Linda Zoon - Blauw Bloed

A Conversation with Linda Zoon

Linda Zoon

Graphic designer and illustrator with a passion for fashion


Linda Zoon is ILNI’s illustrator creating the beautiful interpretations of our bag personalities. She is the one who has brought Augustina, Betty-Joan, and Cresces to life. Linda has amassed a growing following on social media due to her beautiful illustrations of the Dutch Queen Maxima. As soon as the Queen appears somewhere, Linda will be illustrating her outfits and posting them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. She illustrates not only the wardrobe choices of the Dutch Queen but also creations from designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Kithe Brewster.

ILNI - Augustina by Linda Zoon


How long have you been a graphic designer and who are some of the brands you have worked for?

I have been in this field of work for 35 years and have been fortunate to work with fashion brands and government agencies including the municipality of Rotterdam, FAB Magazine, Vorsten (Royal magazine), Metro (newspaper), Amsterdam Fashion TV and others.

Of course, I also welcome working with private and smaller customers. I am always happy when someone calls into my studio and wants to look around. Just today I was called about an illustration that hangs in my shop window. How nice is that!


What is the biggest challenge in this line of work?

For anyone working as an illustrator, the biggest challenge is to set yourself apart with your own unique style.

For me personally, the biggest challenge was working to acquire international fame with my fashion illustrations and becoming an illustrator for fashion designers (Haute Couture) and stylists. Still on my list is to be officially recognised as the illustrator of the wardrobe of our Dutch Royalty, Queen Maxima.


How do you cope with deadline stress?

Luckily, the higher the pressure, the better I perform. Deadlines have never been a problem for me. In fact, I thrive on the challenge to deliver everything on time while keeping a sharp eye on the quality of my work.


Linda Zoon - giadcurti201722

What qualities do you think one needs to work as an illustrator?

You must be able to listen carefully. Much of our work is about understanding the ideas of client and by listening and interacting back and forward with them bringing their best ideas to life. As an illustrator, we are not the fashion designers; we are an extension of the designer, the ones who can illustrate their ideas. In a way, we translate their designs into beautiful illustrations making their ideas more tangible, like in a fairy tale. A great illustrator can turn clients ideas into visions.



Where do you get your inspiration?

From everywhere, but especially through social media. I follow the great fashion shows and fashion weeks. When I see something that catches my eye, I just have to draw it. It gives me energy and relaxes me. I forget about the world around me and I am like a child again.


What is the strangest or most fun thing you have ever encountered in your job?

I often post my illustrations of what Queen Maxima is wearing via Twitter or Instagram and these get a lot of attention. A Dutch TV show Blauw Bloed (Blue Blood), about the Dutch Royal family noticed these posts and called me about being part of a fashion item on their program. They came to film in my studio for 4 hours one day and created a really nice piece about my work. (I secretly hope they ask me again 😉 ) Video here




How important is social media to your job?

Social media is like my shop window. It is how I promote myself. When I post an illustration of one of the Royal Family members I get a lot of responses. Without social media many of the great experiences I have had would not have happened.


Where do you hope to be in 5 years from now?

I want my studio to be firmly on the map and to be well known as an international illustrator working with some of the larger fashion magazines (Vogue Italia, Harpers Bazaar USA). I hope to continue working for a number of large fashion houses, both domestically and internationally. And of course, I hope to be making illustrations officially for the Dutch Royal Family.


What is your favourite vacation destination?

City: Paris

Country: La Gomera (Canary Islands / Spain)


What are your plans for the weekend?

This weekend I am in The Hague and plan to visit the City Museum. There is a beautiful Art Deco exhibition currently on. I am hoping to get some more inspiration 😉


Linda Zoon


Get in touch with Linda



Linda Zoon on Facebook

Linda Zoon on Instagram

Linda Zoon on Vimeo

Linda Zoon on Twitter










The Online Hate Culture and How to Stay Out of It

An incredible amount of uncensored hate and negative emotions are communicated online everyday; most of these messages are inarticulate and uncalled for. People seem to be going to war with each other over the smallest thing. Armed with a keyboard and Internet access they launch an attack against someone they don’t even know. What is all this online hate about, and, why does there seem to be so much of it? And, most importantly, how do we stay out of it?

