Saturday, 31 May 2014

Nica's Design Inspirations: The Classic Satchel with a Twist

From its origins as part of a Roman legionary’s luggage to the bag that many a school girl was forced to carry as part of their uniforms, there’s no denying that the satchel has done a 360, and gone from solely functional to an on-trend must have.

Fashion Blogger @leannelimwalker styles the Alicia satchel

These days, the most stylish way to wear your satchel is classic with a twist, maintaining the functionality of its traditional design yet transformed with on trend finishings. I love the possibilities presented by re-creating a classic, and so, each season I've taken the classic satchel design and infused it with a seasonal Nica style twist. From my unique watercolour prints adorning handy lightweight canvas satchels to bright pops of neon lemon or hot pink illuminating the classic leather feel satchels. 

For S/S 14, my small Amy satchel was perhaps one of my favourites to design. The shape of the Amy satchel is an absolute classic satchel shape, and I've brought it up to date with bright summer feeling colour pops, and then, finished with a simple splash of laser cut detailing - another of my favourite finishing details for this season. As always, my travels have helped to influence my designs, from the beautiful colours of flowers in bloom at botanical gardens to the intricate shapes upon buildings that inspired my laser cutting. The Amy satchel is also available in classic bone or tan for those who just can't resist a classic wardrobe staple. 

I've also thoroughly enjoyed seeing just how versatile my satchels are to style up into an outfit too, and we've had many fashion bloggers provide us with some gorgeous satchel style. As you know, I love bohemian style, and so, I thought that this was a great #OOTD by the Fox and Feather fashion blog. 

If you're looking for some satchel style inspiration, why not head over to our Pinterest and check out our fashion blogger gallery. 

Love Nica 
- x - 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Candy Coloured Fashion for S/S 14

We're bringing colour back in a big way this summer, so,  prepare to store those khaki parkas and big black boots away for the long haul as the sunshine reigns on high! Ok, so we may be feeling a tad optimistic but who can blame us, eh? Embrace the candy colour trend this S/S 14 with statement bags, bold co-ords and Tropicana prints. 

As a handbag brand, we can’t help but have vivid bags on our radar. Studious satchels, apple green shoulder candy, blue raspberry embellished numbers…The list goes on. You won’t want to be without a bright coloured bag this season; they’re easy to dress up, can be teamed with coordinating bright colours or pared down with neutrals. Brave it with all over colour or add one mood lifting accessory to achieve that high impact fashion vibe.

Heading abroad this summer? Say it with a co-ord. The latest craze to hit the high street, some are calling it the ‘twosie’ others prefer the term ‘seperates’, we like the word co-ordinates. If you’ve got reservations about wearing double watermelon print don’t worry- choose a printed skirt with a plain tee or vice versa.

Anyone who is anyone is getting on board with the trend, and most notably Katy Perry, Queen Bee Beyoncé, and even Jamie Chung. Go for California sunshine prints mixed with sandals and cats eye sunglasses, or a one-colour top and skirt complemented by feminine heels. 

There’s only one way to hit the music festivals this year, and that's full on Tropicana. Baby pink sunglasses, rainbow parrot sundresses, bold nail paint and palm tree prints are leading the way as bright, bold colours take over.

Let the sunshine in with one of this year’s hottest trends, which is ideal attire for poolside cool, main stage bravado or playful beach trips.

For more tips on how to wear bright colours this S/S 14 don't forget to follow our blog where we’ll be touching base on all things bright and bold over the forthcoming months!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

#NicaDIY: We Share Some of our Favourite Natural Hair Remedies

Here at Nica HQ, we love testing out natural beauty remedies, and for this week’s #NicaDIY, we’ll be looking at natural hair treats which will have you forgetting what a bad hair day ever was! So, read on to discover exactly what you can do to make your hair even more beautiful!

Damaged Hair
Pretty much all of us are guilty of using hair straighteners or hairdryers on a daily basis, and each time that we do so, we’re damaging our precious locks. Excessive exposure to heat and constant brushing causes our hair to become dry and brittle. So, what can we do to help? Nothing beats leaving a deep conditioning treatment upon our hair for anything from 15 to 30 minutes. Why not ever so slightly warm up a mixture of coconut and castor oil and massage from root to tip? Kick back and leave to soak in for no longer than 30 mins and rinse off with a splash of warm water. Repeat once or twice per week, and hair should gradually become less dry in just a few weeks.

