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monica frisbie


"I wanted to create socially responsible handbags because, for me creating products that hold a story, preserve traditions, support artisans, and give back is a win win for everyone involved. I think beautiful accessories- just like people are ones that are beautiful on the inside and out. When I think of the Mondrina girl I picture a confident, free-spirited woman reveling in her nomadic lifestyle; embracing a world off the beaten path looking for beauty and luxury in unlikely places” - Monica Frisbie designer/co-founder Mondrina
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Mondrina creates beautiful, functional, socially responsible handbags combining luxe leathers and exotic skins with ancient textile and beading traditions from Peru that have been passed down through several generations. Each bag is a little treasure preserving a story that you will enjoy on many adventures.

In 2007 Monica made a life-changing decision to relocate from New York with her long-time boyfriend and now husband who was living, working and surfing in Lima Peru. After a few years they became parents to a little Girl named Tilly, and in 2011 they introduced their newest brainchild, a handbag line called Mondrina.

Monica Frisbie is Creative Director at Mondrina. Her life’s experiences, travels and those who accompany her on her journeys serve as her greatest inspirations. Raised in Long Island, New York in the iconic Hampton town of East Hampton, her fervor for fashion came into focus as a young girl. It was during those afternoons playing at her grandparents’ dress shop, when she became enlightened and enchanted with the notion that a garment, color or print could with just one attempt, transform one’s mood and self-confidence. She learned to sew and stud, and by her teens was spending much of her time developing and donning her own looks. Come college she enrolled in the Accessories Design program at Manhattan’s Fashion Institute (FIT) of Technology; the same school her Mother attended 25 years prior. She excelled at FIT -receiving a number of accolades like Best Overall in handbag design which was presented personally by Kate Spade. Since then Monica's line Mondrina has collaborated with various designers

“Living in Peru and Sag Harbor, New York is very balancing, as they are two completely different extremes of the world”, explains Monica. “I like to think my designs mimic the contrasting aspects of our unique lifestyle; modern shapes for the discerning, multi-tasking New Yorker made with materials by native Peruvian artisans, practicing their age-old handcraft.

I usually find the artisan or material first then use that as the inspiration for the design. Whether its a vintage ribbon, a textile, or an artifact I always try to naturally highlight the material of inspiration. I also love looking to architecture and furniture for inspiration."

Mondrina is growing at a rapid pace, 2014 has been a big year for us. Our first jewelry collection was picked up by Urban Outfitters, we have been expanding by selling to more boutiques worldwide, and have a trunk show scheduled at Bloomingdale during there HOT promotion this September. And of course best news yet we WON the 2014 Independent Handbag Designer Awards Most Socially Responsible Handbag sponsored by FEED bag. We have also expanded our artisan community to include US made items.