NO/AN is the handbag line conceived by Brussels-based Finnish designer Anna Lehmusniemi. Having worked for several fashion brands before and realized that accessories were her favorite field, she logically turned to handbags as a source of inspiration, focusing on sleek lines and high quality skins.
NO/AN was born in 2016, mainly as a reaction to overconsumption and the reckless speed of the fashion industry. Reconnecting clients with the beauty of long lasting and patiently crafted bags, the Finnish designer imagined supple and relaxed styles, which could not be tied to any seasonal trends. Concentrating on the concept of a single collection which has the ability to grow and evolve over time NO/AN advocates a humane and slower approach towards luxury, as well as a subjective point of view.
The importance of sustainability is key within NO/AN, coupled with the authenticity that defines the whole brand. The bags are made in Portugal by a specialized and family owned atelier, where the artisans involved get to sign the styles that they produced by hand. Each bag is therefore linked to a human being, adding depth and soul to every NO/AN piece. The leather atelier where each artisan crafts one bag at a time from start to finish was chosen by the designer for its expertise with solid, natural grain leather. Some of the skins come from a local tannery located in the region of Leiria, while others -such as the smooth leather for instance- are Italian. The brand also includes a limited precious skins line, which currently focuses on ostrich leather.
Bearing minimal details and using a restrained color palette, NO/AN bags are produced in small series, underlining their exclusive appeal. Double leather handles are one of the brand’s trademarks, as well as the collection’s graphic and geometrical lines, recalling Nordic landscapes and architecture.
Anna Lehmusniemi recently expanded her color range and is working on developing new styles, which will be introduced in 2020: “For this winter collection, I wanted to work with deeper and stronger tones, such as burgundy and yellow, which I contrasted with stark white and neutral shades. Shooting with model Suzi Leenaars was a real treat, as she instantly understood the bags and how to move with them. Even though I strongly believe in slow fashion and approach craft in a serious and respectful way, it is important to reinterpret the brand through visuals each season, something I clearly enjoy.”
NO/AN has been featured in Vogue Runway, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle US, as well as Vogue.it, Vogue Brazil, Vogue Australia and Marie Claire.
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