Thursday, 5 November 2015

Nica SS16: An Interview with Make-Up Artist Cuneyt

Just in time for Christmas, our SS16 collection is finally here! Inspired by designer Nica Kim’s travels, the collection has been created around the idea of motion and fun. Designed for the girl who’s always on the move, it’s a stylish yet practical collection.

To help you understand the feel of our collection that little bit more, we caught up with our product shot's make-up artist Cuneyt to explain a little further. 


Describe the make-up look for our SS16 shoot?
For the SS16 collection, we opted for a natural look with extra clean skin and defined eyes which we achieved with a brown smokey effect.

Do you have any tips for girls at home trying to recreate the shoot’s look?
For me, the skin is the most important thing. So, they should use foundations that are the perfect match for their skin tones, and define the cheeks bones with a little  bronzer. If they are going out, they can add easy and simple smokey eyes or eye liner. I prefer to keep lips natural, and often use lip-glosses of the same colour.

Where do you source inspiration for shoots?
I'm always researching - from different colours and fashion trends to different looks that I stumble upon. I used to work with M.A.C, so I still always visit their stores for new ideas and to snap up new products. Then, I usually discuss the model's make up needs with the designer before the shoot begins, and do a few trial runs if time permits.

Bag Featured: Madeline Tote

What’s your favourite kind of look to create?
I absolutely love smokey eyes. If you define the eyes, they speak for themselves.

Why did you become a make-up artist?
It’s my absolute passion. I love colours and seeing how I can totally transform a face by simply mixing them up.

What have been your career highlights to date?
After I finished my accounting degree at University, I realised that it wasn't my dream to pursue a career in this area. After 5 interviews I got offered the job at M.A.C as they believed that I had a talent for make-up. That was around 11 years ago, and their great training has allowed me to go on to become a pro make-up artist, and I decided that London was the place to build my career. I love my job! If I was born again, I would be a make- up artist again... And again and again!

You can view our new collection here and we can’t wait to see which ones you’ll be snapping up! Don’t forget to tag your pics @nicahandbags on Instagram. 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Carry Me Away… To London’s Best Cocktail Making Classes

Got a girl’s weekend away in London planned? - Head to one of our favourite cocktail haunts and learn the art so that you can re-create and show-off for your friends at home.

Callooh Callay 


A class at Callooh Callay includes canapés upon arrival and a tasting tutorial of 'The Four Cocktail Golden Ages'. Those with a competitive streak will be pleased to know that you fight it out with your classmates to make the best classic. The winner gets a £50 bar tab too - So it's worth rolling up your sleeves and giving it your best shot! The minimum group size is eight, but they can accommodate you any day of the week.

Lucky Voice 

Image Source

Cocktails and karaoke go together like Pina and Colada, and this one is a classic girls' night out. At Soho's Lucky Voice you'll get a lesson in basic bar-tending techniques and a turn behind the bar. Cosmo in hand, you can stay on to warble your way through I Will Always Love You in a private karaoke booth after the class!
Lucky Voice Soho.

Harvey Nichols Champagne Bar

Image Source 

Start the weekend with an Ab Fab-style hair of the dog on a Saturday morning. Harvey Nichols' resident bartender will guide you through balancing different flavours and making classic cocktail combinations, before letting you loose behind the bar to practice. Your ticket to Harvey Nichols Champagne Bar also includes a relaxing lunch at the adjoining Fifth Floor Restaurant.

Have you tried out any cocktail making classes yet? Why not tell us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or in the comments below as we'd love to hear your tips. 


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Carry Me Away... To London’s Coolest Hangouts

From new bars to old markets, London has no shortage of great places to visit on a girly weekend away… Here are a few of our faves.


The Little Yellow Door 



London's charming Notting Hill is home to an eclectic mix of bars, from the historic Portobello Star to the more recently opened The Little Yellow Door. The latter is like a house party where guests can indulge in top-notch food, games, and great drinks and be rest assured they'll leave with a bundle of fun memories. 
Vico



There's a new restaurant in town from the people behind Bocca di Lupo and Gelupo, offering low-priced Italian dishes, a pay-by-weight rule, plastic stools, and an ordering system so unconventional it has to be explained to first-timers. Confused? Challenge whole-heartedly accepted, especially when there's pizza involved. 


Book Club


It doesn’t sound like a place for an exciting night out, but behind the sedate name is one of the most consistently creative bars in London. As well as great drinks and food, visit for the packed timetable of events, which includes bands, DJs, lunchtime discos, film dance-a-longs, alternative dating nights, ping-pong tournaments, informative talks, life drawing and classic video game nights. 

