Feminism Friday: From London With Love

Isabella Kerovirta with her customised Kurt Geiger toteWhat better way to celebrate the day before Valentine’s Day – otherwise known as Galentine’s Day – than with a Feminism Friday post celebrating women and the love we should have for ourselves? Last week on Disney Roller Girl’s blog, I read about the Kurt Geiger #FromLondonWithLove project, in association with Cordwainers at London College of Fashion. Second Year BA (Hons) Fashion Bags & Accessories students were asked to reinterpret the classic Kurt Geiger Saffiano London Tote and third prize winner Isabella Kerovirta’s feel-good fringed bag really spoke to me. It’s a beautifully understated design with detail that is clearly for the benefit of the bag’s owner rather than any onlookers, and the fringing attached to the braided handles is embossed with inspiring quotes. I’ve included a more detailed image below, but these are the quotes in full:

“CONCISION IN STYLE, PRECISION IN THOUGHT AND DECISION IN LIFE”
“EVERYTHING I’M NOT, MAKES ME EVERYTHING I AM”
“THE QUESTION ISN’T WHO IS GOING TO LET ME, IT’S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME”
“KEEP YOUR HEELS, HEAD AND STANDARDS HIGH”

Isabella Kerovirta's customised Kurt Geiger tote
Wouldn’t that be a wonderful bag to carry with you on a daily basis? Reminding you of how fantastic you are and what you can achieve. When I read that there is an Instagram competition to win one of the designs from this competition, although the other designs are all beautiful, there was no question that I was going to choose Isabella’s bag. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person on Monday and so couldn’t resist asking her about the concept for her customised bag:

Looking at the stereotype of Valentine’s Day, it is a day for couples, in all shapes and sizes. But what about the rest of us, the single people, the single woman? Is this day supposed to make her feel alone, less worthy and lonely? No. Valentine’s day is a day to celebrate love. Its a day for her to celebrate herself,what an amazing woman she is, what she is capable of and the love she has for all aspects of herself. It is a day to be empowered, whether you are in a relationship or single. […] It is a bag for her to give to herself, that will make her feel important and empowered! It is a statement bag that is not a statement when viewed form the outside, it is a statement in itself for the person wearing the bag.

Seriously, the very idea of this bag has put me in a good mood all week, and I haven’t even seen it in person! I also asked Isabella about the braided handle of her design…

A braid for me symbolizes strength and durability which is something that I associate with women. That we are really strong individuals, that despite setbacks or success can withstand anything if we put our mind to it. The braid is also made up of separate parts that is tied together to make one solid, and that is something to be said about all women […] that we are all different and individual but that all aspects of ourselves make us who we are. One solid being, a one of a kind.

You can see more of Isabella’s work on her Facebook page, and you can also follow her on Instagram. Although I am keeping my fingers crossed that I win her bag, I am also grateful to her for inspiring the return of my Feminism Friday series. I’m really looking forward to seeing what she comes up with for her final major project next year!

Photography by Maja Smiejkowska and Navaz Batliwalla, via Disney Roller Girl.

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