Friday, 31 January 2014

How To Style our Sara Satchel with the Dearest Deer Blog

This week, the Dearest Deer blog showed us how to incorporate our Sara Satchel into a pretty classic outfit, as she popped out for a delicious high tea at The Gilbert Scott.

Our Sara Satchel sat effortlessly alongside her crisp white shirt and simple navy dress, wouldn't you agree? Read more about her afternoon out over on DearestDeer. Or if you’d like to snap up your very own Sara satchel, have a look here!

And don’t forget to show us how you’re styling your very own Nica Handbags @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram. 

Thursday, 30 January 2014

How To Style Our Sara Satchel with the Wonderful U Blog

We love discovering new outfit inspiration, and especially when it revolves around one of our lovely handbags! This week, we asked the Wonderful U blog to show us how she’d style our beautiful Sara Satchel.

You can read her full review here, as she teaches us how to dress down a pretty dress with an elegant baggy jumper, and of course, incorporate our Sara Satchel into the look!

And don’t forget, we love to see how our handbags are being styled, so, please share your own style photos with us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram. 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

How the World Celebrates Valentine’s Day

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is around the corner. The UK has divided opinions on the sacred day - for every singleton declaring war on Valentine’s Day, you’ll find a gooey eyed couple professing their undying love in public - which got us wondering, how does the rest of the world celebrate Valentine’s Day?
From Finland’s Friend Day to Japan’s White Day, join Nica as we explore the various Valentine’s Day traditions around the world.

White Day, Japan

Valentine’s Day in Japan turns the tables on traditional celebration as gender roles are swapped and women are expected to give men chocolate gifts as an expression of love and loyalty. A month later on White Day (March 14th) men return the favour by giving white gifts (traditionally cookies, white chocolate and marshmallows) to show their affection. Although women are encouraged to make the first move, the return gift is traditionally double or triple the cost.

Friends Day, Finland

Finland is one country that doesn't need significant others to have a good time, that’s why they created Friends Day, or Ystävänpäivä as it is known in Finnish. On this day celebrations are more about remembering your friends and spending time with them as opposed to your partner. In the past few years couples have started to exchange gifts, however this cultural shift is quite recent and the majority of people choose to celebrate the traditional way.

Dydd Santes Dwynwen, Wales

Valentine’s Day has already passed in Wales, Dydd Santes Dwynwen took place on January 25th in remembrance of the Welsh saint of love, Dwynwen. The popularity of Dydd Santes Dwynwen has increased dramatically over recent years with love themed gigs, singles nights and romantic dinner events taking place all over Wales.

It is customary to give love-spoons as gifts on Dydd Santes Dwynwen, a tradition which started with Welsh sailors carving decorated spoons of wood and presenting them to women they admired. A girl can dream!

What do you think of Valentine’s Day? Whether you love it or hate it, tweet us your thoughts @Nica_Handbags.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Discover Nica's Playlist: Inside James Vincent McMorrow's Gig

Following the launch of our S/S 14 collection and already planning the next one, NICA HQ has been pretty busy lately but I've still found some time to do the things that I enjoy in my free time! Last week, I went along with some of the NICA team to a gig at the Rough Trade East record store on Brick lane, in the heart of trendy East London.

And the gig of choice? It was to celebrate the release of James Vincent McMorrow’s amazing new album Post TropicalI've been a fan ever since I heard his début album Early in the Morning, and although the feel of his new music is much more minimal than that of his first album’s, I'm still completely hooked!

I'm often inspired by different kinds of music and I hope that you are too! So, why not take a listen to Cavalier the first track from his new album here for a glimpse into the kind of music that I love and feel inspired by. 

After enjoying an amazing performance that we didn't want to end, we got the opportunity to meet James too. Here’s one of our Designers Melissa posing for a lucky pic! 

We didn't miss out on snapping up our own copy of Post Tropical, and of course, getting it signed by James himself. Are you a fan of James Vincent McMorrow’s music? If so, what's your favourite track from his new album? 

I love to discover new music, so, please share your favourites with me! Drop me a comment below, or let me know @Nica_Handbags on Twitter! I'm looking forward to hearing your recommendations. 

Love, Nica,
- x - 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Unconventional Style Icons: Karen O

Fiercely cool and never afraid to make a statement, Karen O is an unconventional style icon. Front woman of popular indie band the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Karen’s powerful stage presence and taste for zany outfits have won her cult status in both the music and fashion world.

Image Sources: Left, Right

Grunge get ups, flamboyant feathers, circus chic… From the YYY’s fledging days to the recent release of their 4th studio album Mosquito, over the years Karen has been papped in a range of jaw dropping outfits. Wallflower she is not!

Many music stars have an entourage of fashion designers, make-up artists and dressers working closely behind them, but Karen O’s stage style is predominantly her own. It wasn't until circa 2006 that Christian Joy (successful American costume designer) began collaborating with Karen to create one-off, outrageous stage outfits which would later define the front woman as one of the most influential music style icons of our time.