We'd love to hear your suggestions too, so why not tweet us @Nica_Handbags?

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Nica at LFW SS16

London Fashion Week is one of our favourite events of the year, not only do we love discovering the fresh catwalk trends but we also love seeing who’s been carrying one of our stylish bags to the events. 


Treating to you a sneak peek of the Nica Style Edit to come, the lovely @bonnierakhit opted for a monochrome clutch that she matched to a monochrome ensemble and a cool distressed leather jacket. 

The stylish fashion blogger @polishingcolours also opted for monochrome with the Amanda chain shoulder but created a statement with her striking print shirt dress. 


Next up was one of our favourite fashion bloggers @beth__norton who chose to carry our sleek Belita clutch in oxblood, teaming it perfectly with some statement suede boots. 


We were also really excited to see Look magazine’s Editor @missalihall sharing her LFW essential, her snake mix Belita clutch which she described as ‘perfect for day to night dressing’. 


Feeling inspired by all of the Fashion Week styling? Why not share how you’re styling up your own Nica bags with #CarriedByNica? We always re-share our faves. 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

#NicaInspires: Go Behind the Scenes on our First Ever Insta-Walk

We decided to make the most of the summer sunshine and invite a few of our favourite fashion bloggers along to London’s colourful Notting Hill to evoke upon our first ever Insta-Walk. 


Designer Nica Kim was joined by bloggers @rockonholly @beth_norton @tigerlilyblog and @chloeplumstead for a spot of brunch at the trendy Australian inspired FarmGirl Café

Situated just off of Portobello road, it’s a hidden gem for anybody wanting to tuck into some healthy yet hearty food, and its quirky décor is right up Nica’s street! 


Notting Hill is one of Nica Kim’s favourite shops in London, so after finishing our delicious brunch and devouring a few coffees for an extra energy boost, she took us on a little tour around her favourite places. 


From gushing over the area’s brightly coloured buildings to taking that compulsory Selfie where the film Notting Hill was shot, it was a fun filled afternoon in the sunshine. 


Each of the bloggers evoked upon the trip with their favourite pieces from our new trendy Style Edit collection, with items such as the monochrome snake mix Tarybackpack and cool Belita clutch


We loved discovering some of Nica Kim’s favourite places in Notting Hill but it was definitely thirsty work in the boiling hot sunshine. So, Nica twisted our arm into ending the walk with a drink at one of her favourite Notting Hill watering holes.

In typical Nica style, the traditional pub was filled with quirky twists and even features mini Alice in Wonderland style mini doors separating each of its rooms around the bar. 


You can still follow our day around Notting Hill on #NicaInspires, and shop our new Style Edit collection here. We hope you enjoy our little social tour, and we’d love to hear where your favourite place to spend a Saturday afternoon is? Simply drop us a comment below. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

@ChloePlumstead's is our First #NicaTakeover Star

This week saw the arrival of the first ever #NicaTakeover on our Instagram channel @nicahandbags, courtesy of the lovely blogger @ChloePlumstead who styled up our new season Olivia crossbody in pink croc.


We were treated to some #ootd inspiration as she paired our Olivia crossbody with blue denim and a crisp white oversized shirt. The look definitely nailed this season’s leading Seventies’ trend. How would you style up your own Olivia bag? 



The inspiration didn't stop there either as she also curated a mini mani edit of dreamy pink pastel hues that complement the bag perfectly. Do you ever match your manis to your handbags?


@ChloePlumstead proves just how versatile the Olivia is too as she pops out for a coffee with the stylish crossbody. So, not only can you style it up for a special occasion but it’s also a really practical choice for when a tote is just that tad too much to carry. 


Which was your favourite image from the Insta-Takeover? Drop us a comment below as we’d love to hear your thoughts. Plus, if you enjoyed seeing @ChloePlumstead’s takeover, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve got plenty more blogger take-overs lined up for you. Watch this space! 


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

#CarryMeAway... to the Best Festivals

If the early summer festival line up passed you by without so much as a sniff of a live act, don’t despair as we think that the best is yet to come! Here's our round-up of the best high summer festivals. 




Wilderness August 6-9 Cornbury Park Oxfordshire
Not just a music festival, Wilderness is more holistic than just watching bands, with contemporary arts, theatre, food and wellbeing getting in the mix. The music’s definitely not to be missed either with Björk, Ben Howard, Shamir and Róisin Murphy taking centre stage.

Rewind 7-9 August (Cheshire), 21-23 August (Henley-on-Thames) 
If you love bopping to 80s tunes, then Rewind is the festival for you. With the likes of Human League and Belinda Carlisle you’ll be time-warped straight back to the 80's. 




