Contemporary Designers

Today’s developments in bag design are strongly influenced by the great fashion labels such as Chanel, Prada en Hermès and by general trends in fashion. The handbag is no longer an accessory complementing women’s dress, but a hot fashion item changing with the season, contributing to a woman’s standing and success.

Contemporary bag designers each have their own characteristic set of principles concerning functionality, form, material, fashion and emotion. Through expositions and by offering their designs in the Museum Shop, the Museum of Bags and Purses promotes contemporary designers: Bylin, Hester van Eeghen, Vlieger & Vandam, Wim Mutsaers, Fab and Omar Munie, to name a few, and foreign designers Lulu Guinness, Kotur, Gabriela Ingram, Rocio, Alex Schrijvers and Gabriela Fiori.

The Dutch bag designer Hester van Eeghen is part of the well-known and influential Dutch Design group. Dutch Design works from an aesthetic which characterizes designers from the Netherlands: minimalist, experimental, innovative, unconventional and imbued with a sense of humour. Hester van Eeghen is influenced by architecture. She designs bags in geometrical shapes, combined with daring colour schemes.

The designer duo Vlieger & Vandam create fashionable and very original designs. Their series ‘Guardian Angel’ combines a wry sense of humour – a gun in relief as a decoration on a handbag – with fashion and minimalist design. Contemporary designers show a renewed interest in craftsmanship and traditional materials, but they also experiment with new materials and techniques, such as lasering and 3D printing.

  • Crocheted shoulder bag, Ira Salles, Brazil, 2009

    Ira Salles is a Brazilian designer who is known for her use of old production techniques with a modern twist.

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  • Evening bag with shells, Cora Jacobs, Philippines

    Cora Jacobs’ bags are well-known for their use of all sorts of natural materials from the Philippines, such as shells, bamboo, jute, leather, raffia and beads. By designing bags, Jacobs promotes Philippine craftsmanship.

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  • Felt bags, Werkstück by Kerstin Schürmann, Germany, 2010

    The label Werkstück by German designer Kerstin Schürmann presents special felt bags. Kerstin Schürmann’s designs combine a variety of materials, colours and shapes with highly sophisticated craftsmanship.

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  • Handbag “La Sera”, stainless steel with leather, Wendy Stevens, USA, 2010

    Designer Wendy Stevens from the USA started to make handcrafted bags from stainless steel and leather in 1983. She is fascinated by steel plate, which she works into het bags in various ways, punched in different motifs.

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  • Handbag with old Amsterdam postcard designs, Georgette Koning, the Netherlands, 2007

    Georgette Koning designed this bag on the occasion of the opening of the Museum of Bags and Purses at the new location in Amsterdam. The old postcards are of Amsterdam. In the middle you can see the Amsterdam coat of arms, with the three crosses of

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  • Handbag ‘the Monocle’, leather, Hester van Eeghen, the Netherlands, 2009

    Hester van Eeghen (Amsterdam 1958) is a famous Dutch bag designer whose work belongs to Dutch Design. Nationally and internationally, she has made a name for herself as a designer of leather bags, small leatherware and, since 2002, shoes. Hester van

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  • Handbag, leather, Jan Jansen, the Netherlands, 2007

    This handbag is a gift by shoe designer Jan Jansen, presented at the opening of The Museum of Bags and Purses when it moved into the Herengracht in Amsterdam in 2007.

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  • Shoulder bag ‘Guardian Angel’, leather and felt, Vlieger & Vandam, the Netherlands, 2008

    The felt bag has a pistol print embossed into it. The designer duo Carolien Vlieger and Hein van Dam started their label in 2002 with the Guardian Angel collection of bags. Today, their bag line has been extended with smaller leather goods such as

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  • Shoulder bag ‘Tulip’, leather and textile, By-Lin, 2009

    This bag in the shape of a tulip was designed by Linde van de Poel. She designs and produces handbags in small series for her label by-Lin. by-Lin’s bags are Fair Trade and are made according to traditional methods.

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  • Shoulder bag “Miami Flamingo”, acacia wood, Timmy Woods, USA, 2007

    This shoulder bag of acacia wood is decorated with Swarovski crystals. Since 1985, Timmy Woods is the designer and producer of very special handmade bags. In 1992, she launched the label Timmy Woods Beverly Hills, specialized in the production of

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  • Shoulder bag-clutch, leather, Omar Munie, the Netherlands, 2010

    Omar Munie is a talented Dutch designer of Somalian origin. These days his label, Omar Munie Clothing Company, mainly produces bags for the higher market sector. Omar Munie has been around for some years on the Dutch fashion scene and has made quite

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