Frenchonista, when dreaming becomes doing

Frenchonista, when dreaming becomes doing

Most of us only dream of what we would really like to do for a living. Some of us actually get there.

Amsterdam based Samia Taika is one of the courageous few that has taken the plunge of setting up her own business: Frenchonista, a web shop of fashionable and elegant clutches. Born in France and half Moroccan, she had always dreamt of designing and developing fashion that embraces the French elegance and incorporates the quality of the Moroccan leather she knows so well. In 2011 she launched her line of clutches and almost immediately afterwards famous dutch actresses and style icons like Carolien Spoor, Beertje van Beers and fashion blogger Sabrina Meijer were spotted with them at various events.

Some of the male readers might not know what a clutch is. To put it simply, a clutch is a handbag without handles. It has its origins just after the first World War, and the French called it a “pochette”. Around that time, when long constricting layers and rigid corseting disappeared, the clutch, loosely tucked under a woman’s arm, would give her an air of nonchalant youth.

Ever since, and now more than ever, the clutch has become a must-have in the wardrobe of every fashionista. As a matter of fact, not only women wear clutches. Frenchonista, for example, has some great clutches that can be — and are! — worn by men.

I vaguely knew Samia from her previous career, in the IT industry, and when she started up her business, after a difficult period in her life, I was so impressed that I started following what she did and offered to help her with her blog. A lover of fashion myself, I bought one of her clutches. One became two and when I was in elegant Santorini this summer, I realized that my Frenchonista clutches had become indispensable items for travel as well.

A good clutch can give a whole new look to an outfit, the same way shoes can do, and in times of crisis making something look new by experimenting with accessories is a great idea. Clutches used to be worn mostly at evening events but nowadays lots of people also wear them with more casual outfits during the day.The truly special characteristic of Frenchonista is that each item is handmade and a limited edition piece — for which the designer handpicks the leather herself — and reflects the ultimate French taste and style. In addition it responds to our desire for high quality and exclusiveness in times of mass production. The collection, that started out with five simple and elegant clutches, has evolved over the past year and now exists of two shoppers, thirteen clutches and a multifunctional leather dress.

Clutches are available on www.frenchonista.com, where you’ll also find a link to the Frenchonista in Amsterdam fashion blog.

Liza Brouwer

Photos by M.E Amrani and Felipe Espinosa

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