Official Independent Handbag Designers Thread

mfairview

Member
Dec 21, 2016
15
7
Hi, fairly new here and just started getting into handbags. It all started innocently enough as I was searching for some xmas presents for my wife. I ended up with a Lo & Son Pearl, an Anya Hindmarch charm, and a Valextra clutch. Admittedly, I initially got a little caught up with exclusive brands while shopping (the usual suspects of Chanel, YSL, Chloe, etc.) but was turned off by a rather snobby sales attendant at a Chanel store in their SOHO store (which directly lead to my inevitably selecting Valextra). Certainly, like most, I'm not made of unlimited funds and tend to be a little choosy with my purchases and a bit dismayed by the low warrantee for some of these handbags costing 1000's of dollars. That said, I'd like to start some discussion around Independent Designers that are worth a look.

I think a good place to start are to perouse the finalists and winners of the hand bag awards (https://www.thehandbagawards.com/), both past and present. They represent designers worldwide and with the strength of the dollar, currently, gives a great opportunity for Americans to experiment a little. For instance, I find some of the designs from John Edwards (Florian London - http://florianlondon.com/handbags.html ), a 2014 design winner, to be quite attractive but would like to hear from those that may know about the brand. At around $300-$400 USD, it's a great price point for many of us (even if you could afford 3k+).




Invariably, what would be nice is to have a forum just for Independent Designers here but would like to see how much interest there would be before asking the mods to do so.

So what do you think Ladies (and Gentlemen)? What independent handbag designers do you like?
 
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JolieS

Member
Oct 24, 2016
1,114
2,192
Hi, fairly new here and just started getting into handbags. It all started innocently enough as I was searching for some xmas presents for my wife. I ended up with a Lo & Son Pearl, an Anya Hindmarch charm, and a Valextra clutch. Admittedly, I initially got a little caught up with exclusive brands while shopping (the usual suspects of Chanel, YSL, Chloe, etc.) but was turned off by a rather snobby sales attendant at a Chanel store in their SOHO store (which directly lead to my inevitably selecting Valextra). Certainly, like most, I'm not made of unlimited funds and tend to be a little choosy with my purchases and a bit dismayed by the low warrantee for some of these handbags costing 1000's of dollars. That said, I'd like to start some discussion around Independent Designers that are worth a look.

I think a good place to start are to perouse the finalists and winners of the hand bag awards (https://www.thehandbagawards.com/), both past and present. They represent designers worldwide and with the strength of the dollar, currently, gives a great opportunity for Americans to experiment a little. For instance, I find some of the designs from John Edwards (Florian London - http://florianlondon.com/handbags.html ), a 2014 design winner, to be quite attractive but would like to hear from those that may know about the brand. At around $300-$400 USD, it's a great price point for many of us (even if you could afford 3k+).




Invariably, what would be nice is to have a forum just for Independent Designers here but would like to see how much interest there would be before asking the mods to do so.

So what do you think Ladies (and Gentlemen)? What independent handbag designers do you like?
I'm all for independent handbag designers if they have unique designs. That's the problem - nothing much new under the sun. The larger companies have the deep pockets necessary to hire good designers and bring their designs to market. The two bags you show look like knock-offs or (ahem) deeply inspired by Moynat's Réjane and Paradis models. For that reason I'd not purchase them at any price point.
 

mfairview

Member
Dec 21, 2016
15
7
I'm all for independent handbag designers if they have unique designs. That's the problem - nothing much new under the sun. The larger companies have the deep pockets necessary to hire good designers and bring their designs to market. The two bags you show look like knock-offs or (ahem) deeply inspired by Moynat's Réjane and Paradis models. For that reason I'd not purchase them at any price point.
Well, there are certainly lots of examples of very unique designs on the aforementioned site but only a few that are aesthetically pleasing to me for which I posted. Your critique is valid but could be directed towards the big brands as well. Yes, the establish houses have some very iconic designs but many, I feel, aren't necessarily creating anything new as well (in their defense, people are still purchasing and driving the price up on these hand bags so there is little motivation for them to 'rock the boat'). The phenomena is not unique to handbags. I dabble a bit with watch collecting and we see it there as well. Brands such as Patek, Audemars Piguet, etc. have some historically significant pieces but aren't necessarily hitting them out of the park these days. Patek's Calatrava line, once relegated to "entry level" are now commanding 20-30k all because of the Patek lineage and brand name and I feel they're resting on their laurels a bit. I'm not surprised to hear that this happens in the handbag world as well.

