Spotlight On... Isla Risa

Meet Isla Risa, our latest brand partnership! Handmade in London by Emma Garner, the Isla Risa 'Hive' bags come in an array of hues (including an adorable white one, for brides-to-be), for any mood or outfit. We're so excited to welcome her bags to the HURR Family, specifically our light pink rental-only exclusive. Ahead of picking which one to rent first, learn a bit more about Emma, her design process and why she's excited to rent her bags to you.

1. How did you start Isla Risa?

Six years ago I was lucky enough to do an internship in Brooklyn where I was taught to make leather bags, and I fell in love! It was there that the idea of creating my own bags brand started but I never thought it would happen this quickly. As soon as lockdown hit and our lives got turned upside down, things seemed to fast forward and I felt a real impulse to start experimenting with materials and designs.  

For me, crochet seemed a great starting point as I've always found the technique fascinating and love the challenge of making a 3D object from a flat surface, that's simply held together with loops and knots, without the need for thread or glue.

2. What is the inspiration behind the Hive shape? Is there a story behind it?

It's simply a combination of my love for the bucket bag, organic forms and obscure/unique shapes. I didn’t want to design anything I could buy elsewhere, and I really wanted the name and shape to nod back to nature.

Once I had experimented with the design and made myself a larger Hive size last summer, the similarities between that and a beehive were too obvious not to reference!

3. How long does it take you to make a bag by hand?

I start at the bottom and spiral my way up to finish at the handle. It takes between 2.5-3 hours depending on whether I arrive at the end of the roll before I’ve completed the bag - weaving a second piece of ribbon through the bag is a timely process!

4. When did it hit you that Isla Risa was a hit?

Oh gosh, is it?! Well when I was featured in the Refinery29 article '11 Brands Redefining The It Bag’ just two months after launching, I had an inkling that I was on to something.

5. Why are you excited to be part of the HURR Family?

I am such an admirer of HURR and can’t wait to be part of an incredible community changing the way we shop and view fashion. I also can’t quite believe that already my lil bags will sit alongside brands I’ve admired for years!

6. What's next for Isla Risa?

So much! From expanding the range to include new pieces (I have a nest shape in the pipeline for summer - eek), to introducing further materials and processes (I would love to work with sustainably sourced leather as this is how I fell in love with handbag design).

I am so enjoying collaborating with other brands and I hope to work with an illustrator or print designer to delve deeper into the visual identity and meaning of Isla Risa (the “Island of Laughter”).

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Shop and love your own wardrobe with Whering

Meet Bianca Rangecroft, founder of Whering. Launched in 2020, the app that digitises your wardrobe is a fast-growing success. We caught up with Bianca to see why she’s built the answer to our outfit dilemmas, the importance of loving what’s already in your wardrobe and of course, that iconic fashion movie moment which we’ve all been waiting to become reality. Well, wait no longer.

Words by Joanna Standley

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