Ipa Nima Handbags was one of my favorite finds in my shopping excursions through Hanoi. Christina Yu's celebrated accessories label has its own boutique, but was also carried in the top galleries and upscale stores around the country.
The purses caught my attention for their unique embellishments (you know I am a sucker for that). They had a wonderful mix of embroidery, applique and creative manipulations of materials. The color sense was fun and sophisticated. The motifs were fun, but not cloyingly cute.
Christina Yu was a former fashion editor who was driven to create her brand after being inspired by the work of local artisans. The company commits to working with smaller, family owned manufacturers in Vietnam for the collection. I am a bigger fan of the designer's participation in an organization called KOTO "Know One Teach One" that trains and employs disadvantaged youth, orphans and young people with chronic disabilities.
Ipa Nima already has international fans like Cate Blanchett, Maggie Cheung and the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Now let's get these bags into New York City too.