Handbags

EXCLUSIVE: Kaia Gerber Stars in Alexander McQueen’s New Campaign for the Slash Bag

EXCLUSIVE: Kaia Gerber Stars in Alexander McQueen’s New Campaign for the Slash Bag

LONDON — Kaia Gerber is the face of Alexander McQueen’s new campaign for the Slash bag.
It is Gerber’s debut campaign with the luxury British brand, and also the first time that Alexander McQueen has tapped a celebrity for an accessories campaign.

Gerber wore McQueen to her first Met Gala in May with her actor boyfriend Austin Butler.

The body of the bag is divided into vertical, padded leather sections, inspired by the slices and slashes in McQueen’s silhouettes.

The handle is a series of rings with the McQueen signature knuckle and skull motif, encrusted with Swarovski crystals. The bag, which also has a silver chain strap, retails for 2,250 pounds.

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The campaign was shot in two mediums by the British fashion photographer and film director Glen Luchford, who regularly shoots for The Face, Self Service Magazine, Arena and many others.

The still-life image shows Gerber staring inquisitively at a prosthetic lookalike. The campaign also features a short film set in a dystopian future.

Gerber is dressed in McQueen, and wearing the Slash bag on her shoulder as she makes her way through a lonely, white, futuristic space. She encounters her mannequin double, strokes the face and starts to cry.

Luchford is a cinephile. His film takes elements from Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049,” with the orange hued lighting and sci-fi mood of Pedro Almodóvar’s “The Skin I Live In,” with clinical prosthetics.

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In 2001, Luchford directed “Here to Where,” a film about a man stranded at an airport, which has been cited as inspiration for Steven Speilberg’s “The Terminal.”

In 2023, Gerber will star in “Mrs. American Pie,” a period comedy miniseries on Apple TV+ that will also feature Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern and Allison Janney. She will also appear in “Bottoms,” a teen sex comedy produced by husband and wife duo Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman.

McQueen has put the focus on film in its latest campaigns. Earlier this year, McQueen collaborated with the award-winning visual artist Sophie Muller on a short film that brought pieces from the brand’s spring 2022 collection to life.

Mirroring the concept of the fashion show, which was shot on the rooftop of a car park in East London in October 2021, the film features models standing and moving at the top of a building in central London with the city’s skyline and various cloud formations as the background.

“I love the idea of embracing the mystery and unpredictability of the sky, the fact it is always moving, always changing,” said Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen, when the campaign was released.

“I look out over London from our studio where the views are incredible and represent our home throughout history from St. Paul’s Cathedral to the London Eye. The sky against which those familiar monuments appear may be calm and restorative at times, and menacing at others. For me, the tension between the two is extremely inspiring,” she added.

Muller has produced hundreds of music and fashion videos in her four-decade-long career. Her work has won numerous awards, including a Grammy, a Brit Award and several MTV Awards. Her most notable collaborators include Maroon 5, Kylie Minogue, Gwen Stefani and Rihanna.

Serapian’s Capsule Handbag Collection with Emirati Designer Sara Altamimi is an Ode to Elegant Arab Women

Serapian’s Capsule Handbag Collection with Emirati Designer Sara Altamimi is an Ode to Elegant Arab Women

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Founded in 1928 in Milan by Stefano Serapian, luxury leather goods maison Serapian pides itself in offering up impeccably crafted designs that also break norms when it comes to accessories. Keeping these priorities in mind, the fashion house has now announced a new, must-see line of handbags, created in collaboration with Emirati designer Sara Altamimi.
The limited edition capsule collection with Altamimi came about as a result of Serpian’s appreciation for the Middle East and the stream of regional talent it is home to. “We have long admired the elegance and beautiful grace of Middle Eastern women, and the synergies between Serapian and Sara Altamimi are tangible in the final collection.  Each bag is an expression of discreet luxury dedicated to those who value quality, beauty, authenticity, and rarity,” says Giovanni Nodari Serapian, Bespoke Manager. A tribute to the elegance of the Emirati woman, the new collection comprises of four designs from Serapian’s iconic Secret bag collection. What sets them apart is their striking palette, which takes inspiration from Sara Altamimi’s sketches. “I sketch a lot because my head is always bursting with ideas that I want to execute in different ways, and I was excited when Serapian introduced me to a way of executing my ideas through a new medium I hadn’t explored before,” the designer shares. Adding to the exclusivity of the collection is the fact that each of the four designs is limited to only ten pieces.
The process of creation began with Altamimi selecting Serapian’s Secret bag in four different sizes, and then, using Serapian’s renowned personalization service, amping up each piece and making it her own by experimenting wit different buttery soft nappa leathers and colors. A blend of Milanese elegance with Emirati sophistication, the new line brings together intricate weaves, geometric details and playful fringe elements, all in shades of cherry reds, cool mint greens, sharp black and sunset orange. Look closely and you’ll notice each bag stands out with Serapian’s iconic Mosaico weave, a true testament to the brand’s artisanal craftsmanship.
Take a closer look at the Serapian x Sara Altamimi collection below.
Photo: Courtesy Serapian
Photo: Courtesy Serapian
Photo: Courtesy Serapian
Photo: Courtesy Serapian

