretty vintage feeling pattern. 

We asked the Blogger behind PinkBow to show us how she'd style it, and loved her choice of outfit. 

She teamed the satchel with a monochrome printed collar blouse and quilted effect leather skirt, and finished her look with some striking red lipstick, explaining that it's 'a perfect comfortable and stylish day bag that I'm sure I'll get a lot of wear out of '. You can read the full review on PinkBow

It's actually a very versatile bag, so, we can't wait to see how others also choose to style it. And that includes you! So, tag your stylish photos at us on Twitter or Instagram

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Clothes Show Street Style: Our Favourite Looks

We’re sad that the Clothes Show is over for yet another year, and we really did have a great time. From meeting all of our lovely customers who came to say hello at our stand, to hosting our #NicaDesignAPrint contest and seeing so many inspiring new talented budding designers.

The Clothes Show is not only a great place to snap up some of your Christmas presents just before the big day but also a great place to spot some great street style outfits too. Clothing is the best way to express your personality and we love finding really individual styles. Here are a few of our favourites that we spotted at the Clothes Show, and it even includes a couple of NICA fans too!

Look 1 

Look 2

Look 3 

Look 4 

Look 5 

Look 6 

Which of the looks is your favourite? And remember, we always love to see how you're styling your own Nica Handbags, so, please share your lovely photos with us on Twitter or Instagram

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Meet Our #NicaDesignAPrint Winner Lili Price

We hope that you've been keeping up with our #NicaDesignAPrint contest, and for all of our twitter and Instagram followers, we hope that you enjoyed our live tweeting throughout the awards ceremony at the Clothes Show yesterday.

If you love our winner’s print, then, you’ll be pleased to know that we caught up with Lili after the ceremony to find out a bit more about her, and most importantly, her design inspirations.

Lili from Farnborough Sixth Form College is a passionate graphic design student, currently studying for her A Levels and working as a Freelancer in her spare time. She also has her own lovely site LiliPriceStudio, which you should definitely check out if you want to see more examples of her current projects.

Design Inspirations
Lili explained that by studying for her A Levels, she discovered that she really liked the technique of experimenting with water colours and fine liners, and when she saw our design brief, she started by doing live drawings of flowers from around her house and garden. She then experimented with lots of colours and added in different fruits like pomegranates and peaches to create lots of variations of the print, which included the beautiful winning design that we chose.

Lili explained that her designs can be influenced by absolutely anything, and recommends using social media including Tumblr for gathering ideas for designs, which she also uses when looking for fashion inspiration too.  
If you're wondering who inspires Lili's work, she told us that she’s influenced by many different graphic designers such as James Gulliver Hancock and is a massive fan of his All The Buildings in New York project, which attempts to make the city personal by passing a pen over each of the city’s structures.

Why Lili's Print?
Designer Nica Kim really loved Lili's print as it evoked memories of her childhood, and most importantly, she believes that it fits in perfectly with the Nica brand. After meeting Lili at the awards, Nica was also extremely impressed to hear that she's already turned a lot of her college work prints into beautiful notebook, iPad and iPhone covers.

We believe that Lili is a true design talent and can't wait for her to start her work experience with us next year. Hopefully you'll be able to follow her progress here on our blog too, and get ready to snap up one of our iconic satchels in her winning print, which will be available to buy upon at the beginning of next year.

Let us know what you think about Lili's winning print by dropping us a comment below or tweeting us @Nica_Handbags.

- x -

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

#NicaDesignAPrint Contest: Congratulations Lili Price!

Today, we want to say a massive congratulations to the very talented Lili Price, who’s won our #NicaDesignAPrint contest! Earlier this year, we asked anybody aged between 17-24 years of age with a passion for design to create a whimsical pattern inspired by nature, and through the abundance of fantastic entries, we managed to choose our top ten finalists.

All of our finalists were invited down to the #ClothesShowLive, where we announced our winner, Lili, who won her very own trophy, work experience at Nica HQ, and the amazing prize of having her bag put into production for Nica’s S/S 14 collection.

Announcing our winner

Lili Price's Print

And as a surprise twist, we revealed how her winning design will be retailed, and presented Lili with her very own printed satchel to take home! Head back over to our blog tomorrow for a full interview with the winner herself!

