BAGS OF STYLE
“Dare to be yourself” is the mission statement of Ivana de Haan, creator and owner of Ivana Bags, based in the Netherlands. Her luxury handbags combine a classic shape and design with the chance to personalize the look with different colours and finishes – demure black leather by day, perhaps, contrasting with burgundy fur by night.
There is, currently, only one design, a refined handbag with elegant gold fixtures that comes in a range of leather finishes, from upbeat cherry red, burgundy and dove grey to classic camel and tan. “From the start, I knew I wanted to create one timeless model in two sizes, Mini Me and the bigger Max Me,” says Ivana.
How the customer chooses to customize her bag, with a range of outer flaps, or “switchies”, is the key to the brand’s success. Fur, snakeskin-style leather, suede and textured fabrics allow her customers to dress the bags to suit the occasion. “I want to inspire women to tell their story with a choice of any colour and material they want,” says Ivana. She also offers a fully bespoke design service.
Ivana, who was born in Serbia and raised in the Netherlands, launched her company in 2016 at a luxury fair in Amsterdam. Having already started three successful businesses, she wanted a new challenge and direction. “I wanted to do something completely different, something from the heart. I love handbags, but I wanted to create something to suit my own style,” she says.
In 2017, de Haan created a bespoke handbag for Princess Charlene of Monaco. “I also wanted to give Prince Albert a present, which is how I came to design him a tie to match the bag,” she says. “I presented it to him at the Top Marques luxury event in Monaco.” Men’s ties have now become part of de Haan’s collection.
With no formal training, Ivana’s journey into fashion has been a result of her determined focus (she is also developing her career as a business mentor and inspirational speaker) and her desire to create a luxury brand built around self-expression.
“The bag represents me and my story,” says Ivana. “I hope to inspire women around the world to live their lives to their full potential.” With two new bag designs in production, she is intent on making Ivana Bags a worldwide brand. “My bag is more than a beautiful must-have – it is a bag with a mission.”