Ivy Moliver Debuts Ivy Cove

Ivy Moliver Debuts Ivy Cove

Ivy Moliver has launched Ivy Cove, the seasoned designer’s take on an American accessories and leather goods brand.
“I know where I come from and of what I’m made,” said Moliver, who served as managing director and partner of Superior Leather Ltd. “I want to share a piece of my work and experience in making luxury accessories for all to enjoy. I also want to bring some of my practical travel secrets to the collections with styles that make traveling or simply going for a neighborhood stroll fun, effortless and understatedly chic.”
Headquartered in Montecito, Calif., the assortment of pieces launched in June with robust range that spans men, women, small leather goods, children’s and even pets. The brand channels a West Coast-ease mixed with functionality and features utility details, all seen through Moliver’s deep understanding of global artisans and tanneries.

According to the brand, its product are meant to be globally aware, taking into account sustainable practices. The brand is Gold Rated Italian Tannery Audited by Environmental Working Group and meets Global Organic Textile Standard Certified for its materials.
The new collection ranges from $15 to $418 and is selling on Ivycove.com and at select retailers.

Designer Nancy Gonzalez Charged With Smuggling, Conspiracy by U.S. Dept. of Justice

Designer Nancy Gonzalez Charged With Smuggling, Conspiracy by U.S. Dept. of Justice

Accessories designer Nancy Gonzalez has been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of illegal smuggling and conspiracy. The designer is being extradited in a joint effort between U.S. and Colombian authorities and will be tried in the U.S.If convicted, Gonzalez faces a maximum total sentence of 25 years in prison and her business is subject to $1 million in fines.
The Colombian-based label known for its use of exotic skins has been a prominent name in the luxury accessories business since the early 2000s. It was even cited in “The Devil Wears Prada” as part of Anne Hathaway’s fashion makeover and was a key resource for the accessories departments of major global luxury stores.

Judging from court records filed in the Southern District of Florida, the Department of Justice began its investigation into Gonzalez’s operations in 2016. That year, the brand told WWD that it was selling some 79,000 bags a year.

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Exotic skin accessories are heavily regulated by the U.S. government and all trade must have documentation and comply with CITES rules [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora]. Gonzalez has told WWD in the past that she owns her own exotic animal farms where her skins are harvested and treated. The brand also has manufacturing facilities where its bags are sewn and produced for sale.
Court documents allege that the Gonzalez label paid people to fly from Colombia to the U.S. with its handbags in their luggage. When intercepted at Customs, the individuals carrying Gonzalez’s bags said they were gifts for friends in the U.S.

‪Inside the Nancy Gonzalez shop-in-shop at Harrods.‬

Tim Jenkins

As part of its investigation, the Department of Justice observed the transport of nearly 300 bags that it alleges were part of a larger trade conspiracy architected by Gonzalez and her company. Most of the bags in question appear to be made from caiman skin, a reptile that is smaller than a crocodile and is considered a more accessible price point in the accessories arena.
Representatives for Nancy Gonzalez could not be reached for comment. The label’s social media channels have been dormant since late April of this year, which is around the time that the Department of Justice’s investigation began to take shape.
A dramatic, music-scored video tweeted by Colombia’s attorney general earlier this month shows Gonzalez being escorted by authorities from a luxury enclave in Cali, Colombia. The attorney general’s office says this mission is the first of its kind in Latin America to deal with exotic skin accessories.
“The final destination of the products was luxury stores and well-known exhibitions such as New York Fashion Week,” the official account tweeted.

