As part of a project to get to know the women who wear C.Nicol bags a bit more, we caught up with one of our customers from across the pond, the lovely Aki Kano.

Aki tells us about herself and her life in Brooklyn, New York and how the lockdown has allowed her more space to focus on her work as an artist.

New York Artist Aki Kano

          Aki in her Brooklyn studio. 

Aki, tell us a little bit about you:

I am an artist specializing in painting realistic watercolor portraits.  I live in Brooklyn, New York with my 10-year-old son and husband.  Having worked as a fashion and handbag designer for over 12 years, I love fashion imagery in my fine art work.  When I’m not painting commissions, I often paint portraits of intriguing fashion models.

 Aki Kano fashion art

          'Sarah' by Aki Kano

How has Covid-19 and the lockdown changed things for you?

We temporarily left Brooklyn for a rural town in the Northern Catskills, right when my son's school got cancelled and the pandemic started. 

Since Covid-19, there have actually been a few silver linings in my life.  I have found that I'm able to focus on my art without as many distractions as I would have pre-Covid.  As an artist, I realize I enjoy and appreciate quiet time and solitude. I'm also enjoying the simpler pleasures of life such as spending more time with family, taking walks outside and cooking more.

I never thought that I would love the peace and quiet of the country as much as I have.  I love living in a house, the clean, fresh air, getting woken up by the sounds of birds, and taking walks in our town that only has a general store, post office and firehouse.  This has opened up the way I view country/rural living and I see its beauty and benefits.

 Aki on C.Nicol

Beautiful aesthetics and taste are important to me and having had my own namesake handbag line for years, I truly appreciate the quality, timeless and unique design of C. Nicol bags.  I have quite an extensive handbag collection, but I especially love carrying my useful and chic black Lily bag to run errands in the city or country.



Aki is an award-winning portraitist who received her B.F.A from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as well as a degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. After working as a fashion and handbag designer for over 12 years, Aki returned to her love of art in 2014. When she explored different mediums, she found a real connection with using watercolor. When she discovered her love for this medium, her world opened up. She is still inspired by the colors, mood and attitudes in fashion imagery and a significant part of her work is portraits of fashion models. She has completed numerous portrait commissions and her work has been widely displayed in prestigious juried shows and galleries. Find out more about Aki and her work on her web site:
IG: @akikanonyc


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