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An Interview with Belinda Yu of Wicker Wings

Alex Neilson-Clark
Writer and expert6 years ago
View Alex Neilson-Clark's profile

Alongside the launch of the most adorable up and coming wicker bag brand, ethically handmade from vegetable leather and specially grown reeds using heritage Chinese methods (including the MyBag exclusive colourway), we caught up with Belinda Yu, one of the founders of Wicker Wings.

The Wicker Wings x MyBag Exclusive

So, what’s the story behind Wicker Wings?

James and I were sat round the kitchen table a couple of years ago taking about our family past, and we were talking about how our grandmother hand wove baskets in China years before moving from there to the UK over 30 years ago. Inspired by this and the stories told, it gave us a strong desire to create something that would echo our grandmother’s past by combining it with contemporary, timeless design. We learnt that wicker weaving as well as other traditional crafts was a dying trade so we wanted to address this by starting Wicker Wings.

Amazing that’s so interesting, so after coming up with the initial idea what came next?

After hearing the stories told by our grandmother and learning that it was a dying trade it really gave us an incentive to pursue Wicker Wings. We decided to see what could be created when the two art forms of wicker weaving and leather craftsmanship were put together. We started off with one silhouette and one colour, and have progressed it to a full collection.

What a lovely foundation to a brand, saving a dying trade is something that is rarely done in the modern day! So with its expansion, what’s your favourite style from the latest collection?

I think the backpack is definitely a favourite and is something we will continue to innovate. Obviously backpacks are a staple shape to expanding a bag collection, but with wicker it’s a little more challenging, so we’re constantly working on how a concept can be created into something functional and feel the backpack is something that represents that.

We certainly love a backpack, and we can’t deny a Wicker Wings one is the cutest collab between a practical bag and a summer trend essential! So, now for our favourite question at MyBag, what are your handbag essentials?

Our bags are compact and we would never change this. We know many women carry everything and anything in their bags but our bags are a way to live a more simple life. I mainly carry my phone, card holder, keys and a few make up essentials. I used to carry everything and accumulate a lot of stuff, but our bags have made me rethink what I genuinely need .

Agreed, it’s definitely important to prioritise what we carry around every day, plus a tiny bag is a super cute wardrobe essential these days! Who would you say your biggest handbag style inspiration is at the moment?

To be honest, we don’t have a single person who we draw inspiration from, although the French girls and their simplistic, timeless style is something we will always love. We also draw a lot of inspiration from street styling.

Street style is a must look for inspiration when there's so many different looks out there, we certainly think it broadens the creative mind and aids styling inspiration! So then, why Wicker Wings?

All our bags are a physical memoir of our grandmother’s artisanal past. Time, effort and the purest form of handmade hard work are just some of the factors that go in to each and every bag we make. A Wicker Wings bag represents what can be created when we combine the two arts of heritage skill and modern trend inspiration together. All our bags symbolise the need to have one eye in the past with the other looking forward.

That’s one of the reasons we love your brand so much, and are so excited to create an exclusive colourway with you as we know how much love and immense skill has gone in to making every single one! Speaking of looking forwards, where do you see Wicker Wings going for its next season?

We’re expanding in to a variety of other shapes and colourways for next season. We really have only just scratched the surface. How exciting, we so look forward to seeing what you have to come!

Shop the full Wicker Wings collection at MyBag >>

By Alexandra Neilson-Clark

Alex Neilson-Clark
Writer and expert
View Alex Neilson-Clark's profile
Follower of street style trends by the dozen, you'll rarely catch me in anything but trainers. Accessories and outerwear are my calling, and in my eyes there's no such thing as overdoing them.