El requerimiento indica que elaboraban carteras, bolsos y diversos productos con pieles de babillas, caimanes, serpientes, entre otras. Contactaban a ciudadanos en Valle del Cauca y, al parecer, los convencían de viajar a Estados Unidos para que llevaran los artículos. pic.twitter.com/pOhK7zFrSB
— Fiscalía Colombia (@FiscaliaCol) July 8, 2022

In early 2021 Gonzalez told WWD that the U.S. remained her brand’s largest market and that she was looking to expand in the U.K., Middle East and South Korea, with plans to enter the Chinese market in 2022.
In the last decade the brand has oscillated between high and low points. As recently as 2016, the company launched a shoe line and maintained a dedicated space in Bergdorf Goodman’s handbag department, which Gonzalez once bragged to WWD was better than having her own store and was the reason she had yet to open a boutique in New York City.
A representative for Bergdorf Goodman declined to comment on the origin of the store’s Gonzalez bags and if the store has been contacted by authorities as part of a larger investigation.

The brand has innovated in the exotic skin space design-wise, weaving crocodile or python skin into bag chains or laser-cutting the skins to resemble flowers.
That fortune changed in 2017 when Santiago Barberi Gonzalez, the designer’s son who also served as her brand’s creative director and chief modernizer, suddenly died. The label gradually fell from wider favor, and made attempts to revive itself by launching calf leather bags to appeal to a broader audience. In recent months the Gonzalez brand was spotted with just a single small cabinet of clutches in Bergdorf’s. Its previous stand-alone space in the store had been taken over by edgier European brands.

Away Launches Line Geared Toward Outdoorsy Vacations

Away Launches Line Geared Toward Outdoorsy Vacations

Millennial direct-to-consumer suitcase purveyor Away is looking further afield. The brand on Wednesday is launching FAR, short for For All Routes, a product line that considers how tourism has changed during the pandemic with styles geared toward nature-goers.While the brand’s signature hard-case suitcases will “continue to be the majority of revenue,” according to chief executive officer Jen Rubio, those styles are designed with more city destinations in mind.
“I think people have a heightened enthusiasm to return to travel but the type of travel has changed. There’s more of an outdoors focus, more rural with a desire to reconnect with nature and have adventures,” said Rubio.

“We realized we weren’t really making bags to support that kind of travel. People are going to national parks and camping — they’re not taking a four-wheel hard suitcase on a trip. So we are excited to do something in a very Away way and meet the needs of a new kind of journey,” she added.

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Made of entirely recycled materials down to the zippers, FAR includes durable backpacks, duffles, messenger bags, packing cubes and totes — offered in a variety of colors. Ripstop nylon duffles range from 40 to 70 liters in packable volume and backpacks from 26 to 45 liters — designations similar to established outdoor brands like Patagonia and The North Face. Prices range from $25 for a small pouch to $220 for a large backpack.

FAR by Away.
Courtesy/Away

It’s a shrewd move for Away, particularly as tourism winds up again post-pandemic. The luggage gear departments of outdoors stores like REI and L.L. Bean are running low on stock at the moment — owing to a rush in demand as well as supply chain issues.
“I think that speaks to the demand for this kind of gear as people travel more. The travel rebound came back in a big way, and with more outdoor destinations,” Rubio said of the phenomenon.
But with FAR, she is hoping to take the category a step further. “If you think about the outdoor space, everything is super technical and functional but is also kind of ugly. I think that’s a little daunting to some people. I think we found an incredible balance of really durable designs that are versatile but are sleek and attractive,” she said.
“We are excited to attract new customers and see how existing customers build on their collections with F.A.R. — it increases the lifetime value of an Away customer.”

Pyer Moss Releases First Handbag and High-heel Designs

Pyer Moss Releases First Handbag and High-heel Designs

Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond has returned from a brief design hiatus and dropped his first full-fledged accessories line of handbags and shoes.The former Reebok global creative director is known for his sold-out sneaker designs for the athleticwear giant as well as his own brand, but Jean-Raymond has now made a larger departure into women-specific shoes that all come furnished with high heels.
A range of five handbag designs and four shoe styles became exclusively available on Pyer Moss’ website on Thursday afternoon. They represent what Jean-Raymond hopes is a new direction for the brand that focuses on imaginative, everyday styles.
The designer told WWD of the collection drop via email that, “accessories have always been a part of our collections and we do plan to grow the category moving forward. We are just putting out products to our customers as they are ready.”

