Danse Lente’s Handbags Arrive at 10 Corso Como
The one-year-old brand with a cult following is now available in store..
South Korean-born, London-based designer Youngwon Kim launched Danse Lente’s first collection of handbags and small leather goods last fall. Within a year, the logo-less brand has garnered an impressive cult following. While there is often a connection between “It bag” and logo, Danse Lente, which means “Slow Dance” in French, instead has aced the perfect trifecta of minimal, timeless design infused with a playful element. Inspired by modern architecture, Kim has created a line of cohesive minimal handbags in contemporary silhouettes using the finest Italian leather. Attention to construction and finishes are of the utmost importance, and the brand collaborates with an assemblage of skilled craftsmen, tanneries, and metalsmith artisans. Functionality and versatility are brand standouts, as the majority of Danse Lente handbags feature interchangeable and adjustable straps, allowing the wearer to update from season to season or with each wear. We believe it’s Danse Lente’s chic, elegant designs–and modest price tag–that keep admirers coming back for more.
We caught up with designer Youngwon Kim to learn more about her background and design aesthetic:
How would you explain Danse Lente’s D&A and how did you come up with your brand name?
When I was brainstorming ideas for the brand name, I wanted to give an uplifting feeling to the people who carry the bags through the word “Dance.” For example, when you go to work or go meet your friend, I was imagining the walking motion of the person with a Danse Lente bag to be slow, but like a dance movement.
You studied footwear at London College of Fashion. How did you get into accessories design?
I love all sorts of design, regardless of the category so designing shoes and accessories wasn’t something different to me. I think the designing process is very transferable. It was a very organic transition for me.
Where do you look to for new inspiration each season?
I am always in search of inspiration and there is always a moment of enlightenment that comes to mind when developing a new season. I do have to say it is quite instinctive.
Your collection is sleek, minimalist and structural, but also playful. How do you maintain this balance?
I think that is the most challenging, but fun part in the design process. I mix and match all different lines, colours, and shapes in my head, and at some point something is in front of me.
Do you have a customer in mind when designing?
I do to some extent, but I think everyone can be a Danse Lente girl!
You launched Danse Lente’s first collection in 2017, and received instant success garnering a cult following and achieving an “it bag” status. Your price point is surprisingly very competitive. Is price an important factor for you?
When I first launched the bag I think there was a missing hole in the market with refreshing designs, quality and a competitive price point. All of those factors helped Danse Lente to become an “it bag” status. I am very thankful and appreciate everyone’s love!
Versatility and practicality is an important design element for you as many of your bags have interchangeable straps. Walk us through your thought process.
During my design process I think about the functionality and versatility, so it became natural that those elements were added to the bags.
What are you currently working on?
The new PF19 collection! I am super excited and I am working with soft leathers at the moment. I can’t wait to see!
Tell us about the collection launching at 10 Corso Como.
The collection is loosely inspired by the street scene in East London, where Danse Lente’s studio is located. Young contemporary artists and individuals are spotted against the backdrop of London’s old historical buildings – that contrast in colour and juxtaposition of different moods of the streets are interpreted in Danse Lente’s aesthetic.
We’ve also added in some new bag styles made with sheepskin. Sheepskin is a classic material with an established tradition, but Danse Lente recontextualizes it’s causal texture and blends that into the design of the Mini Lorna, Margot and Bobbi bags with a contemporary vibe. It’s perfect for winter!
How do you feel Danse Lente fits within the 10 Corso Como world?
A lot of Danse Lente bags are inspired by Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso and The Memphis Group, which is an Italian design and architecture group. I think 10 Corso Como and Danse Lente share very similar aesthetics, which makes this collaboration so exciting and special!
What do you see for the future for Danse Lente?
I want to be able to create beautiful designs and share them with the world. I want to bring joy and happiness to people through Danse Lente.