NExt generation ‘IT’ bags
Conversation pieces in the bag. From sustainably sourced fabrics to take-you-anywhere bags, this is your roundup of 8 new accessory designers with a whole lot to say.
Aesthetic: Handcrafted by pixies (who read Vogue in their spare time)
Self-coined the world's happiest accessories brand, Dauphinette is pure, unadulterated joy in a handbag. Created in 2018 by Olivia Cheng, all her pieces are handmade in New York using reclaimed fur and vintage leather- so every bag is one-of-a-kind. Cheng’s hand-painted chinoiserie prints and fluffy ostrich feathers are guaranteed to inject some magic into any millennial wardrobe. It’s fair to say Manhattanites and NYC ‘It’ girls are utterly smitten.
Aesthetic: Think Botticelli’s Venus, Renaissance goddess for the street style generation
Silk satin drawstring pouches and flamboyant feather trims, what’s not to love? The philosophy of Les Fleurs centres around the Renaissance era- their softly romantic yet impactful designs could be straight out of the clutches of any 15th century muse. Launching in 2017, Les Fleurs is a Spanish born brand created by María Bernad who sources the best quality materials from all corners of Europe. As Bernad believes, clothing pieces are destined to have thousands of lives so the history of every piece should be extraordinary. And with silk pouches like mini-masterpieces, Les Fleurs is extraordinary indeed.
Aesthetic: Lady bags 2.0
With cult brands like Reliquia and Valet Studio already to her name, Sydney-based designer Ana Piteira excels at creating modern, wearable accessories with oodles of wow factor. For Respiro Studio, Piteira has adapted the same technique used to create her coveted hairclips: so all their bags are crafted from hand-poured resin sheets where colours are layered to create unique patterns and textures. Handily, resin chain straps are sold separately which allow you to customise your bag for any occasion- from cocktail parties to your daily commute. In June, Respiro Studio is set to launch larger tote styles. Count me in.
Aesthetic: Fleeing the city via the Orient Express
NST Studio is a Miami based accessories brand which is also excelling at slow fashion- (the rising alternative to fast fashion which promotes sustainable materials and production cycles with low environmental impact). At NST Studio every piece is made-to-order (read: get your order in stat) and handcrafted using lustrous satin or Toile de Jouy cotton resulting in a product that is truly one of a kind. Their signature knot bags are a greener (and cheaper) alternative to The Row's must-have ‘Ascot’ tote as sported by Priyanka Chopra and Gigi Hadid. The slouchy hobo silhouette is perfectly sized for all your essentials, but they also have a zip closure and interior pocket so your belongings don’t rattle around. Ideal.
Aesthetic: Sustainability and sass in equal measure
You heard it here: London-based designer Ioanna Topouzoglou is changing the face of sustainable fashion with her minimalist, Art Deco style handbags. No hessian weave sacks in sight, her creations will take you from desk to dinner. Think bucket bags to belt bags and everything in between, Mashu’s designs combine clean, geometric lines with striking colour. Each bag is designed in London and handcrafted in Greece by local artisans to ensure a fully traceable production process. Better still all the materials are from recycled sources to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint. Mashu is the sustainable, eco-conscious accessories label everybody will be talking about.
Aesthetic: Your gym bag but throw some sequins at it and make it EXTRA
Longtime friends Carolina Neri and Bérengère Lux founded CA&LOU in 2010 as both a challenge and a bet. Although it’s unclear what this so-called bet involved, there are certainly no losers here. All of their embellished evening bags are made in Italy but have the insouciance levels of an off-duty Parisienne ‘It’ girl. With their sling-it-over-your-shoulder charm and mega-watt sparkles, it’s not hard to see why these gorgeous creations have captured the attention of buyers and fashion editors alike.
Aesthetic: Lisboa city break- just enough room to smuggle your Pastéis de Nata
It’s hard to find a contemporary bag designer who juggles the practical to stylish ratio as well as Manjerica. With their bold colours and minimalist forms, Manjerica’s cross-body bags are inspired by the natural beauty of The Azores in Portugal. The comfort and lightness provided by childhood memories of the region have become like a compass for the brand’s designer, Teresa Bettencourt. While Manjerica is inspired by modernity, its essence in the past so their bags are destined to be contemporary classics.
Aesthetic: I’m chic and don’t I know it
BY FAR is the Instagram brand du jour, every influencer worth their turmeric soy latte is channelling some good old 90s nostalgia with these mock-crock shoulder bags. The label’s bestselling Rachel bag (named after Rachel Green from Friends, naturally) is the standout piece and a worthy rival to Fendi’s (rather pricier) Baguette bag. Founded in 2016 by twins Valentina and Sabina, and their best friend Denitsa, BY FAR proudly takes its name from the initials of their three children- who are no doubt too young to have experienced some of the more suspect 90s fashions. Lucky nippers.