Dull Hair
If you feel like your hair is dull and lifeless, then, you should definitely try out an overnight treatment, which will have your hair looking back to its glossy finest before you even know it. We recommend mixing together a few drops of olive oil (with the optional splash of vitamin E oil) with a little bit of water and massaging from root to tip. Leave on overnight, and then, rinse off and style as usual the following day. The extra shine will be instant!

Oily Hair
Many factors can lead to oily hair, so, for those of you who have tried every promising shampoo upon the market without success, then, it’s definitely time to test out a natural remedy instead. From egg yolk to honey, there are lots of concoctions that’ll help but our personal favourite is aloe vera. Take some very mild shampoo and mix with a teaspoon of aloe vera gel, which you can take straight from your very own plant, and add in a tablespoon of lemon juice. Apply to the hair, and wash away with some warm water after a couple of minutes, and you should see results in just a few washes!

Do you have any of your own natural beauty remedies that you swear by? We’d love to hear, so, please share them with us by dropping a comment below or getting in touch on Twitter @Nica_Handbags

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Discover Some of our Favourite Fashion Bloggers

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty fond of the thriving blogosphere, and when we’re not featuring the latest and greatest fashion bloggers in our own little corner of the World Wide Web, you can find us on the hunt for cute outfit inspiration via Instagram. What can we say? We’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for the blogger craze!

If you too have given way to blogger fever, then, this post will be right up your street. Read on to discover some of our favourite fashion bloggers of 2014.

*Dunya pictured with the Nica Sara Satchel in Black.

Instagram Username: Dearestdeer_
Twitter Handle: Dearestdeer_

Helming the cute fashion category is Dunya, otherwise known as Dearest Deer. Queen of white shirts, kitsch animal accessories and high heels, Dunya combines feminine silhouettes with modern apparel creating a refreshingly cool take on this season’s best-loved trends.
Catch Dunya championing all things girly on her blog, Instagram and Twitter accounts respectively.

*Smock to Frock with the Nica Judy Shoulder bag in Mink
Instagram Username: Smocktofrock
Twitter Handle: Smocktofrock

Meet Beki, a 20 something fashion blogger with a penchant for bargain buys and independent fashion brands. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty products on her blog, she’s tweeting up a storm or showing off her latest purchases on Instagram.
We were delighted when Beki agreed to feature the Nica Judy compartment bag in a recent outfit post, and love the combination of girly florals and Mary Jane shoes juxtaposed with a tough leather skirt and cartazi hat. Follow Beki for chic hair style tutorials, outfit inspiration and money saving tips galore.

*Rebecca from Its Cohen showing off the Nica Cara Backpack in Fawn Print
Instagram Username: Rebeccacohen_
Twitter Handle: Rebeccacohen

Rebecca Cohen has that natural, girl next door innocence about her which makes us long for adventures in the sun and curly hair. Obsessed with playful prints, tan shoes and travelling, we love following Rebecca’s blog updates all the way from Munich, Germany where she currently works as an intern for Stylight.
Just like Beki from Smock to Frock, Rebecca also has a passion for bargains, particularly the charity shop variety. Whether it’s a vintage leather belt snapped up for 10p from a charity shop or a scalloped blouse from a well-known brand, you’ll regularly find Rebecca sharing second hand pieces mixed with high street garments on her blog.

Who would you like to see styling our handbags on this blog? We’d love to hear who your favourite bloggers are- drop us a comment below or tweet us @Nica_Handbags.

Monday, 19 May 2014

How To Style the April tote with the Sitting Pretty at my Desk Blog

We love seeing how our favourite bloggers style our latest designs, and this week we have the pleasure of the lovely Sitting Pretty at my Desk blog showing us how to style our April tote

A kaftan combo is perfect for the lovely weather that we’ve been having! How would you style yours?

She’s also exclusively interviewed our head designer Nica Kim, so, why not head over to her blog for a behind the scenes scoop? It also includes a discount code for all of her lovely readers too!