Lili with her very own printed satchel

 Lili and Nica Kim

You can follow the Nica team around this year’s Clothes Show using #NicaClothesShow on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. And don’t forget to get in touch and tell us what you think about Lili’s winning print using #NicaDesignAPrint. 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Discover Nica's Favourite Places: Alfresco Dining in Shoreditch

by Nica Kim

I love to share some of my favourite places that I discover with you, and last weekend when I went along to Boundary, an alfresco rooftop retreat in the heart of Shoreditch, London, I instantly knew that I had to tell you about it.

It's restaurant can seat around 50 people and you can choose from grills and lighter snacks from the deli downstairs. We felt extremely Christmassy as we we’re seated upon a comfy sofa right next to a log fire, and we were even offered blankets to help us to keep warm as the night got colder.

We ordered a bottle of red wine, which we shared whilst overlooking the stunning views of East London. It offers such an impressive panoramic view that you’ll definitely love if you like to take photographs like I do. 

Why not share some of you favourite places with me? I'm always looking for nice new places to try out. Tweet us @Nica_Handbags, or simply, drop me a comment below. 

Love Nica Kim
x x x 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

NICA’s Playlist

It’s often fascinating to learn people’s style and music interests.  At the office we’re always intrigued to find out which fashion icons inspire each other’s wardrobes, so, we thought that we’d share something with you – our opinions on the best songs of 2013. That's which songs we listen to whilst we mull over gorgeous handbags and pretty purses!

We asked Amy Stephens, Nica Kim, Iva Suchankova and Rakhi Popat from Team Nica to tell us about their musical preferences…

The majority of us are more than happy to listen to an eclectic mix of songs on the radio, with Amy admitting to relishing lots of festive tunes around the Christmas period! However, Senior Designer Nica Kim likes to request music by the late American jazz pianist and composer, Bill Evans.  Evans was one of the most influential jazz pianists of the 20th Century. Bill Evans’ distinct music style is loved by Nica Kim; a few other members of the team here at NICA have grown to love the talented musician too!

Both managerial members of the team, Iva Suchankova and Amy Stephens, would choose Queen to headline at their dream festival, with Iva quick to mention “the original line-up” – absolutely no one can come close to the core four; Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor!

Rakhi Popat, our senior product manager, admits that her favourite album of all time is ‘Confessions’ by Usher.  This album was the R&B star’s fourth and was a pivotal point in the singer’s career.   “Confessions” sold 10 million copies in America, putting Usher on a par with The Beatles and many other prestigious artists! Who could forget the lead single ‘Yeah!’ - the ultimate party anthem! 

Firm favourite songs amongst our team are ‘Afterlife’ by indie rock band Arcade Fire, ‘I’m Yours’ by American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, ‘Wake Me Up’ by Swedish DJ Avicii, and finally, Lorde’s number 1 hit, ‘Royals’.  Whilst the songs couldn't be more different, with ‘I’m Yours’ being a popular choice for a wedding first dance; ‘Afterlife’ offering a discomforting story of a broken family; ‘Wake Me Up’ acting as an upbeat folk tune and ‘Royals’ being a captivating track, the team here at NICA all have one thing in common – we adore handbags! 

What do you think are the best songs of 2013?  Do any of your favourite songs match ours?  Whose album would you say is one of the best albums of 2013? Let us know by tweeting @Nica_handbags.

Monday, 2 December 2013

#NicaChristmas: Festive Craft Inspiration

There are so many fun things to do around this time of the year, from spending your evenings at home trying out traditional Christmas DIYs or baking, to venturing outdoors and enjoying those splendid Christmas markets or dabbling in a spot of festive ice skating.

As the Christmas songs are already playing in our office, we're looking for some festively crafty inspiration. Take a look what we've found so far upon our new Pinterest board #NicaChristmas Crafts.

One of our favourites has to also be one of the easiest too, and that's the jam jar turned candle holder. Simply pop a candle inside a jar and festively decorate as you please. Ribbons, fake snow, and berries are the usual choices but the possibilities are endless!

Why not share your Christmas DIYS with us using #NicaChristmas upon our social channels or tagging us directly on Facebook or Instagram? We can't wait to be inspired by what you've been creating.

Friday, 29 November 2013

How To Style your Alicia Satchel with the Rosalilium Blog

If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to style your new Alicia satchel, then, look no further than the lovely Rosalilium blog, who demonstrates exactly how to break that age old fashion rule of wearing black with brown.

Teaming her tan Alicia satchel with black tights, ankle boots, a pretty blue tea dress and heritage feeling grey jacket, it’s a look that we very much want to test out!