Reading & Leeds Festival 28-30 August Richfield Avenue, Reading / Braham Park, Leeds
Where teenie boppers and hairy bikers stand side by sideto watch Mumford & Sons, Metallica, The Libertines, Royal Blood, All Time Low, Jamie T and Years & Years.

Creamfields 28-30 August Cheshire 
Channelling the spirit of Madchester, The Chemical Brothers, Steve Angello, Avicii, Fatboy Slim and Annie Mac head to Daresbury in Cheshire for this iconic dance music festival. Best of all, Creamfields takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Festival No.6 3-6September Portmeirion, Wales
Set in the charming Welsh village of Portmeirion, No 6 is one of the UK’s most exciting and unique music and arts festivals featuring top dance acts alongside cutting edge talent including Mark Ronson and Metronomy.  

Bestival 10-13September Robin Hill, Isle of Wight
Rob Da Bank’s festival is so much fun it has a designated fancy dress theme each year. This time around it’s ‘Summer of Love’, so get prepping your best hippie outfits. Headliners include Chemical Brothers and Duran Duran

So, which festival tickles your summer time fancy? Drop us a comment below as we'd love to hear. 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

#NicaTravels: Nica Kim Soaks up the Minimal Style of Copenhagen


Last week I jetted away from rainy London to the beautiful Copenhagen to derive a little design inspiration, as you've guessed it, I'm already planning a new season collection! 

Copenhagen is renowned for its cool minimalistic aesthetic, so I thought that there’d be no better of a location to hit than Denmark’s stylish capital to soak up some of its Scandi-cool influences. This time around my denim Ava grab was my travel companion of choice.
 

Thanks to its clean, simple lines Danish architecture boasts a classic appeal that never seems to go out of style, and for me, simply admiring the architecture in different countries triggers the design process.

It was also really interesting to see that Copenhagen’s cityscape is made up of by 4-6 story high buildings rather than the glass skyscrapers which dominate most other capital’s. That’s definitely not to say that it’s lacking in contemporary architecture, though.  


If you love seafood, then Copenhagen is the place for you. It was actually founded thanks to the abundance of fish that the Øresund provides, and you can enjoy its fresh local produce all over Copenhagen, from Michelin star restaurants to quick street food eats.

Opportunities to shop are a plenty too. Not only did I hit the many Danish clothing boutiques but I also seized the opportunity to check out the homeware shops, as goods in these kinds of places are often the most inspiring for my own designs. 


The Danish seem to have such a relaxed way of life that I think London could learn a lot from, and who doesn’t like a country that values enjoying life so much. This ice cream van definitely twisted my arm into having one.


Where have you been travelling with your Nica handbags lately? Don’t forget to tag your photos with #MyNica @nicahandbags on Instagram as I’d love to see.

Love Nica Kim
- X - 



Wednesday, 22 July 2015

#NicaTalks: A Look-Back at Nica Kim's Twitter Q&A

Our designer Nica Kim always loves sharing her design inspiration with you and she recently took her love for it that one step further by taking part in her first ever #NicaTalks Twitter Q&A.

As she sat down for her afternoon tea, she welcomed your questions about her inspirations and career, and it was also the perfect opportunity to show off her beautiful new collection. 


‏@Mercyeee : How do come up with the concepts for your bags?

Nica Kim: I want to build excitement with each bag I design that fits into the brand image and range.

@LoveYourTresses: Would u have still pursued hand bag designing if u hadn't won the competition that brought your gift 2 light?

Nica Kim:
I had planned to set up in the ceramic industry using my own prints - I had never planned for handbag design. 


@LilliwhiteroseFlamingoes are my fave!

Nica Kim: Summer is so reminiscent of palm trees. The Flamingo is beautiful, elegant and exciting.

‏@villou : What should we expect in the future in terms of brand development?

Nica Kim: My aim is for Nica to be lifestyle brand using my prints. I love stationary & homeware so this could be an exciting move.  



@Lilliwhiterose : When making bags for women what is one of the most important key features you keep in mind?

Nica Kim: Texture is a key word for Nica. Tweed is my favourite material as I the texture can bring the bag to life.

Nica Kim: I also love incorporating prints and colours to create bold and dynamic designs.

If you’re sad that you’ve missed the first ever #NicaTalks, worry not as we’re planning to have plenty more! Plus, you can still drop us your questions at @Nica_Handbags on Twitter with #NicaTalks and we’ll get back to you asap! 

Friday, 17 July 2015

#CarryMeAway: The Nica Team Share their Favourite Holiday Pics

If like us you’re in the midst of planning your summer holidays, then you’ll be in need of some major wanderlust. So this week we've turned to the Nica team to share their favourite past travel adventures. From exotic India to sunny California, get ready to be inspired!

