It was a Friday in March 2018 and I was off to a challenge myself to a crossfit session in Dunedin.  Chatting away with the crossfit personal trainer we got talking about Notion Fashion, emerging designers and leading New Zealand fashion designers and the trainer started to tell me about this amazing handbag designer from out of the Otago Polytechnic.   Her name was Sionell Urlich, and she worked out at the crossfit gym, I was given Sionell’s number and I texted her later that day. By Sunday we had met for coffee and shared stories. I loved Sionell’s vibe, enthusiasm and professionalism for being an emerging designer.   Sionell is a hard working young lady that holds down a job while running and growing Sionell Bags. Sionell Bags are timeless styles that are oozing quality from the design of the handbag down to the 100% deer nappa leather from New Zealand, styles that easily stand next to any other leading handbag designer in New Zealand.   We are proud to support and have Sionell Bags on board with Notion Fashion. Notion Fashion has done two runaway show in 2018 one in Dunedin and the other in Auckland and Sionell Bags was apart of and supported both of these events. It is important to keep celebrating and supporting our emerging fashion designers in New Zealand because they have taken the step to create their own collections to help enhance our New Zealand Fashion industry.  I take my hat off to the emerging designers who focus on their labels and designs right from the get go, they are our future leaders of the New Zealand fashion industry. Thank you to all of our leading New Zealand designers and International designers for supporting Notion Fashion concept and belief of supporting all. Because everybody deserve a chance to grow.


I love my large money bag from Sionell Urlich and wear it everywhere with pride, it is large enough to fit all of my essential items, and is so soft with the 100% deer nappa leather.  The colour selection of the leathers by Sionell is simply stunning. I now have my eye on one of the tabby brown colour large zippers, love!!!


Thank you Sionell Urlich for taking the time to answering our questions so our customers get to have an insight into the designers world.


Where did you get the inspiration from to become a handbag designer?  


During my fashion degree, there was a 3-week short course on ‘accessories’. It wasn’t so much the bag designing that got me hooked, but the luxuriously buttery deer leather. The Dunedin Polytechnic has a great relationship with New Zealand Light Leathers, and therefore always had a selection of beautiful deer hides available. My first lot of bags proved to be very popular with lots of Dunedinites, and that’s where it all began.


Where do you get your creative direction from for your handbag designs?  


My creative direction stems from so many different aspects of my life. My recent ‘Slouch’ collection was inspired by sewing tonnes of bean bags for a school, at my upholstery sewing job. Other times, I remember dreaming of ideas and jotting them down in my notebook at 2 am like a crazy person.


What is Sionell Bags main goal/direction?  


Over the next couple of years, I will mainly focus on refining the Sionell Bags range. I want to make sure there is a bag for every occasion; Uni, work, travel, etc. Timeless styles that will be loved and worn for years. I envision Sionell Bags to stay between Australia and New Zealand. I would never send production offshore, that’s the most exciting part for me!


How do Sionell Bags feel about being on board with Notion Fashion in New Zealand who want to bring together more emerging designers with leading New Zealand designer?  


I’m 100% on board with Notion Fashion and what they stand for. I believe we need more brands like Notion, who shine a light on local and emerging designers and create a tighter knit design community. I’m very privileged to be a part of such a forward-thinking business.


When you are not designing handbags what do you like to do in your spare time?


Now that I’m based in the sunshine state of QLD, I love a good dip in the ocean. I also spend way too much time (and money) at many amazing vintage shops.


Megan & Sionell xx