Read her full review over on her blog, and why not show us how you’re styling your own Alicia satchels by tagging your photos @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Culture Vulture: Alternative Ideas for New Year’s Eve

From cosy seaside cottages to the enchanting northern lights, NICA have an array of New Year’s Eve ideas which are ideal for culture vultures or anyone with the desire to venture off the beaten track and experience unique, fun adventures this NYE. Whether you want to end the year gazing at the stars in Norway or sipping gin at a ruin bar in Budapest, read on!

Ruin Bars and Outdoor Spas in Budapest
Partying in Europe’s largest outdoor spa in sub-zero temperatures might not sound like a likely NYE scenario, but Budapest is utterly unique. You can drink and dance to future disco in a thermal (77°C) outdoor pool during the bitter cold month of December! 
Constructed over 100 years ago, the Széchenyi bath is steeped in history and statues of dolphins and water Gods surround the outdoor pools making this a stunning setting to see the New Year in.

If you’re on a budget, you’ll be pleased to hear that Budapest won't pull too hard upon the purse strings. With beer and spirit prices coming in at around £1 per serving and quirky hostels aplenty, those seeking a budget will be in their creative element. 

Head to Szimpla Kert, the city’s most hotly tipped ruin pub and the world’s third best bar as voted by Lonely Planet. Ruin pubs are unique to Budapest and feature the most remarkable, off-the-wall interiors coupled with an infectious ambience; Szimpla Kert for example has an open air cinema, and an innumerable amount of houseplants and mismatched lampshades while another ruin pub nearby boasts furniture hanging from the ceiling.

For a new year brimming with culture and energy, head to the Hungarian capital of Budapest.
Top tip: Stay at Lavender Circus Hostel for quirky, gorgeously furnished accommodation in the old town. Doubles with ensuite start at just £9 per night with free coffee and wine included!

See the Northern Lights in Tromsø

If it’s been a long-time dream of yours to see the northern lights, New Year 2013 could be the best time to try. According to NASA, the best light show in a decade is forecast for this December. In NASA’s recent report, Tromsø – the ‘Paris of the north’ is expected to be the best spot for Norwegian northern light sightings. 

Indulge in a voyage aboard a traditional steamer ship to try and catch a glimpse of the amazing lights along a fjord or chase the lights on an unconventional bus tour in the nearby village of Erfsfijorden.

Whilst in Tromsø check out The Polar Museum – a museum centered on North Pole explorers which is full of fascinating artefacts and exhibits. For those unfazed by heights, the Fjellheisen Cable Car is a must too as visitors are treated to panoramic views over the city at 420 metres above sea level, wow!

Coastal cottages and beautiful beaches in West Wales
If you've set your sights closer to home this New Year’s Eve and are in the mood for a spot of peace and quiet, the coast of West Wales is a really lovely place to getaway to for a few days. Explore an ample selection of sandy beaches, visit the vibrant seaside resort of Tenby and embark on a boat trip to Caldey Island – a tiny island inhabited by monks with a chocolate, shortbread and perfume shop all of which are homemade on site.

As for New Year’s Eve itself, The Druidstone Hotel in Pembrokeshire is situated overlooking a cliff with views over the beautiful Druidstone Haven beach. This off-the-wall hotel is bursting with character, always full to the brim. and holds regular feast nights with live music! The ideal seaside spot for those seeking a fun, casual-cool NYE vibe with like-minded people.

*This ‘Teletubby’ house can be viewed from Druidstone Haven and is a real talking point around the area as people are usually amazed by the design.

Are you off anywhere exciting this NYE? Let us know by tweeting us @Nica_Handbags. 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Discover Nica's Favourite Places

by Nica Kim

As you know, I do spend a lot of my free time searching for new design inspiration but believe it or not, I do like to grab a few non work related minutes and relax. And that often includes eating out at delicious restaurants, so, I thought that I’d share a few of my favourite places with you.

Last Saturday, after visiting the British Museum, I stopped by the Japanese noodle café Koya. It’s one of my favourite places to eat, as it’s so nice and cosy, and in all honesty, it reminds me a little bit of home.

It only serves traditional udon noodles. Just look at the delicious dish that I enjoyed. One of my favourites!

If you’re a coffee lover, then, you’ll adore one of my favourite coffee houses, All Press Espresso. It’s the perfect place to rewind and relax after a stroll around Colombia Road market on a Sunday morning. 

Do you have a favourite place to dine or enjoy a coffee in London? Share it with me @Nica_Handbags on twitter, and I might just try it out!