DESIGNER OF THE DAY

Dikla Levi Harel

ASSEMBLAGE UNIQUE

Assemblage Unique handbags are all about being unique and stand out. "Fashion is a declaration and to have your style is to make a fashionable statement, to stand out, be unique. I aspire to create capsule and limited edition collections not only to reflect my many creative ideas but also to give my customers the chance of being unique, noticeable and to stand out." Dikla Levi Harel
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For AssemblageUnique designer, Dikla Levi-Harel, nothing is more important than originality. “Be unique every day,” is her brand motto and it is easy to see why. Dikla is a free spirit at heart, happy to experiment with one creative endeavor after another. After stints in photography and graphic design, Dikla enrolled in an accessories course and began to work with leather. The pliable material was like clay in her hands, Dikla says, and she knew handbag design was the career she’d been hoping for. She began creating leather bags, but was inspired to add one-of-a-kind canvas clutches to the range following a rather memorable experience with a chai

After a friend invited her to a lecture about shoe design at “The Guild” accessories school; she decided to try their handbag design course for beginners. She immediately felt right at home; it fit her like a glove. Working with materials, the sensual feeling of the leather, thinking of the layouts, She loved everything about it. Dikla says: "To go through the creative process from the moment the idea is planted in your head to the final stage where you hold the bag in your hand is most rewarding and it gets even better when [your work] is complimented".Dikla finished the beginners handbags course and immediately continued to the advanced course, during the course she started selling her designs and she knew that opening her own line is a step away.

Dikla was born in Holon, Israel, a small town near Tel-Aviv. She is the second of three children. Her mother was a source of inspiration when she grew up, her mother used to work in the fashion industry. Dikla remembers sitting on her mother's lap while sewing. After Dikla's graduation from high school, she saved some money and traveled the world. Dikla says: "I was fascinated by the different cultures and in every place I've learned something new about the people and about myself."

She traveled for two and a half years in South America, USA, India and Thailand. In San Francisco and there it was she discovered photography. Dikla studied with a private photography teacher for a year preparing a portfolio for art school and then decided to study graphic design at Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem. After her graduation Dikla worked in an advertising agency. As much as she love graphic design, the work became monotonous and routine and it didn’t feel fun anymore. Dikla says: "I felt like I had to find the fun of creation that I had while at school, so I started experimenting with different techniques and materials. I tried screen-printing at home on t-shirts, working with fabrics and I made jewelry. My inspiration is everywhere and everything. I get inspired by people I see when wandering the streets, by buildings and architecture, by art, movies, music and even from surfing the web. Everything can plant an idea in my head and inspire me to create something new.

And as soon as this idea is planted in my head I can see the entire piece in my imagination: The colors, the materials and even the size, then I start to create it in the physical world, draw the final draft on paper as I see it in my head with all the data of color, materials etc.I love to challenge myself:). When I'm thinking of a new collection I want it to be unique and special.. I'm always trying to be different and surprise everyone even myself. I will work harder and sometimes It looks like I'm taking the long way but it's worth it in the end, because the outcome is amazing. I see my designs as modern, minimalist with a personal and unique touch by me: Either it is the hand painting on the colorful clutch bags or the leather braid that I handmade."

"This is very exciting time for me. Assemblage Unique finally has a studio, this a huge step. There are several collection on the way; new hand painted clutches in different shapes, a collaboration with an artist which is also a good friend which I know will create something incredibly beautiful. And new color choices of existing designs. So much good to come..."

Assemblage Unique was also a 2013 Independent Handbag Designer Awards Finalist for the Best Handmade Handbag.

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