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Pyer Moss’ inaugural handbag collection utilizes a hand-shaped motif, like a lady-like handle bag ensconced in a wraparound belt of two interlocking palm shapes, and a cheekier purse that looks like a two-dimensional facsimile of a rubber glove.
Jean-Raymond said that the larger inspiration was carried over from a collection that was never released. “The hand motif was something that we started to work on in early 2019 for what was the first version of collection four, then we brought it over to our couture collection (as seen in our ‘curtain rod’ and ‘mop’ look). [It’s] something that feels fun, familiar, and reminds [us] of togetherness,” he said.
There are simpler styles as well, like a slant-shape shoulder bag and an everyday bag with a detachable shoulder strap that’s offered in three sizes.
The bags, all produced in Italy, are priced from $495 to $1,800 and are largely available in both black or yellow leather. There’s an additional run of small leather goods priced from $200 to $500 that includes wallets, key chain fobs and card holders — many of them embroidered with the same hand motif.
Pyer Moss’ first heel design takes a naïve, organic shape that could become an identifiable brand signature. “As my team is growing, we are starting to serve the needs and wants of women that work here (as well as our customers) and it’s something that they are proud of,” Jean-Raymond said of the departure into heels.
The custom heel is offered in different proportions that suit each shoe design — taking a more stout outline on a lower elevation, 4.5-inch heeled sandal and appearing taller and spindly on a zip-up ankle boot with 5-inch heels. The latter style also comes in an over-the-knee version and there’s a lace-up stiletto to round out the collection as well.
All of the shoes — running from $850 to $1,400 — are offered in red, yellow and black — except for the over-the-knee boots, which are exclusively offered in black.
Jean-Raymond marked the occasion of his new collection launch by installing a Pyer Moss billboard in his childhood neighborhood of East Flatbush, Brooklyn. The image is part of a larger digital campaign with images shot by Shikeith and styled by rising talent and new Interview magazine fashion director Dara Allen.

For now, Jean-Raymond has decided to exclusively sell his accessories on Pyer Moss’ own website but has not ruled out wholesale in the future. “Direct-to-consumer allows us to control our narrative, our inventory and to produce what was necessary to sell. We have worked and will continue to work with retail partners in the future,” he said.

34 Edgy Micro Bags That Make a Big Style Statement

34 Edgy Micro Bags That Make a Big Style Statement

Photo: Getty
A slight impractical cloud may hover over the best mini handbags, but don’t let that rain on your fashion parade. Like the stylish clutches, teensy handhelds, tiny crossbodies, and so-small shoulder bags may be little and capable of containing not much more than a lipstick and credit card. But plenty of great things come in small packages—like dazzling diamond earrings or a gorgeous ring, for instance—and baby bags are no different. Besides, paring things down to the strict essentials makes life that breezier whether you’re dressing for errands, a party, or a weekend adventure around town. And let us not dismiss the dopamine-dressing urge to wear things that boost moods and spark smiles—joy is unquestionably the best reason to invest in any trend, with teeny handbags being one of them.
The best minis pack a major punch, from Jacquemus’s cult Le Chiquito to Prada’s shrunken nylon Re-Edition 2000 and Balenciaga’s nano Neo Classic City bag. Supersaturated tones and pastel shades stand out against neutral attire for a playful touch but look equally great with vibrant colors and prints for bolder moments. Of course, fail-safe black, white, and tan tinies look great with minimalist outfits when channeling the ’90s and aughts. Meanwhile, bedazzled designs and woven takes are made for pairing with party and vacation looks, respectively—two occasions where outfits are well documented and worthy of detailed accessory shots. To get your mini fix, keep scrolling to discover Vogue’s edit of the best mini bags to shop now.

