Q&A with designer Minling Pan of MIN handbags

Toronto fashion darlings are turning heads with eye-catching clutches, designed to look like giant nail polish bottles, from handbag line MIN. Made with high gloss acrylic in candy coloured tones of pastels and metallic, this is the perfect pop clutch for spring. We chatted with designer Minling Pan about her bag addiction and love of painting her nails. 

Tell us a bit about your background as a designer.

Since childhood, I have been influenced a lot by my father, who is a ceramic artist. I am addicted to lines, shapes and textures. I moved to Toronto ten years ago to pursue my dreams in fashion and design. I graduated from the Fashion Management and Design program at George Brown College. About three years ago, I launched my own handbag line, MIN.

What inspires you on a regular basis?

I have always been bag-addicted. Deep in my root, my dad’s work has inspired me a lot. I feel great when I hold bags, look at the shapes, feel the textures, smell the leather. It’s like they are telling stories. In terms of inspirations for each season, life is a big part. It could be my daughter, a song, photography, a piece of dessert, or a game. For instance, the colorful bejeweled leather clutch was inspired by the game Candy Crush. I also keep a close eye on technology.

What inspired you to create this collection?

I have always been a nail person. I make sure I change nail colors at least once a week and need to ensure they are in perfect condition. Addicted. Just a very simple task but it really makes me feel happy.

Image: MIN


On the design aspect, I created the Cologne Bottle Inspired Clutch. It was a blast until the phones became bigger and bigger. People like the cologne clutch but at the same time the size became a disadvantage. I decided to create a new design that fits into the beauty theme and can also fit bigger phones. The nail bottle rings the bell.

What's your favourite Toronto restaurant? 

Maman Toronto 

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