A Gen Z designer fairytale; a recent Camberwell College graduate, stuck at home in Lockdown, has ample to do. Paired with acres of sustainably resourced yarn, and you have one of the most eclectic bag brands to come out of an uncertain time when life opens up again. With thousands of new Instagram followers because of her unique visuals, and a new stockist partner Selfridges, Because meets Hepzibah Lyon, the creator of this fantasy-turned-reality.

Lyon’s one-woman brand, HVML, is a truly personal project. Each piece is hand-crocheted by Lyon herself using entirely recycled materials sourced from the UK. Born out of the desire to reuse dormant materials, Lyon combines functionality with the eccentric form. The bulbous bags of vivid, woven recycled materials are the perfect, one-of-a-kind statement accessory to embellish your outfit.

Whilst commissions are still available via DM or her website, a range of bags are available in the department store, as well as APOC store and Hepzibah Lyon’s website has a small selection of ready-made bags. Because caught up with the designer to learn more about the rise and rise of her indie brand:

What inspired you to start making bags?
If I’m honest, I started with bags because I don’t have the brain for understanding patterns or anything intricately involved with garment making. At that time, it seemed like a bag as an object, with all its possibilities in shape and colour, seemed like a good candidate for me to reimagine, and reinterpret with all the offcuts and pieces from these installations. But make no mistake, the first bags I made were pretty bad. I had to get all of the bad-bag-making out of my system first!

Why is being a sustainable brand important to you?
There are so many issues around fashion and fast fashion production now that I think even from the beginning I thought, if I am going to start contributing to this already polluted and saturated industry, I need to make sure what I’m doing will at least have very minimal impact on our environment. I think we all have a responsibility as both makers and consumers.

How has social media helped your business?
Social media has totally transformed HVML and just really catapulted me. I have been able to sustain myself and work from my own studio all because of my designs shared and seen online, I’m very lucky! It's super cool and slightly scary if I think about it for too long!

Can you share any upcoming projects you might be working on?
I’m just preparing for my first-ever Paris Fashion Week right now. I'll be at Premiere Classe, assisting a long-time collaborator Tati Things, making bags with her offcuts once again. Later on, in the coming months, I am hoping to really push my artistic energy into leather. I've been slowly building up my leather stocks, collecting offcuts from furniture makers and recycling old sofas. I'm excited to be working with a totally different fabric and bringing some new inspiration to HVML. (Whilst keeping the classics available too!)

What are your hopes for the future of the brand?
I want to collaborate and design with others more! It would be a real dream to use my craft to help more labels reduce fashion waste, recycling and reworking all their beautiful leftovers. I am going to keep putting myself out there but if any designers are reading this, surrounded by their offcuts and scraps, get in touch!

Discover HVML at hepzibahlyon.com and @hepzibahvmlyon on Instagram.