Kasia Dietz, a freelance writer and a known handbag designer from New York is the owner of Kasia Dietz handbags a brand that has made its mark in the competitive handbag market. An avid traveler, Kasia has travelled across 32 countries in a mere 13 months. That year away from home completely transformed her, making Kasia realize her true purpose. Known for her love towards art, design, and fashion, Kasia, along with her imagination, brings her handbags to life and simply mesmerizes readers with her blog named “Love in the City of Light”. Primarily inspired by worldly excursions, Kasia Dietz is a dreamer and is a living example of courage and independence. A strong believer in impassioned living and high thinking, Kasia is a leader who is driven by love, compassion, and service to others.
In recent conversation with PerceptivX, Kasia shared her journey to realizing her true purpose in life and her vision for her brand. The highlights are as below.
A story unfolds
Kasia Dietz: “I’m a travel and lifestyle writer who designs namesake handbags inspired by my passion for exploring the world. Raised in the Hamptons, New York by a Polish mother and American father whose love affair was rooted in London, I’ve always been culturally curious and knew I’d live an unconventional life. After a decade of working in New York’s advertising world, I decided to follow my dream of traveling the world, becoming well acquainted with 32 countries in 13 months. Upon returning home with an even deeper sense of self, I met a handsome Italian on Manhattan’s Prince Street and soon joined him in Paris to live our love story. There’s something to be said for divine timing.
Growing up with an artist mother and a writer father, I’ve been supported in pursuing my creative interests from a young age. I often expressed myself as a child, both in drawings and in words. When it came to choosing a career, I leaned towards advertising as it fit my extrovert personality and my higher education in international marketing. It wasn’t until I moved to Paris in 2009 that I was able to pursue my passions of designing handbags and travel writing, which I consider inherited gifts from my parents.
I launched Kasia Dietz handbags in Paris in 2010, noticing a need for high-quality sustainable shopping and travel totes, with matching purses. That same year I started writing my blog Love in the City of Light. The award-winning blog led me to find my voice and begin writing for various websites and magazines, affirming my affinity for story-telling and sharing travel tales. The common thread connecting my designing and writing is mindful travel. I hope to inspire others to discover the world and become more culturally curious and aware. I also promote sustainability whenever possible.”
When every journey is an inspiration
Kasia Dietz: “I first began designing my bags as wearable art, much like a painting that you remove from the wall and wear. Each reversible tote was hand-painted, revealing a unique design both inside and outside. This led to my made-to-order Paris collection which features hand-painted Rive Droite and Rive Gauche bags and each of the city’s arrondissements. It’s still one of my most popular collections, allowing both locals and tourists to illustrate their love for Paris. As a proud New Yorker, I also designed a collection inspired by the city. Since those early days, I’ve expanded to creating handbag collections inspired by my travels, from Sicily to the French Alps. Every journey has the potential to inspire a bag collection!
When it comes to designing, I’m an advocate for manufacturing at small local ateliers versus producing fast fashion which is detrimental to our planet. Kasia Dietz handbags are all crafted locally in limited edition collections. Easy to fold up, my bags are meant to be used in place of plastic shopping bags and when running around a city or traveling internationally. The designs are also timeless as I chose not to follow the latest trends. Through my bag designing, bespoke fashion tours, and travel writing, I try to promote sustainable consumption and mindful travel whenever possible. When purchasing Kasia Dietz handbags, my clients are aware that they are receiving a unique high-quality product that comes directly from Paris. Many become loyal patrons and continue to purchase from me year after year. The same clients know that when I write about my adopted home or travels further afield, I attempt to capture the soul of a destination and tell stories about its people. The encompassing theme of all my professional projects is travel, and whenever possible, mindfully. My motto when shopping is ‘collect versus consume’. Less (in better quality) is more.”
When resilience is the only way
Kasia Dietz: “Arriving in Paris and barely knowing a soul, starting my handbag business was a challenge. My entrepreneurial spirit wasn’t as accepted in France and I struggled to find my way. Thankfully, my experience working in New York’s corporate world and my resolute nature kept pushing me forward and eventually, I found a manufacturer and began designing my handbags. I took to the task of marketing and promoting my namesake brand and was soon featured in magazines and websites around the world, from Japan to Israel. ‘New York Ad Girl turned Parisian Handbag Designer’ really took off! I also began selling in multi-brand shops in Paris, and even at the highly-esteemed Le Bon Marché.
Since I began designing in 2010, I’ve noticed a major shift away from mass production into more eco-conscious methods of production and design. What’s unfortunate is that due to the pandemic and constant increase in the cost of living, many small designers are struggling to establish themselves and remain in business while large commercial brands with limitless funding continue to thrive. This is one of the many reasons why I offer my local fashion tours and write about sustainable fashion brands whenever I can.”
When challenges motivate you
Kasia Dietz: “Since beginning my writing career, I’ve had the pleasure to work with some of the most celebrated travel publications including Conde Nast Traveler (both US and UK editions), BBC Travel, National Geographic, Architectural Digest, France Today, Financial Times and Hemispheres. Every assignment proves a thrilling challenge, allowing me to share my passion for travel, lifestyle, luxury, food, or fashion. As for my handbags, I continue to design new versatile collections that combine remnant fabrics including wool and leather. I’m always looking to create something unexpected.”
Just go for it
Kasia Dietz: “To all aspiring women leaders I would say: Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, regardless of how unreachable they may seem. Very often we are guided by our ego, when in fact it’s the soul that best understands the depth of our desires. Remaining focusing and working hard towards your goals will make all the difference. In my book, success is most defined by happiness and fulfillment.”