How are you styling your new #NicaHandbags? We’d love for you to share your stylish photos with us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram! And we may just give you a retweet!  

Friday, 16 May 2014

Discover Nica's Favourite Places: Relaxing in Spitalfields London

Whether it be somewhere that I go to derive design inspiration or simply to relax, I love to share some of my favourite places with you. This week, I want to let you in on one of Spitalfields London’s best kept secrets, Verde & Co, which is just on the opposite side of Spitalfields Market in East London. 

I love popping in here just before I trawl through the treasures that the market has to offer. They do lovely creamy cappuccinos as well as a variety of delicious teas, amazing fresh sandwiches and tasty retro sweets. They even do a really great range of antique ceramics!

In winter, it’s the perfect place to visit as it has such a cosy atmosphere, and each time you always discover something new, which is extra exciting!

Why not share your favourite places with me too by dropping a comment below or getting in touch @Nica_Handbags on Twitter?  I always love to discover new places. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Embrace the Outdoors with Our Spring / Summer Date Ideas!

Forget the cinema and dimly lit restaurant dates of winter's past, as May is looking to be a scorcher! Get outdoors this spring with our S/S edition of alternative date ideas. There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored and this week we’re diving in head first.


Heading on a first date? Exploring the animal kingdom is a great way to break the ice, plus if the conversation does dry up you can always laugh at what the orang-utans are up to. London Zoo is a great choice because it’s home to komodo dragons, tigers, gorillas and pretty much every other species of wildlife that you could imagine.

Avoid the weekend rush by making the most of the zoo’s late night opening times during June and July. Indulge in world cuisine, ride the carousel, and get up close and personal with its 17,500 animals!

A Twist on the Classic Picnic in the Park

When the suns out, you really can’t beat a picnic in the park. Add a day festival to the equation and you've got yourself a match made in heaven. Field Day takes place on Saturday 7th June and is a laid-back festival celebrating the best up and coming bands and artists. Metronomy and Pixies are playing alongside hundreds of other acts and tickets are a snip at £50.

Take your feast to the best people-watching spot you can find and alternate between watching bands and soaking up the sunshine. And if you don’t want to carry your picnic halfway across London you can always purchase craft beers and tasty street food on site.

Lovebox, Wireless and Holi Festival all offer similar packages in prime London locations.

Get your Adrenaline Fix on a Tree Top Adventure

Adventure seekers will love Go Ape! – What could be more fun than hurtling down an epic zip wire in the sunshine? You and your beau can make like Tarzan and Jane on a tree swinging adventure in Trent Park. Share gorgeous views from the top of the trees, climb the high ropes and face your fear of heights on this fun and energetic forest adventure.

Do you have any outdoorsy spring date ideas you’d like to share with us? Drop us a comment below or follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest Nica news and updates.

Monday, 12 May 2014

The Poppy Loves Blog Reviews our Christine Weekender

If you’re still searching for that perfect travel holdall, look no further than our amazing Christine weekender! We recently asked the lovely Poppy Loves blog to take it along upon her travels and tell us exactly what she thought about it... 

And the result? Describing it as ‘the perfect size, the perfect weight, with the perfect bag straps’, Poppy Loves has assured us that it’ll definitely be accompanying her upon many more trips to come!

Finished in a unique pretty NICA print, it's as pretty as it is functional, and even comes complete with a pretty little purse which could be used as a make-up bag if so desired!

Have you snapped up your own yet? Our bags are often inspired by our head designer Nica Kim's own journeys around the world, and now we want to see where you're taking your own #NicaHandbags. So, don't forget to share your #NicaBagSelfie with us on Twitter or Instagram

Thursday, 8 May 2014

How To Style our Aqua Alicia Satchel with the Stephanie Dreams Blog

This week, we've teamed up with the lovely Stephanie Dreams blog for some outfit inspiration, and asked her to show us how she’d style our beautiful aqua Alicia satchel

She's kept it smart casual by teaming it with a pretty winter floral swing dress and boots... and if you look closely, she's added a really kitsch cocker spaniel necklace too, which we love! What do you think?