Hating Online Is Not Ok

First of all, let’s be clear, fighting through messages and comments online is not at all classy. It is not ok to write something in anger or rage that we would never think to say to someone standing right in front of us. Being angry about something is perfectly normal; flinging personal insults and engaging in online message wars is not. Yet, why are so many people engaging in this anti-social behavior? The short answer; they think it is ok to do this. They are part of a growing group who engage in Hate for Fun. This online culture of humiliating for entertainment has found a perfect breeding ground among our blogs, forums and feeds.

Hate for Fun Culture

Participants in this culture of Hate For Fun feel driven to write hate-filled comments. They seek out online fights for their amusement, to fill their time, or to make themselves feel more powerful. They want you to get upset; they love reading your defensive replies to their comments as it gives them even more of the attention they desire. These lonely people crave an audience and find it by engaging in the spectator sport of online word battles. They constantly check to see how many people have commented on their rant and how many times it has been seen or shared. They get a buzz from being in the middle of the battle.

Messages from these Hate For Fun rage-engagers are easy to recognize. Their messages are overly emotional; a rant filled with run-on sentences and excessive use of CAPS. They love to use exclamation marks and seem to have only a fleeting understanding of basic grammar rules. Their heightened emotion also seems to cloud their spelling ability, or perhaps it is just the frustration of not being able to write as fast as their anger/excitement is flowing. Most of the times logic and self-respect also seem to be laid aside when they are in full rage mode. Their rants are often filled with hyperboles such as always, never and every. These extremes are meant to inflame a fight, get a response, and engage an opponent. If this doesn’t work they will often resort to attacking character or looks. By making it personal they hope to inject their special breed of hate into your feed and get you to start responding.

How To React When You Are The Target

It can be incredibly difficult not to become emotionally charged by a rant directed at us online. However, their hate has nothing to do with how they feel about you and everything to do with how they feel about themselves. The first response you should have is to realize that this person is a very unhappy individual. Let’s be honest well-adjusted people just don’t write hate-filled emails or online comments.

So what do we do when someone wants to engage us and elicit a negative response online? In my opinion, the best response is no response. If someone is trying to antagonize or annoy us, it is best to just ignore it. When basic common sense and courtesy have been forgotten and the comments include cruel or judgmental insults on our intelligence or looks, there really is no rule that says we must respond. In fact, I firmly believe the best response to a cruel comment is no response. You are also well within your rights to report or delete the message and/or block the person from contacting you again.

Choosing Not To Engage

 Choosing to not respond to a hateful comment requires you to ignore any feelings of entitlement that arise when faced with an online fight. Thoughts such as “how dare they say that” and “what right do they have”… are not useful thoughts right now. By listening to those thoughts and responding with defensiveness or retaliation we only add more hate to the Internet. Walking away from an invitation to fight online is the best response in every case.

By not engaging in a fire against fire online fight we protect our reputation and maintain our level of decorum. It requires self-control and grace to walk away from an inflammatory comment and choose not respond. Replying with anger, sarcasm or defensive comments only reflects negatively back on us. And, as we all know, comments and emails sent in a moment of weakness have a nasty habit of coming back to haunt us at the worst possible times. And anyway, will responding to a hate message really get you to the desired outcome? Or will it just prolong the fight and drag more people into the rage-engager’s audience?

By not responding or being drawn into a culture of hate we actively choose to engage instead in a way that encourages a healthy online community where we can share and interact without fear. We reject the culture of hate that seeks public humiliations and pursues the spread of more hatred. After all, in this highly connected world where we can say and be anything, we firmly believe in being kind.


A Perfect Parisian Weekend

Paris is the perfect place to spend a lifetime, but for those of us not lucky enough to call this beautiful city home, a weekend will have to do. We have put together our favourite picks for making your trip into a perfect Parisian weekend.

Putting on the Ritz

The Ritz Paris has been an icon of style and elegance in this beautiful city since it opened in 1898 and is our pick for a perfect Parisian stay. A known favourite of Coco Chanel and F. Scott Fitzgerald, there is no better place to enjoy a weekend in Paris than in the luxury of this beautiful hotel. We also love that from the Ritz it is an easy walk to the jewellery and fashion boutiques around the Place Vendôme and along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Luxurious and convenient for shopping, need we say more?

Shop until you drop

Speaking of shopping, while you can find many fabulous shops around every corner in this city of style, our favourite two picks are the Le Bon Marche and Merci.