The Cute Crossbody
An adorably small crossbody bag is the easiest way to master the mini-handbag trend. Toss one on with athleisure or denim for errands—you’ll love the near-weightless and hands-free ease while on the go.
Bottega Veneta Cassette bag

Mango crossbody mini bag

Staud micro Moon bag

Valentino Rockstud grainy calfskin clutch

Marni Trunk Nano leather shoulder bag

90s Minimal Micros
Throw things back to the ’90s and ’00s with minimalist mini—small-scale shoulder bags and hobos are quintessential when nodding to the era.
The Row 90s leather top-handle bag

Prada Re-Nylon Re-Edition 2000 mini-bag

& Other Stories structured leather shoulder bag

Khaite the Remi hobo bag

Pint-Sized Party Bags
Parties are perhaps the mini’s most natural environment. Whether it’s decked in rhinestones or crafted from lustrous satin, a bedazzled baby bag will become the topic of conversation.

Benedetta Bruzziches Raffaella metallic suspended top-handle bag

Mach & Mach Samantha double-bow glittered shoulder bag

Amina Muaddi Gilda mini crystal-embellished satin tote

Bonny Pink-Violet Satin Bag with Twisted Handle

KARA Black Crystal Fringe Micro Tote

Mini Modern Shapes
A uniquely shaped mini bag is the ultimate eye-catcher. Vibrant tones are undeniably playful with spring and summer outfits, while an architectural shape in black and white is incredibly chic any time of year.
Limone Bag, Grapefruit

Marge Sherwood Off-White Crinkled Shoulder Bag

By Far + Mimi Cuttrell Frame glossed-leather tote

Mini Swipe Leather Top Handle Bag

JW Pei Alison soft volume shoulder bag

Tiny Top Handles
You’ll feel anything but weighted down when toting a tiny top handle, be it a leather, metal-adorned, or logo-emblazoned design.
BOYY Wonton 20 textured-leather tote

JW Anderson mini chain leather tote

Jumbo GG mini tote bag

Alexander Wang scrunchie mini bag

Petite Pastels
Who can resist the sweetness of a petite pastel mini in spring or summer? It’s our top pick for accenting wedding-guest attire or a floral bridesmaid dress.

Fendi FF logo leather shoulder bag

Yuzefi Pretzel mini knotted leather shoulder bag

Brandon Blackwood mini Kuei shearling crossbody bag

Tom Ford mini label leather chain top-handle bag

Off-White pump pouch

Jacquemus orange ‘Le Chiquito Moyen’ bag

The Nano Natural
It doesn’t get better (or cuter) than wee bags woven from raffia or whittled rattan to pair with summer whites and breezy vacation attire. Opt for one trimmed with leather in natural straw or white for a city-sleek finish.

Mango double strap mini basket bag

Aranaz Curba mini cutout rattan top-handle bag

Zara rigid mini bag

DeMellier mini Verona crossbody bag

Chloé small Woody tote bag

Originally published in Vogue.com
Read Next: 10 Beautiful Ladylike Top Handle Handbags Spotted in Kate Middleton’s Wardrobe

Celine Launches Made-to-Order Crocodile Leather Handbag Line

Celine Launches Made-to-Order Crocodile Leather Handbag Line

PARIS — Celine is launching a line of made-to-order crocodile leather handbags, joining the ranks of luxury leather goods makers that are developing increasingly exclusive and rarefied products to cater to well-heeled consumers.The Celine haute maroquinerie collection, available beginning in October, will offer its bestselling 16 and Triomphe handbag models in Nile crocodile leather, which comes in 14 shades, including a dusty pink known as Marly and a rich chestnut hue called Riesener. Recognizable for its large scales, the exotic leather has been glazed to a high sheen with an agate stone.
Customers can pick from an assortment of hardware in 18-karat white or yellow gold, including closures that can be customized with diamonds, either in pavé or solitaire settings. In the ultimate example of stealth wealth, the Triomphe closure is offered with a solitaire on the concealed part of the clasp. Initials can be embossed into the goat skin lining.