Her review also features an exclusive mini interview with our head designer Nica Kim too (below), and an exclusive 15% discount code for her followers to use only at Find out more on her blog here!  

1) What is your perfect bag?
I always opt for a really big bag that’s capable of carrying all of my bits and bobs… And my gym kit!

2)  Which styles will you be wearing this spring and summer? 
I don’t really follow trends, and my look is often more inspired by people that I see upon the street. At the minute, I really love denim, so, that’s probably something that I’ll continue to wear throughout spring and summer. 

3) What are you most looking forward to with Nica this year?
For AW14, NICA is taking an exciting new turn, and we’re changing the feel of the brand, which I’m really excited about. The designs have perhaps more of a grown up feel about them, and each piece aims to tell a story. I can’t wait to see everybody’s’ reactions!

And don't forget to show us how you're styling your own #NicaHandbags on Twitter or Instagram!  

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Quirky Places to Stay in Europe

Be it island-hopping in Croatia or white water rafting in the Caribbean, holidays are a hot topic right now. And in our haste to avoid school holiday price hikes we've been on the hunt for quirky places to stay which are slightly under the radar. From Swedish treehouses to coastal lighthouses, discover our favourite holiday accommodation finds.

Rent a Treehouse in Sweden

“If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…” These are the words which spring to mind when you spot the impressive Tree Hotel nestled amongst the peaceful forest! This Swedish paradise is a wonderful hideout which is decked out in true Scandinavian style. The interior is minimal but has everything you require for a comfy stay away from it all.
And if you don’t fancy the mirror cube retreat you can also choose from a gigantic birds nest, a UFO or a red brick cabin to dwell in. The Tree Hotel is located just outside Luleå in Sweden and prices start from £89 per night.

 Rent a Lighthouse in Pembrokeshire

If you’re looking for a holiday a little closer to home the lighthouse tower in St Ann’s Head is a rare find. Situated on the edge of a cliff top with breath taking views of the coast, this 5 bedroom property is ideal for large groups looking for an outdoorsy holiday by the sea.
Go sea kayaking in Dale, walk the Pembrokeshire coast, enjoy the sublime views from the top of the Blue Lagoon and make hey while the sun shines in this amazing corner of West Wales.

 Stay on a Houseboat under the Eiffel Tower

Most people travel to Paris for the macaroons, the boutiques and of course the Eiffel Tower, but imagine staying directly under the famous historical landmark on the river Seine! Well, now you can. Boasting 360 degree views of the famous tower, the charming houseboat can accommodate 2 people. The décor is shabby chic with nautical themed quirks and colourful plants adding character to the setting.

Excellently located in the centre of Paris, this houseboat can be your holiday home for just £45 per person, per night.

Discovered a holiday accommodation gem that you’re dying to share? Pop us a comment below or tweet us @Nica_Handbags

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Blogger Review: Raindrops of Sapphire Trials our Christine Weekender Bag

We may have only just kissed goodbye to one bank holiday weekend but luckily for us there’s still one left to come this month! So, if you’re planning a little getaway, then, your first port of call should be finding that perfect holdall to take away with you upon your travels.

Last weekend, the lovely Raindrops of Sapphire blog took our Christine weekender bag in pink tulip along with her upon a road trip, and said ‘I'm going to be using it every time I go away’, as she found it such a perfect bag to use!

You can read her full review here, and if you’re planning your own trip away, then, why not snap up your own hereDon’t forget to stay up to date with all things NICA by following us on Facebook or Instagram

Thursday, 1 May 2014

How To Style the Judy Shoulder with the Smock To Frock Blog

We love asking some of our favourite bloggers for some outfit inspiration by styling our latest must have bags, and this week, it comes in the form of the great Smock to Frock blog, who chose to style our beautiful Judy triple compartment shoulder bag!

Opting for a very cool hat, leather skirt, floral top and brightly painted lips, our Judy shoulder bag finished the look to perfection! What do you think? How would you choose to style our bag?

Don’t forget to share your photos of how you’re styling your own #NicaHandbags with us on Twitter or Instagram. We’d love to see, and we may even re-share them on our Facebook page too!