Le Bon Marche has been setting the style of Paris since the 19th century when the owner and his wife decided to create a unique store where customers could come in and browse undisturbed. Le Bon Marche is now one of the most exclusive department stores in Paris, combining high-end products with surprisingly friendly staff that encourage a relaxed style of shopping without the hustle and bustle. Our tip, visit their gallery of imagination where products and brands from around the world are displayed. Look out for their pick of designers who are yet to hit the mainstream and check them out before everyone else finds out about them.

Our other favourite shop is Merci. A new concept store that is located in the heart of the historic district of Haut-Marais inside an elaborately reconfigured 19th-century fabric factory. The three loft-like floors are filled with furniture, jewellery, stationery, fashion, household products, children’s wear and haberdashery. You will also find stylish cafes and a restaurant to keep you refreshed. That’s not all we love about Merci; this most generous of retail stores also gives all its profits to charity.

Pick a fragrance

What is a trip to Paris without buying perfume! Our pick for the place to find your dream fragrance is in Guerlain on the Champs-Élysées. Arguably Paris’ most famous perfume shop, it is also one of the most beautiful. Bringing sweet fragrances to Paris since the early 1900s, this shop is a wonder to be in. Marble floors, shimmering mirrors and art deco styling take you back to a time of elegance and grace in the city of style. If you really want to soak in the glamour of this glorious reminder of the past, you can book into their decadent spa for total indulgence and pampering.

Fill up on French Cuisine

After all that shopping you will need to find the perfect place to eat. May we suggest the Monsieur Bleu for lunch? Monsieur Bleu is an Art Deco marvel with green marble floors, velvet banquettes and geometric chandeliers. This restaurant perfectly combines elegance and chic with an extensive menu filled with classic French cuisine. Monsieur Bleu really is a “must visit” for the perfect Parisian weekend lunch.

Explore somewhere new

For something a little out of the ordinary, we think you might like the Musée du quai Branly. Filled with a wide range of indigenous and folk-art that extends back to the Neolithic Age, this museum is like an adventure back into another world. Wind your way through this innovative building housing more than 300,000 artefacts that have been presented to the Kings of France or collected by the great explorers over the centuries. It is easy to spend an hour or two in this museum just appreciating the beauty of tradition and craftsmanship from the centuries.

Promenade like a Parisian

When you have shopped, filled up with French cuisine and soaked up some culture, what could be more Parisian than to partake in a centuries old custom of the promenade? A perfectly Parisian custom of taking a leisurely walk in a public place for pleasure and/or display. The Jardin des Tuileries is a public garden where the stylish citizens of Paris would parade in their finest clothing in ages past. But, even if you are not into parading, these stunning French style gardens, which separate the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, are a much-loved cultural walking place for Parisians and tourists and a nice break from the busy city.

Experience Vegan Haute Cuisine

As the day turns into evening we have a unique suggestion for dinner in this city so well known for leading-edge cuisine. Our recommendation is the Gentle Gourmet. Known as the house of vegan gastronomy this restaurant combines the finesse of French gastronomy with an ethical and ecological dimension and a lot of passion and precision. Each season the experienced chefs create a stunning plant-based menu filled with bold vegan twists on French classics that make this restaurant well worth a visit.

Lights out

Finish your evening with an enchanted flair by finding a location over-looking the eliminated sights of Paris at 1 am. This is when the city of Paris turns its lights off for the evening. There is something magical about watching all the twinkling lights of Paris going out leaving only the muted streetlights still glowing to guide you home after a perfect Parisian day.

Bonne nuit.


About ILNI


ILNI is not just another handbag company. We are a company working to redefine elegance by adding the kindness factor. We believe elegance is not just about external beauty; it is a reflection of a deeper beauty that comes from within a person who also shows kindness and compassion to others. Our bags represent this compassionate elegance; made with kindness to each other and kindness to all creatures.

  1. We are committed to creating luxury handbags that combine Italian craftsmanship with classic timeless designs and high quality leather-free materials.
  2. We want a world where there is a great alternative for luxury items that ensure no animal is harmed or killed in the process.
  3. We are setting out to change the world one handbag at a time, one person at a time, with one message; in a world where we can be anything, let’s be elegant and kind.

An ILNI bag is an ethical fashion choice and an elegant action that reflects your compassion towards the planet and all those living in it. It lets you say who you are and what is important to you without having to speak a word.



Read here how our stylish Augustina defines elegance