My name is Lies Mertens, I am an independent handbag designer from Belgium, where I work together with a very enthusiastic team from our Antwerp based studio.

We go for functional and straightforward designs, always keeping sustainability in mind. We focus on high-quality materials, details and functionality.


“How can we create a bag with as little elements as possible?”  


It’s a question we constantly ask ourselves, aiming to create timeless designs by reducing superfluous components. For us, it is really important to search the most durable and long lasting materials. We focus on sustainable materials and keep our production European and personal.



Functionality is key! We’re not only aiming to create visually appealing bags, but also highly value the practical side. Lies Mertens started out as a brand creating handbags people can use for everyday life. Whether you’re on your way to work or having a drink with friends: the same bag can fulfill multiple purposes.

By adding different compartments to each bag, we provide enough space to store laptops, smartphones, chargers, keys and water bottles, all designed in a thoughtful way so you can retrieve everything in a split second.


Design features:


—  Inside groove to store cards & other small objects

—  Extra compartment in the back for your phone

—  Separate padded laptop compartment on all large bags


All our bags are designed in Antwerp and handmade in Portugal, produced under sustainable conditions.

Lies starts of the design process by drawing the patterns and sewing the first prototypes in our Antwerp studio. Afterwards, we go to our Portuguese atelier, to consult their expertise and to finalise the design together.

We work together with a small family business, based near Porto, Portugal. All employees are locals that live in the small city. Because we work very close together, we even know a lot of them by their first name.


Working sustainable is all about the process of doing the best you can and for us means trying to find the best long lasting materials and working conditions. As a small independent designer’s brand, we have a smaller footprint then big brands. All our bags are designed in Antwerp and handmade in Portugal by a small family business.

There are different ways in which you can make a durable choice. That’s why we label our bags with information where it is made, where our materials come from, so our customers can make their own choice which material suits them best. 

For us, sustainability is not only about using biodegradable materials, but also the cost per wear and quality of a bag. A Lies Mertens bag should be able to last a lifetime when taken care of. 




The leather we use is unique for a number of reasons. First of all, the leather comes from animals reared for meat production, meaning it is fashioned from residue. This process doesn’t cause any quality loss: our refined calf leather is supple and outstanding. Then what’s the catch? 

To produce the leather, the hides are tanned with chrome-free products. We work with small family businesses, adhering to the highest ecological and technical standards. They don’t use any harmful chemicals and instead work with natural products, such as resin. This makes the process quite expensive, which might be a reason not every brand pursues this option. Since we truly value sustainability, we invest in the most environmentally friendly option possible, which is reflected in our pricing. 


All Lies Mertens handbags are inspired by real people, their style and their needs.

The first design she ever conceived was a laptop sleeve for personal use, but it didn’t stop there: six bags followed as a homage to people she admires and have a different story to tell.

To create designs fit for everyday life, Lies thus incorporates everyday needs to bolster the functionality of her accessories. Meet the community behind the bags, and read their story.