Nikki McBride, Graphic Designer



One of my favourite ever holidays was when I got the opportunity to travel around India one summer. There are so many beautiful sites to see from grand forts to awe-inspiring temples, and seeing the Taj Mahal mausoleum with my own eyes easily falls within my favourite ever travel memories. My top tip however is to visit it at sunrise when it’s less busy, and of course this time of day also makes for the most beautiful of photos.

When you tire of the sightseeing, then you have to immerse yourself in the local cuisine. Street food markets are de rigeur and sampling an authentic Bhelpuri comes second to none.

Iva Suchankova, International Sales Manager


If you get the chance to evoke upon an exotic holiday this summer, then make it South East Asia. As part of my job I’m always travelling, so when it comes to choosing a holiday destination, it takes a while to select where I should go. Japan is however one of my favourite places in the world and I’ve been lucky enough to visit several different areas many times.

If you’re heading there this summer, my tip is to head to Tokyo and experience its diverse fashion scene with the Harajuku district and its electric fashion trends being an absolute must. Or wait until Spring when Japan turns pink with beautiful cherry blossoms, and no matter the time of year, there are always a million delicious sushi restaurants to enjoy. 


Rakhi Popat, Senior Product Manager


Last summer, I got the opportunity to visit sunny California with a group of friends. We rented a car to optimise our exploring, but there’s always über for those who don’t fancy braving the roads alone. We headed to LA to do a little celeb spotting and hit the fancy boutiques, then over to San Francisco to experience a totally different feel. 

For anybody who loves a festival, there are plenty to choose from but just ensure that you book well in advance in order to avoid any disappointment. We never got the chance to attend one but it’s on our bucket list for next time. 

We hope you're enjoying our summer #CarryMeAway on an adventure series. Why not share your favourite past holiday pics with us @NicaHandbags #CarryMeAway on Instagram? We can’t wait to be inspired. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

#CarryMeAway: On an Adventure

Not another weekend lazing around doing not very much at all! To kick off our Carry Me Away summer campaign, this month we want to inspire you to get carried away on an adventure. From indoor skydiving to swinging through the treetops, we've come up with some simple, short micro-adventures that will fit into a weekend and won’t break the bank!

                                                                     Zip it up
                                                                      
The Pier Zip in Bournemouth flies riders over 80ft above sparkling seas against a backdrop of seven miles of golden sand. Anyone wanting to uncover an outdoor activity that’s daring and a bit different this summer will find it in Bournemouth with the world’s first pier-to-shore zip wire! The Pier Zip even features two lines so that riders can race family and friends down to the beach. Pier Zip is part of an all-weather adventure holidays attraction called RockReef, which features indoor climbing walls and a highline aerial obstacle course. 
                                                       
Be a Hillbilly

If you’re after adrenaline-filled, high-octane fun then the Henley Hillbillies in the heart of the Dorset countryside is the place for you. Based on a 180-acre family farm, you can whizz around the beautiful scenery on quad bikes, off-road minis and even hovercrafts. If fast-paced off-roading is not your thing then try your eye with archery, crossbows, air rifles and clay-pigeon shooting. 

Ice and a Slice


If you work in London within ten minutes of leaving your desk, you can be assailing an eight-metre wall of ice. The Ellis Brigham Vertical Chill ice wall in Covent Garden is basically a massive freezer where a fan blows icy air down your neck to complete that mountainside feeling. Don’t think you have to be an adventure sport keen-o to enjoy the experience; the hour long one-to-one session is enough time to learn all the skills. It's physically demanding but when you reach the summit and ring the cowbell it will leave you with a grin that will last all afternoon. The Manchester store has just opened one too. 

Monkey Magic

Enjoy one of the UK’s most thrilling outdoor activities at the original Go Ape! in Thetford Forest. Explore the forest from high up on a Tree Top Adventure – swing through the trees, zoom down zip wires and brave an obstacle course set metres up in the sky, all whilst enjoying the amazing views of one of Suffolk’s amazing natural environments. 

Back to Nature


Pinterest

To get away from city life, stay in a yurt at Graig Wen in north Wales, situated in Snowdonia's national park. Borrow bikes from the site, cycle the length of the estuary and watch fish swimming, birds flying and beautiful reflections in the water. From there, cycle across Barmouth bridge and tuck into fish and chips on the sandy beach below. And if you’re still up for more adventure after a night under the stars, the nearby Cadair Idris mountain is a great climb. 

