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Meet Rainbow, your new handbag staple from Belle & Bloom

In late 2018, Belle & Bloom and UNiDAYS ran a comp which gave one lucky student the chance to design a handbag and have it produced and sold. The winning design came from Dan Ho who created this beauty below, named Rainbow.

This was a huge win for Dan who calls herself an amateur designer looking for opportunities to create real products. You can read more about her thoughts on winning here.

From inspiration to wardrobe essential

We caught up with Eva, Belle & Bloom’s Senior Fashion and Graphic Designer who is the creative genius behind bringing Rainbow to life. She explains how Dan’s design went through to the manufacturing process and why this bucket bag is such a versatile wardrobe essential.

What are the steps involved in turning a concept drawing into a product?

Eva: You start with the construction first: accurate technical drawings with measurements. Then, you select material and hardware - I always keep the material selection narrowed down to the current collection. After that, it’s on to sampling [creating a sample product using the selected materials and measurements] which is the exciting part because you have to wait for it to come in.

Usually, after seeing the first sample I still have few remarks on how to improve it before progressing to the next step. Luckily enough, Rainbow came out all perfect after the first sample and was sent straight to production.

Dan provided the inspiration for the bag through her winning design, what considerations were added in order to create the final product?

Eva: To create a strong product we need to find a balance between two factors: First one is to have a point of difference, to stand out in a very saturated market. The second factor is to keep in mind customer needs and commercial aspects - we want our products to be useful but also trendy.

And what I love about Dan’s design is that she considered the commercial aspect of a handbag, researched our current products and managed to create an original design. Elements like golden rings and branded keychains already occur in some of our strongest styles, but Dan presented a new, fresh approach. I only needed to add touch-ups to align the style to our current collection and clarify the technical details, but I must admit I’m very impressed with Dan’s commercial sense. I believe she has great potential to grow within the fashion industry.

Do you have any outfit inspiration or styling tips for this bag?

Eva: Of course I do! What I love about this bag is that it's a 3-way style: cross-body, shoulder bag and wristlet so you can match a style with a way of wearing the bag.

With the cross-body strap, I would wear it with an oversized or faux fur coat mixed with a mini dress and really cool ankle boots to opt for a bohemian-glam look.

The sporty shoulder strap will look great with a cute summer maxi dress and white sneakers.

For a night out I recommend using the ring and wearing Rainbow on your wrist. It will look great with anything from party jumpsuit to a cocktail dress!