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A selection of hardware for Celine’s haute maroquinerie collection.
Courtesy of Celine

The house declined to disclose the price of the handbags, cementing their aura as status items for ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
The numbered bags will be produced by a dedicated artisan at Celine’s Italian leather goods workshop in Radda in Chianti in Tuscany, which overlooks rolling hills and vineyards. The artisan is responsible for the bag’s entire assembly, from the selection of skin to cutting and stitching.
“Each bag is created as a single piece. Leather cutting only occurs once an order has been placed,” the house said in a statement. Each custom-made 16 handbag takes 17 hours to produce, while the Triomphe requires 12 hours of labor.
Artistic director Hedi Slimane has been steadily growing the brand’s high-end offering, even as he courts the TikTok generation with buzzy collection films and $435 cropped tops. In February, he unveiled an ad campaign featuring Blackpink’s Lisa for his haute parfumerie collection, launched in 2019.
And the designer has sprinkled made-to-measure designs, often produced in collaboration with artists, into his ready-to-wear collections.
The 16 was his first design after joining Celine in 2018, and was famously unveiled on the arm of Lady Gaga, making her the first celebrity to wear Slimane’s designs for the brand. The flap on the made-to-order version has a crocodile underside, considered a technical feat because the leather is both delicate and stiff.

The 16 handbag in Nile crocodile leather from Celine’s haute maroquinerie collection.
Courtesy of Celine

Each haute maroquinerie bag comes with a mirror bordered in matching leather, and is delivered in a leather-line lacquered eucalyptus wood coffer, with a plaque that can be engraved with the owner’s name.
Parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has been doubling down on exotic skins, despite protests from animal rights campaigners, who want the luxury conglomerate to follow the example of Chanel, which said in 2018 it was halting the use of leathers including crocodile, lizard, snake and stingray.
Louis Vuitton recently inaugurated two leather goods workshops in France that specialize in bags made from exotic skins, while the renovated Dior flagship on Avenue Montaigne has an entire counter dedicated to bags made from rare materials such as crocodile, ostrich and python leather.

Celine said the skins for its haute maroquinerie collection have been sourced from a supplier certified by the International Crocodilian Farmers Association, a nonprofit association created to develop and improve crocodilian farming practices with respect for animal welfare, the environment, people and local communities.
They are treated by a tannery associated with the IFCA that is certified ISO 14001, an industry recognized standard based on environmental management compliance.
SEE ALSO:
Louis Vuitton Doubles Down on Exotic Skins With New Workshops
Celine Unveils New Manufacturing Plant
Meet the Bag That Is Launching Hedi Slimane’s Celine Reboot

Wearable Objet d’Arts Inspired by Amazigh Heritage

Wearable Objet d’Arts Inspired by Amazigh Heritage

At the Lanserring Gallery in Manhattan’s SoHo, Katia Luna Benai reached into a tall wood and glass vitrine to show a polyhedral crocodile handbag with solid silver hardware, priced $30,000.For whomever might own it, “It represents your interest in art. Your interest in culture. Your interest in history,” Benai tells a guest at the gallery.
The bag, named “Nyx” after the Greek Goddess of Chaos, is handmade from 33 pieces requiring 38 hours to assemble, and is part of the debut “Artifacts” collection from the London-based Luna Benai firm, which designs limited-edition wearable objets d’art reflecting the culture of the ancient Amazigh race of Northern Africa.
Benai, the founder and creative director of Luna Benai, as a very young child was raised by her grandmother with the help of six aunts in a traditional Amazigh household in Algeria. She received old and new Amazigh teachings that define her character and design passion. She also traveled much through Africa and East Asia due to her father’s diplomatic profession, ultimately settling at her birth city of London.

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At Luna Benai, “The goal is to create unique timeless pieces that are a fusion of fine art, ancient history and contemporary craftsmanship for the luxury market.”

Luna Benai’s crocodile and solid silver $30,000 Nyx bag, inspired by the Amazigh culture.

For the launch in the U.S., Benai has brought two distinct exotic leather handbags that double as sculptures when presented in their accompanying sculptural cases. “My designs are inspired by the Amazigh heritage. I’m also very much into sculpture,” said Benai, a graduate of the Royal College of Arts in London who formerly worked for VIP services at Harrods.
“These are heritage pieces that embody history as well as a contemporary look for today. The Amazigh race dates back 4,000 years. There is a very, very long history, in terms of heritage, tradition, handmade crafts and shape, that gets passed on from generation to generation.”

