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‘Vlieger & Vandam’ is a label founded by Carolien Vlieger and Hein Vandam in 2002. Pioneering their art careers with the infamous ‘Guardian Angel’ bags, a series of leather accessories that portray the false possession of a pistol, knife or handcuffs, they’ve stirred immense controversy in the design world since debut. Created as a tongue-in-cheek response to overblown media reaction to street violence in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, they first began creating these staple pieces with second-hand purses. Revealed with surprisingly positive reception at MoMA’s SAFE: Design Takes on Risk exhibition in 2005, the collective has since repurposed and reproduced a series of ‘Guardian Angel’ silhouettes, garnering mass notoriety amidst the chaos of modern day gun-oriented debate. From being seized by security in a German airport back in 2015, to mass scrutiny after Rihanna sported the bag in 2013, Vlieger & Vanadam’s creation has been a useful in challenging societal beliefs and firearm ethics.



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