btw- I thought this one might be fun with Jeans

 
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restricter

Beware the BIN Paw
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Apr 25, 2007
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thefurryfashionista.blogspot.com
I'm all for independent handbag designers if they have unique designs. That's the problem - nothing much new under the sun. The larger companies have the deep pockets necessary to hire good designers and bring their designs to market. The two bags you show look like knock-offs or (ahem) deeply inspired by Moynat's Réjane and Paradis models. For that reason I'd not purchase them at any price point.
Where do you think larger companies find their "good" designers?
 
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restricter

Beware the BIN Paw
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Well, there are certainly lots of examples of very unique designs on the aforementioned site but only a few that are aesthetically pleasing to me for which I posted. Your critique is valid but could be directed towards the big brands as well. Yes, the establish houses have some very iconic designs but many, I feel, aren't necessarily creating anything new as well (in their defense, people are still purchasing and driving the price up on these hand bags so there is little motivation for them to 'rock the boat'). The phenomena is not unique to handbags. I dabble a bit with watch collecting and we see it there as well. Brands such as Patek, Audemars Piguet, etc. have some historically significant pieces but aren't necessarily hitting them out of the park these days. Patek's Calatrava line, once relegated to "entry level" are now commanding 20-30k all because of the Patek lineage and brand name and I feel they're resting on their laurels a bit. I'm not surprised to hear that this happens in the handbag world as well.

btw- I thought this one might be fun with Jeans

I love finding new designers. Lately, I've discovered Paige Gamble, whose designs are made by hand in her workshop here in NYC. The quality and price point are fantastic, as are her designs.
 
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morningperson

Member
Feb 19, 2017
17
13
I shop from independent designers because it's fun having a bag that few other people own. I have two Lo & Sons bags, and while they are a bit nondescript looking, they are some of the most well-organised bags I have ever carried.

I've just ordered from two other very small companies, but I won't mention their names as they haven't arrived yet and I cannot speak for their quality.

I'm having a great time looking at the handbag awards nominees and winners; thank you, mfairview, for posting the link!
 

mfairview

Member
Dec 21, 2016
15
7
I bought my wife a Lo & Son pearl for christmas and it's now her daily bag. It's simply fantastic and the price (I also got it on sale) couldn't be beat. I also picked up a Serapian (not an indy but below the radar in the states) for her bday and found another wonderful sale online. Unfortunately they only have presence in CA in the states but they were more than helpful. Again, it turned out fantastic. Please post about your other bag once you have had a chance to play with it. Thanks!
 
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vink

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Apr 12, 2008
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I love supporting independent designers. I've been buying from local designers and craftsmen for more than a decade. I find their works nice and homey. Also, the quality is really there and the designs can be very interesting. I find their works come from the heart and their own personal aesthetics. Each brands will have their own strengths and their preference looks or muses in mind.
Plus, my money can help keep the business going. It's like helping to fund someone's dream.
I still buy from big brands and big names AKA feeding the beasts/machines. But I also love getting stuff from the smaller people. I find it's more interesting that way.
 

morningperson

Member
Feb 19, 2017
17
13
I love the Serapian bags, mfairview! I have never heard of them before.

I think of of the new bags is due in sometime this week (unless it gets held up in customs), so I will post pics good or bad.
 

yadeedah

New Member
Jun 30, 2017
2
0
Wondering if anyone owns a lo & sons Seville? What's your verdict on the quality of the bah, or any of the L&S bags?