Paradise Row - Desk
In Conversation with

Paradise
Row

Words by Lucy Siddall

Inspired by the beating heart of London’s East End, Paradise
Row is a luxury leather goods brand rooted in quality, heritage
and character. This husband and wife team has built a
thriving, locally produced brand whose designs are as unique
as they are timeless.

Paradise Row - Pen Pot and Coaster

Where work meets leisure. The Leather Pencil Pot in Forest Green and the Coaster in Midnight Black.

Lucy Siddall in conversation with Nicholas Diamond-Krendel from Paradise Row on craftsmanship, ethical production and evolving into a multifaceted leather business.

LS: What’s the brand’s connection to London, specifically the East End?

NDK: It was born there, and we honour, as a brand, London’s rich manufacturing heritage. Before starting Paradise Row, Nika saw that, over the years, the area had lost many of its traditional workshops and factories. Brands began moving their production abroad, and small workshops struggled to stay in business. So, she decided to start a leather goods business. Her goal was to preserve the craft of the London leather trade and produce premium goods alongside local creatives that honoured and utilised the generational skills of the craftsmen and women in the area and across London.

LS: Where does Paradise Row get the inspiration for its collections?

NDK: The first collection is inspired by East London, and the various institutions and cultural organisations found there. It is a nod to the area’s rich cultural and historical heritage. The subsequent two collections, Empathy and Hourglass, have been quite artistic. The Empathy Collection is rooted in psychology and five human emotions: hope, joy, awe, love and sorrow. Matisse inspires the illustration on each colourway. The third range, The Hourglass Collection, was made in collaboration with local artist Venetia Berry.

A SERENE WORKSPACE

Paradise Row’s Leather Desk Mat
and Coaster in Midnight Black.

LS: How do you ensure your brand is as sustainable as possible?

NDK: All production was within a few miles of Bethnal Green when we launched. Our supply chain was incredibly small, and our work focused on local workshops. We still work with British manufacturers, we’re very mindful of that, but we’ve had to evolve away from our original makers to ensure consistency and quality. About 90% of the world’s leather is processed using chromium salts, which is sprayed on the material and tans it very quickly. We use vegetable-tanned leather, which is more sustainable and aesthetically looks a lot nicer. It’s an ancient practice where the leather is tanned using natural vegetation such as bark or leaves rather than chemicals and is much better for the environment. It also produces a lovely, rich, deep colour that permeates the leather rather than just sitting on top. This technique means the product is completely biodegradable as it is 100% natural. We want our products to be cherished for years and years rather than used for one or two and thrown in the bin. If we sell someone some coasters, we want them to enjoy them for a long time, not come back next year to buy more, although we’d love them to come back and buy something else.

Paradise Row Trinket Tray

Practical and luxurious - the Trinket Tray in Forest Green.

Paradise Row Coaster Set

The Coaster Set in Oxblood Red.

LS: You talk a lot about the craftsmanship of your products. Why that is so important to the brand?

NDK: Customers want aspirational and considered products, not mass-produced items of poor quality. Our products are also all handmade, which is the essence of craftsmanship.
Our first designs were made in East London by small artisans fighting for survival, and we wanted to support their work and the skills passed down from generation to generation. Historically, their success has built an entire community, and we want to honour these practices and ensure the industry continues.

LS: You’ve recently launched The Paradise Row Collection (homeware, hospitality and interiors). Can you talk about that new direction?

NDK: Quite a few restaurants and hotels contacted us requesting bespoke designs after we launched in 2017. So, we started considering what it would look like to make accessories and handbags, yet it came about quite organically. These enquiries led to the launch of our first accessories collection in 2020. The range included stationery, desk mats, dining and tableware. We incorporated some initial ideas into the first collection, but now we actively work with restaurants, hotels and interior designers on exclusive edits for their businesses. Our first collaboration was with the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green. We made some cardholders for an event they were hosting. Since then, we’ve worked with Sager + Wilde, The Harwood Arms and The Hilton Group, and each time, we work on a different product, which makes it fun and interesting. It’s become quite a significant part of the business, but it grew naturally as chefs moved and re-commissioned us in their new places of work. Now, we get approached regularly for new bespoke collaborations.

Paradise Row Coaster, Desk Mat and Card Wallet
Beautifully produced
craftsmanship

The Coaster Set in Petroleum Blue
and the Desk Mat, Card Wallet and
Trinket Tray in Whisky Tan.

LS: What makes Paradise Row so appealing to the hospitality industry?

NDK: Our handbags and accessories are successful for similar reasons. Our designs are timeless and made to last, our production is local, and we use the highest quality materials. Restaurants have changed dramatically in the last 15 years. Unlike before, there’s a strong focus on high-quality ingredients, locally sourced produce and artisanal practices, and customers want to see this quality replicated across the dining experience. Businesses want menu holders or placemats made by local designers in small batches from the best leather, not something mass-produced for high consumption.

LS: How does the design and production of hospitality collaborations differ from fashion?

NDK: It’s all leather with a strong design focus, but due to the nature of the products and where they are going, the hospitality side of our business is a lot more customer-facing. Coming from a background in law, I’m used to working closely with people and making things happen for them, but also being realistic about what’s possible and which outcomes we think are best. This side is a lot about customer relationships, whereas the handbags are about making a beautiful product that will sell on its own.

LS: Do you see this being the new direction of Paradise Row?

NDK: Not necessarily. Some people have cautioned us on spreading ourselves thin, but we’re still finding out our strongest suit. Until we have a clear winner, we will continue as we are because all areas of the business (hospitality, wholesale, accessories and fashion) are doing well. We may focus on one area, but we’re doing a bit of everything for now, and that’s more than ok for us.

Visit Paradise Row and follow @paradise.row

Paradise Row - Personalisation

Each item can be uniquely personalised.

Paradise Row - Material Details
Paradise Row - Petroleum Blue Details

The Desk Mat and Trinket Tray in Petroleum Blue and the Leather Wallet in Forest Green.

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