2020 FINALIST

Carolina Riffi Ollite - Hopman - Carat23

Finalist of the The NY NOW Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design



The Netherlands



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2020 Finalist Carolina Riffi Ollite - Hopman Carat23

Carolina Riffi Ollite - Hopman FINALIST'S PROFILE

What was your inspiration for this bag?
I have a fascination with finding solutions for everyday problems. After my patented men bag handle technique solution of 2014, a lot of models ask me at the NY and LA Fashion week that I style to come up with a solution for women. They wanted a solution for what we call; The Global Clutch Problem and the love & hate relationship they have with it. It looks amazing with your outfit but nowadays we also want to take a selfie. With a clutch, you always have the problem it is not easy to get your phone out, which can give embarrassing moments, but also we want to find makeup easily with the touch up on the toilet. So I came up with a new unique handle technique and patented it. My goal was not only to create this smart solution but also to create an eco-friendly, timeless, and classy design to spare the environment. The line is about to launch the 10th of May but already was worn at the Oscars (Vanity fair party and CAA party) by Harley Quin Smith, Eve, and Lindsey Sterling and besides they loved the design and rocked the red carpet with it they thought the handle solution was great. My dedication to social awareness and environmental responsibility is my everyday drive and the diamond is my symbol. The grace and elegance of the diamond truly divine the nature of beauty in its purest form. It is a reminder to protect and cherish the earth we live on and to be grateful for everything it has given us. It is the inspiration for that to leave the next generation into a future that will be pure as bright as the diamond.

What are the retail price-points of your line?
Consumers price is around 323 Euro is 349 Dollar and the Retail pricing is margin 2.0 - 2.5 The little one is 123 Euro is 132 Dollar.

How has this season or collection differed from those of yours of the past?
First of all it is all woman now! My first line was about him. The men bags had a handle technique solution perfect for them as they had the problem with the long loose handle which got stuck and I came up with 2 ways of wearing a bag out of one handle.This has a solution for woman and it is really the most feminine it can be as the whole line is shaped in stones/natural rocks. Diamonds are a girl best friend. As I launched my first line it was amazing successful, but I had to put it on a back burner as my mother became very ill. I had to choose, and I chose for taking care of my mum. I promised her and myself to come up with a new solution/idea for a bag and would be back only stronger as I wanted to do also good with the line. This is the right time especially as people with the current situation understands why my brand and decisions always have been about pureness. The use of organic materials & vegan leather, dying methods etc gives the bag a soul. This philosophy is why the brand is named Carat23. Because I aim for absolute perfection and purity, just like the ultimate 24 Carat, which embodies 100% purity. I think Carat23 is very close, therefore I call Carat23, a worthy and remarkable brand

What other handbag designers have inspired you? Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration?
Besides Emily Blumenthal that was one of my first inspiration as she also combined an innovative solution with amazing design and love the things she is doing now for all of us I love to go to the dutch bag museum. Where they have all the history off handbags displayed and I love the old ways of designing and craftsmanship. Furthermore I get inspired by nature and all the woman I styled or I see on the street and the struggle at events/shows/restaurants etc with their bag.

What makes your line innovative and worth of the Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design?
The loop handle technique is for opening and closing and carrying a bag from 1 handle. You can turn the loop to the other side of the loop and attach it there with the snap on a ring, creating a strap that you can wear around your wrist in an easy movement that allows you to free your hands. With the slide of the stopper, you can also easily insert it with one hand movement to quickly get something out of your bag like a phone. Besides the patented handle technique it has a timeless design as I am very conscious about waste and what it means for my children and hopefully their children in the future. My credo is and always will be: Be fashionable but in a pure and classy way. With the current situation, I also feel the need to do even more for the world and the heroes in it. As I gave up my dream for my mother and practically lived in the hospital, I understand because of this health is everything and the ones who are helping the sick are the real heroes. So besides my ecological way of producing I want to donate a little Rock Bag to the local person that is a real Rockstar. And not only in Holland but at all the places who were hidden so hard by Corona like New York where I have a special connection with. Especially as I understand now buying bags is not a priority I will already monitor who really deserves special attention and for them, I have already produced 123 pieces give away Rock bags that are the miniature of the normal bags. People can also buy it to send as a gift and there will be something very special in it which is healing and with the gift, you can say: thank you for being my rock, you are worth more than gold.

Bag Description
Carat23, Rock bag Gold, Hands-free bag, Vegan leather, around 323 euro = 349 dollar (depends also on the fabric and with or without stones, the smaller is around 123 euro = 132 dollar with a stone)Extra note; My website/shop and social media is restyled and is now under construction as I had to change from men style to women. I am going to be in the television program of Dragon's Den (a dutch show like Shark Tank) where I pitched my patented handle loop technique. That will be broadcasted 10th of May and therefore the launch is on the same day.

See other finalists from the 2020 handbag awards