Daring to Demure, L-R: Image Source, Image Source

Karen’s outfits verge from daring to theatrical and are ultimately an expression of her racy on-stage persona. Off-stage Karen admits to being extremely modest and conservative however when she puts on a neon matching suit or feather headdress, she morphs into Karen O. "It's like Superman changing into his costume and suddenly he can fly.... It gives you something to inhabit and you're no longer on stage as yourself being vulnerable."

Image Sources from L – R: Kimono, Fringed Top, Tie Blouse, Bindi, Bag, Shorts

We’re all about free-spirited fashion here at Nica and love the playful nature of Karen’s style, that’s why we’ve put together our very own Karen O style look book.  Whether you want to go hell for leather with clashing prints galore or simply jazz up a plain outfit with an eye-catching kimono or statement bindi, the choice is yours!

Do you have a style icon? We’d love to know where you get your fashion inspiration from.  Drop us a comment below or tweet us your favourite’s @Nica_Handbags.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

How To Style your Sara Satchel with the Stylish Behaviour Blog

If you've ever spent a day in London, or if in fact you are a Londoner, you’ll know that there’s a typical style that prevails in East London’s trendy Shoreditch area. So, when we recently asked the Stylish Behaviour blog to style our small tan Sara satchel, we felt that she’d definitely infused her outfit with that kind of London look!

As you can see, she teamed our Sara satchel with black skinnies, a pair of boots, a denim jacket, a graphic T-Shirt and a lovely tartan scarf. What do yo think of the look? 

Why not show us how you're styling your own Nica Handbags by tagging us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Discover Which Musicians We Had on Repeat in 2013

From Poppy newcomers Haim, to Indie growers Peace, the past twelve months have been an exciting time for music. Come with Nica as we document the songs and artists that we couldn’t get enough of during 2013!


Peace are strong contenders for best British band of 2013. The Birmingham quartet hauled their indifferent blend of infectious Indie to every music festival worth its salt last year. Donning 70’s sunshades and leather jackets wherever they go, this lot are rock and roll through and through. Bloodshake and 1998 (Delicious) are our favourite tracks.


We don’t know about you, but we can’t stop listening to Danielle Haim’s husky vocals on Forever. We’ve played the track so many times and yet, we still have no idea what the lyrics are. It doesn’t matter. HAIM are pop personified. HAIM make pop music cool. There's no denying that HAIM sound like the love child of Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks and En Vogue. 

All of these things combined make HAIM pretty much the best girl group ever and we’ve a feeling that their popularity is set to last and last. Move over Spice Girls, there’s a new crew in town!


Hailing from North London, lead singer of Daughter, Elena Tonra covers the highs and lows of love with a distinct melancholy reminiscent of The xx and Laura Marling. The lyrics are often haunting, but there’s beauty in the bleakness! If You Leave is probably our favourite of their records. 

Arcade Fire

From the infectious Reflektor to the gorgeously melancholic Afterlife, Arcade Fire have been on our radar for quite some time. 2013 saw the band abandon their usual rock’n’roll riffs in pursuit of a more dance orientated path. The result is a powerhouse of light and dark themes which are sharper, slicker and catchier than anything they’ve tried before. We’re hooked!

We’d love to know which records you played on-repeat last year! Tweet us your favourite’s @Nica_Handbags

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Nica's Design Inspirations: A Trip to Leighton House Museum

Leighton House Museum is somewhere that I've wanted to visit for quite a while, and I recently got the chance to spend the afternoon there. If you’re not familiar with the London based museum, it was once the home and studio of the leading Victorian artist, Frederic Lord Leighton. 

He built the entire house for his own artistic delight, so, as you can imagine, the entire building is feast for the eyes. The most famous, and arguably, its most spectacular room is known as Arab Hall, and he decorated it with his own collection of around 1000 tiles that he gathered from all around the world, including Syria, Turkey, and Persia.

It's really interesting looking at tiles from different places and getting a feel for the different styles and tastes within each country. They are often a great source of inspiration for my own print designs too. So, if you're currently designing your own prints, I really recommend that you take a look at some beautiful tiles for a spot of inspiration! 

Have you visited any inspiring art museums lately? Share your tips or photos with me @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram, and I may pop along and take a look for myself. 

Monday, 13 January 2014

Blogged: How To Style Your Satchel Urban with the Fox and Feather Blog

This week, we asked Blogger @LeighTravers of the FoxAndFeatherBlog to show us how she’d style our large Sara satchel. We’re always surprised at just how easily this particular style slips into different outfits, and believe it or not, it’s always a great source of inspiration for our own wardrobes too!

This time the Sara satchel was styled Boho alongside a pretty floral blouse, skinny jeans, a fashionable furry waistcoat and stylish hat. What do you think of her outfit?