Katia Luna Benai

The handbags will reside for six months at Lanserring, which is also London-based and known for designing high-end, bespoke kitchen furniture, dressing rooms and lifestyle products. They are also being shown at the Maison Gerard at the Winter Show being held inside the former Barneys New York flagship on 61st Street and Madison Avenue through April 10.
Benai will design a custom piece for Sotheby’s in the fall when the auction house launches a new category of artists’ jewelry, curated by Tiffany Dubin, called “Art as Jewelry…Jewelry as Art.”
Luna Benai’s wearable objets d’art are made to order and can be custom-made by the company’s team of designers and artisans.
Benai said the crocodile skin for the bags is ethically sourced from the same suppliers utilized by LVMH and Kering, and regulated by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which protects endangered plants and animals.
“If you are in the business of crocodile designs, you really need to educate yourself,” Benai said. “I’ve flown to see the crocodile farms and have spent a long time researching this to launch my company.” The solid silver adorning the handbags originates from Grant Macdonald, silversmith to the Royal Family of England.

“Luna Benai is wearable art, for people that fine art and want something different that inspires and imparts knowledge,” said Benai. “It’s not a practicality. It’s more of a statement. It’s definitely a niche clientele.”

Lancel Marks Collaboration With Jeanne Damas

Lancel Marks Collaboration With Jeanne Damas

PARIS — French leather goods brand Lancel hosted a dinner at its historic store across from the Paris Opera on Thursday to celebrate its collaboration with influencer-turned-designer Jeanne Damas on a version of its signature bucket bag, signaling a new era of growth for the brand after several challenging years.Tables were decked out in colorful mismatched glasses and crockery for the dinner by French chef Pierre Touitou, accompanied by a live piano performance. Italian entrepreneur Marco Palmieri said it was the first collaboration since his accessories and luggage company Piquadro SpA acquired Lancel in 2018.
Having successfully weathered the antigovernment gilets jaunes protests and the coronavirus pandemic, Lancel is expected to return to profit in the 2021-22 financial year, which ends on March 31, Palmieri reported.

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Sales between April and December totaled 45.8 million euros, up 32.6 percent versus the same period a year earlier, with all channels improving. Wholesale was up 46.3 percent, retail 29.7 percent and e-commerce 29.1 percent, Lancel said in its most recent financial statement in January.
When Piquadro bought the company from Compagnie Financière Richemont, it had an annual turnover of around 53 million euros, with negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of approximately 23 million euros.
“The turnover this year is higher that the pre-COVID[-19] situation,” Palmieri told WWD, noting that the brand opened 10 stores in Asia during 2020 and 2021, in addition to locations in Germany, France and Russia. “Now we’ve found a new stability and we hope to start to grow fast again.”
In 2022, Lancel plans to open another five stores in China, one in Malaysia and one in Vietnam, Palmieri said. It was also due to open an additional two stores in Russia, though that project is temporarily suspended as the European Union has banned the export of luxury goods to Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
As part of its turnaround plan, Piquadro appointed Barbara Fusillo as head of design in 2017 and moved manufacturing to Italy. The brand maintains an important foothold in Paris, having recently inaugurated its new headquarters in an Art Deco building in the 8th arrondissement, where its design studio is based.

The Chéri bag design by Jeanne Damas for Lancel.
Courtesy of Lancel

The Opera flagship, open since 1929, is a landmark for many locals, including Damas herself. “This square is so incredible. When you look at this view, you feel really privileged,” she said, pointing at the light-flooded façade of the opera house.
“What I love is that we all have a memory associated with this brand,” Damas continued. “It’s luxury, but it feels accessible because it seems like everyone’s grandmother, at least if you’re Parisian or French, had a Lancel handbag. That was definitely the case for me, so I really feel like it’s part of the fashion landscape in France.”
The founder of the Rouje label is a big fan of straw baskets, so she wanted to translate that spirit into her version of the Chéri bag.
“I use them winter and summer, so the challenge was how to make a leather handbag that looks like a basket. We ended up using a woven leather technique that gives it a real luxury feel,” she explained. “They had never worked with woven leather before so it’s cool, because it’s a real collaboration. We didn’t just change the color of the bag.”

Available in two colorways, Snow and Carmine, the bag retails for $1,850. Palmieri and Damas celebrated their partnership on the dance floor by dancing wildly to a selection of French pop hits.
SEE ALSO:
As Her Rouje Label Turns Five, Even Jeanne Damas Is Over French Girl Style
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