ILIZA Ho’s unusual and striking handbag creations bagged the award of the Most Promising Designer of 2014 at the recent Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Grand Prix 2014.

It’s not easy coming up with a handbag range, especially with so many designs on the market, where creativity and talent play an important role.

For the 33-year-old Taiwanese national, there’s the added advantage of being the protege of Datuk Jimmy Choo.

Her designs catch the eye as the outer butterflied bovine leather cut-outs allow the inner suede layer to peep out in a complementing or contrasting hue.

“I didn’t expect this win and am just so very happy and surprised that I was presented with this honour,” she said.

The Iliza Ho handbags that were paraded at the Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Awards 2014.

An extension of her original collection that was inspired by the idea of “floating”, the bags seen last week appeared sophisticated, chic and fun.

“The pieces shown at Stylo do go by a slightly different concept. Due to the ever-changing climate and growing global issues, these handbags are actually multifunctional and can be changed into two to three different shapes. This allows the wearer to change her daytime carrier into a chic night-time accessory.”

As to what she learnt from her mentor, Ho says creativity is the most important element.

“Datuk Jimmy Choo is a very skilled artist and this is probably due to his motto ‘creativity through skills’. It is meant to reflect the fact that in order to have flawless design creativity, one must have the skills to design an object and to understand the challenges in creating the end product.”

Iliza Ong

Ho said it is her dream that her namesake brand be known for its unique designs, especially in Taiwan and Europe.

“As a designer, I definitely want to achieve international recognition, but it takes hard work and a little bit of luck.”

The handbags, which are for Autumn/Winter 2014, will be launched at the end of the year.