About VANK Design
VANK Design is a small brand, offering timeless and exclusive handmade leather goods with a classic look. Leather goods such as bags, laptop sleeves and home & baby accessories. Run by Marije van Kempen, who designs and creates all items by hand, from start to finish in her home studio. All items are 100% handmade in the beautiful town Muiden, close to Amsterdam. It’s either made in limited editions or custom made, as one of a kind items. VANK is launched in 2013 with the goal of producing well-designed, locally crafted and handmade leather goods, made of high-quality leather hides. They have a functional and minimalistic design and are always made with care and love.
`VANK` sounds as `Funk` when pronounced in Dutch and originates from the designer and founders’ last name: van Kempen.
Marije (pronounced as Mariah) | Designer & Creator VANK Design. Crazy about hubby Maurits, baby Thomas, travelling, listening to jazz, my weekly yoga sessions and movie nights with French cheese and red wine.
During my study Fashion & Management at AMFI (Amsterdam Fashion Institute), I enrolled in a leather clothing orientation course. During a couple of weeks I learned to make a leather skirt. I became intrigued with the way leather can be shaped and soon later I was given an antique Necchi sewing machine for my birthday. We didn’t really befriend each other and it functioned more as decoration on top of my closet. It took a trip around the world, many years later, to realise I wanted to pursue leather working as a hobby. From my first salary I bought a proper industrial sewing machine and VANK Design was born.
Working with leather for me is mandatory relaxing. You need to pay attention to every detail you are creating. Unlike textile sewing, you can not easily brush away mistakes. Also, the process to get to an actual item is quite raw. It’s not only about designing or sewing, it’s also about drawing, cutting, painting, gluing and hammering. I try to create an end result that’s a mixture of simplicity and functionality. The leather designs are classic and timeless.
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