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DESIGNER OF THE DAY

Carolina Riffi Ollite

Carat23

Carat23, Winner of the 2014 Timberland Best Green Handbag, developed world’s first Smartbag Handle Technique. This innovative technique is patented and the manner in which one strap can be adjustable in 2 ways of wearing the bag is actually part of the design. Add to that the many other innovative elements. Carat23® breathes elegance, pureness, style and personality. Because of the organic materials used the bags has a soul and will be worn with pride and adds a touch of class. More than that, it’s a hidden gift to yourself because once it will be in your partner’s possession; you’ll find smart ways to use it as well. It’s Dutch Design at best.
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Carat23® breathes style and personality. Luxurious bags and accessories for both man and woman. Handmade of high premium sustainable leather, combined with long experienced craftsmanship. A Carat23® bag is recognizable by a self-developed and patented smartbag handle technique that resulted in a ‘unique’ new way of wearing a bag. In the Carat23® “ultimate smartbag” we left out the extra handle and made 2 out of one, 2 ways of wearing combined in one handle.

Inspired by liking timeless, functional design and awareness of the environment. “It’s a bag your partner want to steal”. They wanted to give the brand a soul by using organic materials. This philosophy is why the brand is named Carat23. “Because we aim for absolute perfection and purity, just like the ultimate 24 Carat, which embodies 100% purity. We think we are very close, therefore Carat23, a worthy and remarkable brand.”

Before Carolina started Carat23, she was a region manager at a fundraising organization for charity organizations. Because designing was already her passion they gave her the assignment to reinvent an old design to sell in the charity shop, made by local orphans. Everyone loved her designs and she became known for it in the fashion industry. When she came up with the smartbag handle technique, she got the patent on this innovative technique that resulted in a new way of wearing the bag and she decided to launch it herself under the name Carat23, which means pureness and is a wink to her charity experience, her other passion.

Carolina was always as a little girl drawing together with her grandfather and she never left out the handbag in the drawing. Her grandmother taught her how to sew and her first handbag was created when she was 13 years old, out of a blanket. After her study International Business and working in the business world she realized how much she missed being creative. When she got the chance to combine this passion with her business mind she took it with both hands. Then she started to design for several companies and non-profit organizations. Translating company’s strategy into visual design. Soon she was asked for accessories design and found her passion for bags.

Many things fuel the source of Carolina’s inspiration. From nature, shapes & colors, fashion, travelling, people and words but her greatest inspiration is her passion for inspiring others, the process of creating something out of nothing and the fascination for finding solutions to everyday problems. “Therefore I am a big fan of the Yasmena bag of Emily Blumenthal and I was so happy when I came up with my own invented solution.” With this smartbag unique handle technique she got the inspiration out of the need for a solution to a “global bag” problem. Carolina says “As I saw quite often people getting stuck by the long loose handle, which gave embarrassing moments, I had the opportunity to attempt to inspire by creating a classy solution. “ That is how the Carat23® bag is now recognizable by a self-developed and patented smartbag handle technique that resulted in a ‘unique’ new way of wearing a bag. In the Carat23® “ultimate smartbag” they left out the extra handle and made 2 out of one, 2 ways of wearing combined in one handle.

“In this whole process I rely on my intuition and I let my designs emerge naturally by letting go of desired outcomes by thinking out of the box and thinking anything is possible.” As nature (purity, therefore the name is Carat23. Like the 100% pureness of the ultimate 24 Carat) and well being are also important for Carolina it inspired her to combine the technique with a classic and timeless design. But above all the finest quality leather which is processed in an organic way, and the organic cotton they use, gives the brand a soul. Therefore, the bags are sustainable and timeless, last a long time, and because of the patented smartbag handle technique they need less leather to have the same fashionable result."

Carat23, award Winner of the 2014 Timberand Best Green Handbag, developed world’s first Smartbag handle technique. The designs are elegant, timeless, unisex and the novelty the “Smartbag Handle Technique” is patented. The extra handle was left out and still there are two ways to wear the bag, with one adjustable handle only! The manner in which the straps can be adjustable is actually part of the design, so it’s both practical and fashionable. Add to that the many other innovative elements and hidden pockets and other surprising elements. Carat23® breathes also sustainability, purity, style and personality and therefore can be worn with pride and adds a touch of class. But also Laptop, tablet, phone sleeves and key chains, suit all the bags. Therefore, you can take all your gadgets with you in style! More than that, it’s a hidden gift to yourself because once it’ll be in your partner’s possession, you will find smart ways to use it as well and because of the high quality it’s “Dutch design” at best and last a long time.

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