a different kind of bucket bag15/06/2015
Surely by now you have seen a plethora of bucket bags – different sizes, colors, textures and prices, too. If you are a fashion savvy person and you do an occasional browse through all the style magazines and blogs in search of the latest info on new ‘it’ items, then there is no chance you could have missed hearing about how popular bucket bags are at the moment. And for a good reason too. They’re all you could ask for from a bag – stylish, functional and pretty versatile. However, I can’t help but notice that the majority of brands are doing the same ol’ same ol’ – ‘faux leather, minimal details, all black’ type of thing. Hence I decided to share an alternative with you that is this denim goodness from Daughter of Jon, a London based accessories brand.
All the reasons I listed might’ve made an impact on the brand’s creator and head designer Hedi to go the opposite way and bring something new to the market. As always, I love talking about smaller brands, their concepts and presenting them here, especially if they include fresh ideas, out-of-the-box thinking and manufacturing. This time it’s no different except that I’m gonna let Hedi take you for a ride around Daughter of Jon and its interesting background story. Enjoy and keep an eye out for future outfit posts including this lovely denim bucket bag!
Q&A with Hedi Jónsdóttir
Q: How did your brand get its name?
A: I’m Icelandic and in Iceland last names are patronymics, so your last name usually means ‘daughter or son of your father’. That’s how the brand name came about: my last name literally translated to English.
I wanted to communicate authenticity, something tangible, real, down to earth; no crazy or fancy attributes. Also something that connects the business directly to me, to make the brand personal and human. I think people appreciate both authenticity and personality, especially in a fashion brand.
Q: What is the core idea behind Daughter of Jon?
A: I grew up in Iceland and Austria where I studied fashion design and tailoring for womenswear. However I was always more interested in creating accessories rather than being constrained by the human body. That’s how I got into handbags. I didn’t get into creating a new brand and business straight away though. Over the last 10 years I worked in many fields of the fashion industry – from costume design to men’s tailoring, styling and production for fashion and trade shows.
I’ve gathered a fairly wide experience of the fashion industry but I still felt something was missing so I decided to start Daughter of Jon. I wanted to create an affordable brand that is fresh, modern, classic and clean but with a more daring side given by materials that stand out. In the beginning I was testing my brand and my first collections on street and pop up markets. I found markets to be the best places to get your product research done and meet your customers face to face. From there, I decided to create two product ranges: a more affordable range called Collectables, with simple but more trendy designs and mostly made of vegan fabrics and then a higher priced range called DOJ with more sophisticated and classic designs and materials, with bags meant to last and grow with the customer. I want to approach a wider audience with these two price ranges and I like my customers to be able to mix and match between more classic or trend focused designs whether it’s a wardrobe or a wallet decision.
Q: You are from Iceland. How does Icelandic culture influence your work?
A: I think the Icelandic landscapes, the dark long winters and the endless bright summer days influence my work a lot. Although I’ve lived abroad for a long time, this will stay with me forever.
I use a lot of colours and contrasts combined with minimal shapes. You could interpret that by thinking about the need for colours and light in the long winters, the energy of the endless bright summer days, the fire and ice contrast and the raw, pure, clean and minimal forms of Iceland’s landscape.
I use a lot of fish leather in my collections which has become the brands signature material. Fish leather has been a tradition in Iceland for many many years. Fishermen used the skin for shoes in the old days. My dad is an enthusiastic fisherman. I’ve always been surrounded by fish and fish skins. But I prefer the smell of fish leather!
Q: What are the future plans for Daughter of Jon?
A: The plan is simple: I want to create something that will last longer then me and I’m planning on living a long life! :) At the moment I’m focusing on the UK market until I build a stable foundation – then I’ll expand. I’m also slowly adding classics to my collections that I can offer each season in different colours and fabrics. I’m proud that I already have a few :) In terms of product range, I plan to continue offering mainly bags & accessories for women but I’ve done a few experiments with male accessories, which have been well received. So I’m not announcing anything yet, but I’ll probably focus on that side of the business in the future…