The story behind new generation luxury label VLIEGER & VANDAM is a story about interdisciplinary design, about the relation between art and fashion, and about innovative craftsmanship.
Carolien Vlieger and Hein van Dam, trained as graphic designer and industrial designer, respectively, started the VLIEGER & VANDAM label in 2004 in response to the overwhelming success of their collaboration in 2002. This collaboration named ‘The Guardian Angel Handbag’ was a comment from both designers on all the media attention to street violence in the city of Rotterdam, the place where they had just settled. Those early Guardian Angels were assembled with parts from second hand handbags and new brightly coloured felt embossed with a distinct profile of a large kitchen knife or handgun. A handbag turned out to be the perfect vehicle for an international widely felt and far from salon fähig sentiment. In 2005 the Guardian Angel Handbags were featured in the exhibition SAFE: Design Takes on Risk at MoMA in New York, where they have been part of the collection ever since.
Fashion statement or functional objet d’art, the Guardian Angel Handbags – by now translated into a vast number of styles for men and women and made in the most luxurious leather qualities in stead of felt – are a genuine design classic. They have been spotted on the arms of stars like Rihanna and Rita Ora as well as architects and fellow designers such as Zaha Hadid and Fabio Novembre, and they are featured in numerous exhibitions and design collections.
Over the past decade the VLIEGER & VANDAM collections have seen many more bestsellers such as the Handcuffs clutch and hand painted Splash accessories. The label distinguishes itself with outspoken interdisciplinary design and innovative embossing techniques using the most luxurious leather qualities by Italian and Spanish tanneries. All bags and accessories are made in specialised leather workshops in Europe. New generation luxury means a traditional high end quality and craftsmanship, but with statement design as an added value in stead of conventional luxury industry branding.