NIKA MOKHTASSI - crafted in paradise

NIKA MOKHTASSI - crafted in paradise

East London may not be everyone’s idea of paradise, but it’s a matter of how you see things, rather than what’s in front of you. Nika Mokhtassi, founder of Paradise Row is committed to supporting local craftsmen and creatives whilst highlighting the often forgotten - not so glamorous - stories of East London.

Paradise Row makes high quality contemporary leather bags designed and handcrafted in East London. The brand's core and essence is built on sourcing materials from and manufacturing the bags in East London, from the natural vegetable tanned leather and gold plated metal hardware to the branding and creative design.

In this podcast we hear about Nika’s journey from her education in psychology, to realising her creative side needs to be nourished, after she created an award winning mobile banking app for children. We also discuss; the gentrification of East London, the benefits and challenges of producing leather accessories in the UK, and how the brand not only being recognised in fashion circles, but also by arts & culture organisations, as the brand reflects what it means to be British today.

Listen to podcast above, on iTunes or SoundCloud

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I have always visioned designing handbags…but I didn’t feel there was anything out there for me...I thought it was just a dream, I didn’t even think it was possible. I didn’t think it was an option, it (fashion) was something you’d see in films, on TV, magazines and I was worlds away from it…it was a fantasy.
— NIKA MOKHTASSI, Black Neon Digital Podcast Episode 7
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I have such a connection with the workshop now, I see how it impacts every one of the their lives. If the workshop is doing well, everyone is earning more. I can’t imagine taking my business elsewhere.
— NIKA MOKHTASSI, Black Neon Digital Podcast Episode 7
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Paradise Row has become more of an arts and culture brand…a gallery in Somerset House, Subject Matter have approached me to do a collaboration. The brand DNA has set it apart from just a regular bag business.
— NIKA MOKHTASSI, Black Neon Digital Podcast Episode 7

all photos by bec o'conner, street shoot location paradise row, bethnal green, east london

podcast recorded at jodi muter-hamilton's home in south west london - with 5 week old baby raf occasionally in the background - thanks to the editing process you'd think recording was just in one take!


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