October 26, 2010


Valextra is a fine example of why Italians are famous for flawless leather work. The brand produces iconic bags using only innovative design to effectively stand out in a sea of logos. I often find myself staring at Valextra's offerings during my regular Barney's browsing. Sometimes we forget about just appreciating excellent craftsmanship in a handbag. Valextra has a wide range of highly sought after leather goods to suit any person's needs, with the added advantage of emblem/logo-free design to stand the test of time. They do not make "it" bags; for some, they make THE bags. And all of this, perfect for the resurgence of minimalist accessorizing.

Naturally, when a brand produces classic after classic, similarities are bound to errupt with other fashion super-powers. For example, take a look at these bags from Valextra's Spring/Summer 2011 Collection:

left: Valextra SS2011, right: Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Cèline

See how Valextra's pink frame clutch looks like the frame Speedy from Louis Vuitton. The closure and carry of Valextra's bucket bag is also very close to the So Kelly bag from Hermès. And while the bowling bag is a universal handbag shape, see how the last bag resembles both the speedy and the new Kelly bag Phoebe Philo's luggage tote for Cèline.

Valextra is easily missed at the handbag line up because there is not necessarily a logo or prestige pull. However, there is a heritage and aesthetic from this brand that makes it the perfect option for that customer who loves the look of the current "it" bag, but would like a more low-key piece to translate from season to season. It will be made just as well (if not better) with high quality materials, it is free from heavy branding, and it costs just the same.

So don't pass up Valextra. I know it sounds like the name of some villain in a sci-fi movie, but really it is the label of her fierce handbag.

- jerome

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