CURATING LUXURY FOR THE DISCERNING TRAVELLER

In Conversation With: Grace Han, Designer

In Conversation With: Grace Han, Designer

“Style to me is something that is timeless and transcends trends. This is something I thought a lot about when starting my brand,” says accessories designer, Grace Han. “It’s my hope that each bag will be passed down from generation to generation.”

The art of creating a timeless classic is a tricky one, which is probably why Grace Han has spent almost her entire life honing her own creativity. In childhood, she spent time in her mother’s art studio and later studied business at university in order to master the entrepreneurial skills of her father. But this was just the beginning of her journey.

Han doesn’t do things by halves and even admits herself that she has incredibly high standards for her work, which is why it took more than eight years to perfect her signature leather pleating technique. “If my designs aren’t good enough for me, they will never be good enough for anyone else,” Han explains. “I treat the creation of every bag like a piece of art and great art requires time, thought and a lot of passion.” To this day, every single one of her pieces is made by hand – the pleats are completed to perfection in her atelier in Taipei, Taiwan and assembled with the other sections in a small family-run factory just outside of Florence, Italy.   

Apr 26th 2019
Elizabeth Finney
Craftsmanship
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Her designs are a reflection of her own personality, offering a balance between deft precision and feminine creativity. Drawing inspiration from an array of artists, including Claude Monet, David Collins and Tony Chi. But it was her mother, a contemporary artist, who inspired Han’s signature pleats. “If you look at the very first bag that I designed, a small satin clutch that is on display in our store, you can see that the pleating was important to me from the beginning,” she says. “The contradicting fluidity of the unbending lines expresses perfectly the modern women; multifaceted, profound, both soft and strong, rational and emotional.”

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Han’s most recent collection, Ballet Lesson, is no exception. Intricate, unique and timeless, this is the collection she used to launch her brand. “[The] ballet Lesson collection is probably the one I am most proud of due to the unique techniques that we developed to create it and the handcrafting that goes into producing it,” explains Han. “It takes up to three days to finish just one Ballet Lesson bag and each pleated panel is still made entirely by my own in-house team in Taiwan as we have been unable to find a factory anywhere else in the world who are able to replicate it to my exacting standards.” 

As with her designs, Han has taken great care in creating her perfect flagship store, which has also been years in the making. Decked out in Turkish pink Salome marble with rose gold accents and an array of demure, bespoke furniture, it’s an elegant sanctuary at the heart of Knightsbridge. “London is such an iconic city and certainly a fashion capital so what better place to start my brand?” she says. “When I discovered Beauchamp Place I completely fell for the street’s quiet and eclectic charm.”

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As her work is so deeply inspired by her family, so too was her choice in location. London is the place where her parents met during their years studying at university (her father at Imperial London, her mother at Central St Martins) and Han sees the city as her second home. “I spent a lot of my childhood visiting London and my family have always kept a home here very close to Beauchamp Place,” she adds.

Having already begun work on new designs for 2020, Han is focussed on making some leaps and bounds into the fashion industry, with an online store arriving in the near future.

GRACE HAN LONDON
13 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, SW3 1NQ
020 8001 4621
[email protected]

www.gracehan.com

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