after the apple is ahead of the rest.

rachelle dendle’s exquisite attention to detail in all the elements of design for her beautiful hand-bag brand, After The Apple, is what sets her ahead of the rest.  her marriage of beauty, form and function are unrivalled in my eyes, which is a rather large call in this bag lady day and age, but so be it.  rachelle’s design philosophy of 12 bags each season shows an understanding of our many aesthetics personally and across the board.  in anticipating that each of the dozen fit a particular need all you need now to do is see “which bag are you?”  see below for my favourites from the current collection,  “Concerning the Wee People”. to buy any of these styles, view the other 8, and get a better understanding of the designer and her wonderful wares – click here.

what other handbag you have can boast multiple function/ carry options, refreshing colours, finishes + textures, a detachable shopper, a dog leash for keys, a 100% organic dustbag come laundry bag, customised + nickel-free hardware, 100 % recycled swing tags and care cards, a % of profits to an allocated charity each season and serious good looks? add to this a goal to eliminate the amount of chemicals employed to tan their leathers so as to lessen their environmental impact and an aspiration to be 100% organic/ environmentally friendly in the not too distant future. wow, are we there yet? this uncanny knack for knowing ALL that women want from a bag they carry their life around in is essentially what a great designer sets out to do. no one does it better. get yourself some and support excellent and independent design. i carry mine with pride.

this season, a percentage of After the Apple’s profit supports their forest campaign. visit to find out more

i like to see the thought and detail that goes into each collection by seeing the change in the style of each one of the dozen seasonally. as seen below in these 2 styles – the reversible + the everyday bag.

stockists here. ideas and inspirations here.

the very talented rachelle has answered my “quick questions” for bdc blog below. enjoy.

top 5 favourite things – people, places, ideas, art, etc

 My top five favourite things at the minute.

1.  Molas – colourful, intricate, multilayered appliqué textiles sewn by Kuna women, an indigenous group in Panama.

2.  Coloured Houses.  Properly coloured houses.  Yellows, reds, fuchsias, turquoise and green.  Blocked, striped, sectioned or sprayed.  However you wish, and all fantastic.

3.  Dates wrapped in Jamon, lightly fried to a caramelly-salty perfection.

4.  Traditional Mexican Calendars.

5.  Vintage Ceiling fans.

 was there anyone that inspired you from the beginning? who inspires you on the art/ design front now?

 Frida Kahlo (always and forever).  Her mind, her bold and brave approach to life. Her use of colour and her facial expression.

Who inspires me now.  Frida continues to inspire, particularly post a trip to Mexico DF to recap hers and Diego’s art and lives.

In contemporary design, any technician who manages to deliver precise, beautiful product. 

I find the brand Bottega Veneta constantly inspiring.  True artisan skill in leather.

tell a little about your background – study/travel/work adventures. how is it that you became so interested/ involved with accessory design? 

 In a nutshell, I studied under Nicholas Huxley at East Sydney College, Australia.  Post study, I joined a new accessories company named Mimco in its embryonic phase.  I then grew with the company for the next eight years, spending a vast amount of time travelling, mainly to Asia for production and to learn the art of leather direct from the tanneries.  Post Mimco, I travelled, breathed a little, tried my hand at various vocations such as hospitality and retail (popupshop) before igniting the firecracker beneath me – which is now After the Apple.

what are you currently collecting? 

Business cards from all over the globe.  From a Neon Pink card with Gold embossed foiling from a snack stall in Bangkok to a Day-Glo number from a Sri Lankan leopard tracker. The effortless art of typography and colour! All housed in a bespoke faux-leather Visiting Cards holder bought for a couple of rupees in downtown Mumbai.

what was your last purchase for yourself?

Two Panamanian bath towels, a printed version of the gorgeous Mole appliqué technique.

Last week’s purchase, a pair of Guravan Hacienda Boots in a deep shade of Cognac.  With the original emboss on the boot, to boot!

Being on the road allows restricted but carefully considered (and justified) purchases!

current favourite colour or colour combination?

All thanks to Caribbean houses.  Definitely Azure Blue and Ochre.

do you have a beauty routine? what is it?

Step 01.  Share the latest blemish crisis with dear friends.

Step 02.  Good old Simple face wash.

Step 03.  Aveena Moisturiser.

Step 04.  La Mer Eye Concentrate. Genius.

Step 05.  Paw Paw for the lips. 

 favourite thing to cook?

A very simple Pasta.  tagliatelle, onion, garlic, olive oil, fresh tomato, fresh basil leaves and black olives.  Salt and pepper to taste. With chilli of course!

who are you listening to at the moment?

The various Reggae and Salsa tunes blaring from the surrounding balconies.  Music for the soul and I couldn’t do without it.  A favourite being “Las Chicas del Can”. 

whats most important to you?

Love, health and honesty.  Health, love and honesty.

favourite destination ( country or city) and why?

That’s tough.  Really tough.  Being blessed enough to spend five months on the road undertaking our Global Recce, in search of our next abode, we have extensively researched, critiqued, analysed and discussed our favourite destinations, almost too much!Living your favourite destination in view of relocation is very different from a short trip. Currently favouring Bocas Del Toro, on Isla Colon, off the Panamanian mainland.

photo above courtesy of simon crerar.

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