She also took the satchel along on a little shoot in order to review it fully. Find out exactly what she had to say over on her blog.

If you fancy treating yourself to your very own Sara satchel, you can snap one up here. Or, if you already have your own, why not share your style photos by tagging us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram, and show us how you're incorporating it into your own individual styles. 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Our Alternative New Year’s Resolutions

With January in full swing and most of us officially in back-to-work mode, we’re finding it a tad tricky to stick to the more traditional NY resolutions. The treadmill doesn’t seem very appetising when we’re looking out onto gale force winds and monsoon rain. Similarly, saving money is easier said than done when all of our favourite shops are tempting us with irresistible offers, sigh.

That’s why this year, we’ve decided to go easy on ourselves and introduce fun, inspiring NY resolutions which are sure to lift our spirits during the quieter months and ensure 2014 is one to remember. Read on for Nica’s alternative guide to New Year resolutions.

Resolution #1: Read More Classics

Classics are making a comeback. Gone are the days of dusty old copies of Wuthering Heights, our much loved classics have been given a sparkling update. With striking new covers designed by the best graphic designers in the business, your clothbound copy of Alice in Wonderland has never been so on-trend. 

We recommend The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde for a stylish, candid tale of aesthetics and hedonism.

Resolution #2: Conquer World Cuisine

Saving money doesn't have to be all doom and gloom, put a fun spin on being frugal by learning to cook a new cuisine. Invite all your friends over for a Come Dine With Me style affair- it’ll be more personal than a trip to your local chain eatery and friends are likely to return the favour.

We recommend starting your world cooking journey with Pad Thai, this dish is as popular in Thailand as Fish and Chips is here in old Blighty. Peanuts, lime and coriander are the core ingredients of Pad Thai and the dish is a fusion of fresh flavours which are not only super tasty but low in fat, ideal if you’re on a health kick.

Resolution #3:  Do More of What You Love

When you look back on 2013, is there something you wish you’d done more of? Whether you’re a keen swimmer, illustrator or simply have a bucket list of favourite bands to watch, make it your mission to live without regret this 2014. Do more of what you love and you’ll be surprised how much of a positive impact this can have on your outlook and wellbeing.

Haven’t discovered your ‘thing’ yet? Here are a few suggestions:
-  Learn a language. Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world, closely followed by Spanish.
- Travel to all 4 continents before the age of 30; Africa, America, Asia and Europe.
- Do 30 days of something. There are many 30 day challenge options available online, from going vegetarian, taking a picture every day to more extreme measures such as abstaining from the internet!

Do you have the knack of sticking to your NY resolutions? Tweet us your tips at @Nica_Handbags.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Discover Nica's Design Inspirations: The Mandy Collection

As you know, I travel a lot, and it’s always interesting to delve into the history of different cultures by simply enjoying its architecture. All countries are a mixture of buildings that have been created at different points in time, reflecting its different changing styles, tastes and social statuses throughout the decades. 

A street in Cologne featuring buildings from different eras side by side.

For a Designer, this is really inspiring to see. A little earlier last year, I spent some time in Cologne, Germany which has some streets lined with houses from different eras yet standing side by side. It was really amazing to see, and I learnt that this was a result of severe bombing during the World War. Financial restraints led to the slow re-building over the years in which time building styles continuously changed!  

Ornate doors and windows

What may seem like the most unusual of things can trigger an idea that leads to a new design. Whilst creating the Mandy collection, I was inspired by all things old and ornate, and in particular, beautiful doors and window frames. I took this concept of intricate detailing as to develop its fun design. 

As it’s the beginning of a new year, I'm starting to plan which places I’d like to visit this year, why not inspire my travels by sharing some photos of your favourite places to holiday @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram? It may even inspire a visit and my next handbag design!

Love, Nica
x  x  x  

Friday, 3 January 2014

How to Style Your Sara Satchel with Tasty Pretty Things Blog

Sometimes reading your favourite fashion blog can be better for picking up style tips than flicking through the leading glossies, as it can inspire more creative and individual outfits. This week, we asked the Tasty Pretty Things blog to review our Sara satchel, and she offered her very own top five style tips as to help us to incorporate the bag into our own wardrobes.

Tasty Pretty Things' Top Five Sara Satchel Style Tips: 

1) Even though the satchel is very feminine, I suggest styling it with dresses and skirts, rather than masculine items like leather jackets or leather pants.

2) During summer time, tie a nice floral silk scarf to the satchel, to make it more appropriate for that time of year as well.

3) In order to keep the satchel young and fun pair it with colourful sneakers or Converse.

4) Wear it across body for a boho-chic look.

5) Wear it on one shoulder for an 80s inspired, rock chick look.

You can read her full review here. Are you going to try out one of her style tips? If so, don't forget to tag your style photos with us on Twitter or Instagram!