United by a similar longing for purity and their love of beautifully made products, Anna Lehmusniemi and Jean-Paul Knott offer one of the year’s most seductive collaborations, namely two styles of large bicolor leather handbags, which faithfully transcribe the aesthetics and creative universe of these two Brussels-based designers.

For Knott and Lehmusniemi, less is always more and their approach is both luxurious and minimalistic, creating timeless collections that make us forget the frantic pace of fashion. It is during summer last year that the two designers, who already knew each other a little and did have an appreciation for each other's work, met in Brussels for a creative brainstorming:

‘I quickly understood that Jean-Paul and I had the same vision of style and a desire for simplicity in our respective collections, explains Anna Lehmusniemi, whose Finnish roots have undoubtedly influenced her own brand. ‘I was wearing Jean-Paul’s pieces even before I met him and this collaboration truly made sense, because combining our two worlds was very easy. Jean-Paul is also attached to this idea of functionality, which remains key within my creative approach for NO/AN.’

Knott pretty much felt the same way and was keen to emphasize the simple and spontaneous nature of this collaboration:

‘I like Anna’s work, her world and precision. When a friend proposed the idea of a collaboration, I did not hesitate. She already instinctively knew which type of leather to choose and I appreciate her sense of purity, which defines her own brand. I think we share the same minimalist aesthetic coupled with this appreciation for crafted objects that have a reason to exist.’

Very quickly the idea of the tote bag came to their minds, along with the willingness to have generous volumes and bring a touch of color to the capsule. An intense blue, evoking Henri Matisse and the living sculptures of Yves Klein, is mixed with pure and solid black, finding the right balance between rigor and fantasy.

Available in two sizes, and handmade in Portugal within NO/AN’s workshops, these two tote bags naturally escape the logics of gender as well, being as relevant and elegant on a woman or a man. Designed for travelling, but also for the essential objects of everyday life, these handbag styles are faithful to the essence of NO/AN while incorporating a color dear to the Belgian designer.

Available in his Brussels boutique, as well as on the NO/AN website from the end of March, the NOTT bags are entirely made of natural grained leather, with an individual internal pocket that can be worn separately.



 The NOTT bags stockists:

Baerts / Roeselare

Désert / Nice

Galerie Gabrielle / Aarschot

Jean-Paul Knott / Brussels

Suite / Gent

The Housewarming / Antwerp

Zuid / Antwerp