Just over a year old, Elza Wandler’s namesake brand has solidified its status as an Instagram influencer favourite, street style staple and innovative newcomer in the fashion industry. Based in Amsterdam, the Dutch designer’s line of boldly coloured cult bags has quickly attracted an all-star line-up of followers, after gaining traction for its hit style, the Hortensia bag, and she expanded into footwear in 2019.
Naming her bags after friends and family, with the Hortensia bag taking after her mother-in-law, Wandler has elevated her Dutch brand to an international level. Born in Limburg, Netherlands, she studied fashion at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Upon graduating, the budding designer joined Levi’s Made & Crafted. Wandler took her design ambitions, merchandising as well as sales experience gained at the job, and turned it into her eponymous brand in 2017, built from scratch in just one month. Spotting a market gap for round bags, Wandler made her debut with the curved top-handled Hortensia bag in three sizes.
Wandler sources its calf-leather from Italy, while the designer self-develops the colours that have lent the bags their trademark edge. The brand is stocked in over 155 worldwide retailers including MatchesFashion and Ssense. In April 2019, the Dutch designer dove into footwear without prior experience, successfully launching Wandler’s first collection of ’90s centric shoes sold in-store at Bergdorf Goodman.