Where are you taking your Nica bags on an adventure to this summer? Tag your pics with #MyNica @nicahandbags as we’d love to see. 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

#NicaTravels: Nica Heads to Sardinia with the Laila Tote

As designing another new season collection came to an end, I seized the opportunity to grab a week’s holiday in the beautiful Sardinina, the second largest island in the Mediterranean sea which of course belongs to Italy. 


I rented a picturesque cottage amidst the backdrop of glorious blooms that was just a stone’s throw away from the clear waters of the sea and its pebbly beach. A selfie in such a beautiful location is always a must!  

Even though relaxation was the main thing on my holiday agenda, I can’t help but use the occasion to soak up a little more design inspiration for future collections. Especially when I'm surrounded by the beautiful countryside and rural Italian architecture. Even the crazy paving of the floor caught my eye.     


The perk of being a handbag designer is that you’re never without a new bag. My wardrobes may be overflowing with handbags and purses but at least I’m always spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the perfect travel companion.

This time around, I opted for my gorgeous new season statement boho tote, Laila. It’s finished with a blue frame design that was inspired by some tiling that I found upon a Greek getaway last year, which wouldn’t at all look out of place in Sardinia either.


The Laila tote is made from synthetic material which means that it also makes just a great of a beach buddy as it does a shopping companion. My beach bag essentials always include a sketch pad and watercolours as there’s nothing more relaxing than painting the beautiful surrounding scenery as you’re lay upon the beach.

Where are you taking your #MyNica bags on holiday this year? Drop me a comment below or tweet me @Nica_Handbags as I’m always looking for new travel inspiration – who knows, maybe your suggestions will inspire my next collection.   

Love, 
Nica Kim 
- x - 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Nica Kim Talks about her New Collection

I'm so excited to announce the launch of another new season collection, and I'm eager to hear which your favourite styles are. This time around, I've refreshed and refined my designs to create an original yet modern feeling range of styles. 



From the bags’ designs to the campaign shoot, I wanted this collection to be all about those clean lines and finishes. Here I am on the set of our campaign shoot explaining my vision with the help of one of my famous mood boards.

Just like a little magpie, I'm constantly collecting my favourite things, and I made this mood board from my favourite magazines… A little tip, never read a magazine after me unless you enjoy only being able to read half of the stories!  

My travels play a huge part in designing my collections but when I’m stuck in less of an exotic location, the design office on a rainy London afternoon and lacking inspiration I head over to Pinterest. It’s great knowing that tropical beaches and inspiring blooms are only a pin away. 

If you’re looking for holiday statement bags then you’ll love my new collection. One of my favourite pieces is the Laila tote which was initially inspired by my Sicilian travels at the beginning of the design process but turned into a piece that shouts Primrose Hill meets Coachella. 


It’s definitely the perfect collection for the woman who loves to wear a trend yet still likes to be a little bit unique.

You can check out the full range here and if you've already taken a peek, please let me know which your favourite pieces are by dropping a comment below or tweeting me @nica_handbags. That way, I can create lots more of the styles that you love!

Love Nica Kim
- x - 

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Stylish Pets: New Style Icons to Follow

Here at Nica HQ, we have plenty of different style icons that we’re inspired by and that can be anything from celebrities like Alexa Chung to our favourite fashion bloggers.

Thanks to social media however, there are several new style icons bubbling up which are a little furrier than your average… in the form of stylish household pets! From Priscilla the mini pig to the French bulldog Trotterpup, these animals have got some serious style credentials. Let us share a few of our faves with you. 

@trotterpup


French bulldog Trotterpup is based in San Francisco and already has an Instagram following of 209K which lots of bloggers could only dream about. 

From occasion costumers complete with bunny ears and a faux carrot to classic ensembles with chic hats and heels that we’d completely wear, you have to check out this one’s #ootds.


@prissy_pig


Mini pig Priscilla is all about lady like dressing and is currently inspiring an audience of 501k! From pretty tea dresses covered in blooms, to hair bows and pearl necklace accessorising, Prissy Pig's got style! 

Based in Florida, her little piggy brother Poppleton also makes several appearances in her feed, and we just can’t decide who’s the cutest. 

@montjiro


This little Japanese based dog Montjiro has got more outfits than us! Be it street or high fashion ensembles, like any great model, he easily embodies all of the different looks.

We’ve even spotted the odd Burberry piece in his wardrobe too. He’d definitely give Cara Delevigne a run for her money. Fingers crossed for him being their next great campaign star. 

Have you been following any stylish animals on Instagram lately? We’d love to hear. Or better still, maybe there's a furry fashionista in your own lives? Simply tag us with your pics @nicahandbags on Instagram.