ONA VILLIER, an offshoot of the luxury handbag company, Binichic, uses handmade leather and vintage-inspired designs to create something new. What sets an ONA VILLIER bag apart is the use of print. Each bag is made of leather that is silkscreened by hand. The designs used are inspired by the Spanish island of Menorca, whose rich history and worldly culture informs the current three collections in the ONA VILLIER line. These three collections―called Oasis, Barcelona, and Sombra―exemplify three distinct yet overlapping Spanish attitudes about not only style, but life.
The first step of creating these bags is individually cutting the leather into pattern pieces. Then these pieces are taken to a specialized artisanal workshop where they are hand screened with delicate metallic inks.
Susan Unger―mother and business partner of Ona Villier―had her own atelier for over thirty years in both Menorca and then in NYC, producing iconic hand screened textiles for home and fashion. Ona wanted to continue this family tradition by curating and archiving the vintage prints, then applying them to the soft Italian and Spanish nappa leathers.
The Oasis collection is exactly as it sounds: a lush, nature-inspired escape within a bag. Looking into the Oasis collection, one finds leather patterned with palm leaves that seem to fall gracefully onto the bag as shadows or pressed flowers would. Other bags, like the Alhambra foldover (pictured below) feature a glimmering soft gold ripple within a rich warm green background.
In contrast to the Oasis collection, the Barcelona collection has more urban vibes, featuring cool-toned black, grays, blues, and silvers. The prints on these bags illustrate the street-chic girls of Barcelona, morphing the everyday sights of a big city―like faded walls and chain link fence―into something unique and unquestionably contemporary. The Bonet bag (below) expresses fluidity with its net-like motif that appears to be stretching and contracting, always in motion, even as a static print.
The prints in the Sombra collection―Sombra means “shadow” in Spanish―play with color, light and shadow. Like Oasis, the Sombra collection feels reminiscent of nature, but rather than lush greens and browns, these bags have a light and dreamy palette of creams and mauves. The Vivara bag (below) exemplifies this shadow-play, using abstracted forms layered atop one another changing and blending with the color beneath.