Women through Bespoke Designs

An exploration of creativity and craftsmanship, where the essence of womanhood intertwines with the pursuit of beauty. Do you aim to shine amidst a crowd of similarly dressed individuals? With an important event looming, do you wish to amaze your guests with your impeccable style and grace? Or you may seek a one-of-a-kind accessory to imbue your outfit with a distinctive charm. Look to Ewa Opłotny’s workshop for a handmade bag to fulfil these aspirations! A handbag signifies more than practicality for every woman—it symbolises personal expression. In this interview, we delve into the world of bespoke projects crafted with passion and precision and inspired by the strength and desires of women. Our journey takes us through the latest fashion trends and the expectations of the modern woman, each project a unique response to her longing to stand out. With a focus on individuality, custom creations are tailored to each client’s personality, ensuring they can express themselves fully. Join us as we uncover the artistry behind these handmade creations, proudly crafted in Poland, where tradition meets innovation.

LSA: Where do you get the inspiration to create designs inspired by a woman’s strength and desire to surround herself with beauty?

Ewa Oplotny: Thank you, Kamila, for asking about this. As a woman, I face situations that require strong will and courage. Women have been depreciated and forced into various patterns for centuries. They could not decide about themselves, their property or even their children. Significant decisions were made on their behalf, even extending to attire matters. Today, their appearance has transformed, a testament to their resilience. That’s why it sparks a fire of inspiration within me. With my projects, I encourage women to break moulds, go beyond the conventions that bind them and express their individuality. When designing handbags, I want to consider not only their functionality but also a style that highlights the uniqueness of each woman. Each of us has strength and courage that is worth discovering. I also draw inspiration from what surrounds me and delights me. For example, I created the Greenbootle Blue bag, delighted with the beauty of the colour of the tarantula spider Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens

Photography Damosfera & Weronika Gwardys

LSA: What are the latest fashion trends that you incorporate into your designs to meet the expectations of a modern woman?

EO: Bags exude trendiness through their woven design, captivating admirers with a distinctive character. Inspired by enduring fashion trends, my latest creations feature animal motifs and prints such as leopard, snakeskin, and fur, beloved by my loyal clientele across numerous seasons. Natural materials are durable and have a unique texture. They add elegance and prestige to my designs. I also refer to the top colours in their metallic version.

LSA: How do your designs respond to a woman’s desire to be unique?

EO: Everything that is wonderful and makes us feel special is within us. Although, paradoxically, we sometimes feel afraid to express it and stand out. The feeling of being unique comes from a robust internal belief, not from the approval of others. A handbag or other accessories are an element that makes this belief visible. That’s why I invite each of my clients to co-create her bag. Then, she will receive something that is made especially for her, according to her preferences, and something unique. The result is to make her take it in her hand and feel that the bag expresses her style, beauty, and temperament, and she wants to take it everywhere. Some of my designs are available in limited quantities or even as limited editions. This exclusivity makes women feel special because they have something not available to everyone.

LSA: Why do you create individual projects for your clients, enabling them to be themselves 100%?

EO: I value individual design, creating unique handbags that stand out from mass production. This allows me to adapt to the client’s needs and style. For her, it means a choice without dilemmas. Do you feel better in this colour? Okay, no problem. In mass production, this is a rare alternative. I want to give my clients more than just a copy-paste of what is in stores.

LSA: Why did you choose the craft method to produce your products, and why did you decide to make them in Poland?

EO: I value craft tradition and want to contribute to its preservation. Manual production allows you to create unique, non-standard designs that would be difficult to produce en masse. This way, I can also offer something unique, something that has soul, and refine every detail myself. Since I live in Poland, this is my primary market by nature. Of course, I am opening myself to the global market. Women worldwide want to look stylish, and my product fits these desires perfectly. How does the process of creating each handbag begin with the belief that beauty starts when we decide to be ourselves? This fundamental concept accompanies me at every stage of my work, reflecting each woman’s individuality and authenticity. Besides, is pretending beautiful?

LSA: How do you enable your clients to modify the design of their handbags to express their temperament and personality?

EO: First of all, we can freely combine colours and go a little crazy with accessories, e.g., adding more gold or some unique decoration, such as a brooch or feathers, and adjusting the size and shape of the bag to the client’s needs.

Photography Damosfera & Weronika Gwardys

LSA: Could you share particular projects where you’ve customised them to suit the unique temperament and personality of your clients?

EO: Last year, I had the pleasure of creating a collection of handbags for clients of the elegant BEIN fur salon in Krakow (Vinicio Pajaro Furs). The HEX line, as I called it, combines crochet weaves with natural leather. The entire collection is in the 2023 colour of the year Viva Magenta. Cooperation with the W.Śliwiński chain of jewellery stores is also a positive challenge for me. I create jewellery-style models, especially for their unique clients. A characteristic group of clients with specific preferences are women who, during seasonal outdoor events, style themselves according to the trends set by Elegancki Magazyn Mody Wyścigowej created by Damosphere. For example, last year, there were styles inspired by the 1960s. This Retro bag collection was born from incorporating decorative hooks, adding a unique charm to each design. I can’t help but mention one more particular person to whom I wanted to give something special. This is my niece Zuzia, who is very sick. Zuzia likes various characters from fairy tales and games. I designed a backpack especially for her, which refers to the Mini Mouse from Disney movies.

LSA: What central values guide you when designing and creating your products?

EO: I think that my activities in the industry can be described as authentic (I act in harmony with myself), reliable (I care about the high quality of my products, and I use the highest-quality materials), and creative (I still have new and original ideas). LSA: How do Coco Chanel’s words, “Beauty begins when you decide to be yourself,” influence your brand’s philosophy and creation process? EO: Surrounding ourselves with things emphasising our individuality gives us self-esteem and self-confidence. I put aside the fear of being judged by others, focus on my strengths, and I’m not afraid to reveal them. I strive to enhance the finest rendition seen in my designs. I respect that everyone has their vision of the world and themselves. That’s why I provide my clients with space and choice. Each handbag from my studio has its character because it combines my design vision and the client’s preferences. It is this uniqueness that makes them feel unique and beautiful.

Interview by Kamila Krzyzaniak

Primary Photo – Photography Damosfera & Weronika Gwardys


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