In recent decades trending fashions and designer brands strongly influenced bag designs. As always, the handbag, adapting to changing styles, is used to complete a woman’s look. In addition to the leading fashion and bag brands, the Ivo Collection includes many bags by contemporary designers. The museum’s founder Hendrikje Ivo loved these designer’s handbags, and the museum deliberately promoted such designers by organizing exhibitions and offering their bags for sale in the museumshop.
In contrast to the specific brands, contemporary designers have various starting points: functionality, craftsmanship, form, material, fashion, humor and/or emotion. Some designers are influenced by architecture, such as the well-known Dutch designer Hester van Eeghen. She makes bags with geometric shapes combined with daring color combinations.
Other designers such as Bylin’s Linde van der Poel with her Tulip bag are inspired by nature. Emotion can also play a role in handbag design. Portraits of Madonnas and angels, for example, turn the bag into a personal statement.
To some designers, the bag is a practical utensil to be used everyday. The practical requirements for a bag, such as strong material and handy compartments for the telephone and keys, are essential in their bag designs.
Dutch designers combine creativity and practicality. An example is a bag with a shoulder strap and zipper for easy transport by bike. In Germany and Japan, quality and craftsmanship have priority. The same goes for England, Italy and France, but contemporary designers in those countries are more aware of fashion trends.