Are you in the market for a new handbag? If so, you may want to turn your attention to contemporary Irish bag designers, says style editor AISLINN COFFEY …
With the forecast for luxury fashion sales uncertain, it’s time to throw our support behind Irish fashion labels, handbag designers worth investing in. The wealth of homegrown design talent is relatively unknown, but they have something special to offer, everything from minimalist XXL shoppers to feminine retro styles.
The Costume Room
Based in Dublin, Sinéad Roberts designs sustainable, minimalist, fabric XXL bags with price points that won’t shock. It’s this winning combination of their spacious silhouettes (large enough to stow a picnic blanket and laptop) and affordability that makes them a sure-fire winner. Roberts’ oversized yet practical bags strike the perfect balance between homespun and contemporary edge, the SS20 fashion accessory jackpot. Roberts also designs sustainable, contemporary, gender neutral clothing for women and men. The one to invest in? The indigo raw organic denim cross-body bag, €240, www.the-costume-room.com
Outstanding, avant-garde leather creations by Una Burke have been worn by a host of celebrities including Daphne Guinness, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. Burke is the reigning queen of sculptural leather. Focusing on brass studded vegetable tanned leathers, she designs (and makes by hand) her works of art in her south London atelier. The one to invest in? The expertly-made jade green Shield leather bag with gold-coated brass studs. Made from multiple layers of cowhide joined to create a sculptural form. This bag is leather lined with the same leather as on the outside and it has enough space to hold all of your daily essentials and can be worn over the shoulder or cross-body, £1,350stg; www.unaburke.com
Cork-based label Kinsale Leather’s bags are crafted from sustainably sourced leather in seasonless colourways; think chic nudes, forest green, buttery browns and everyday black. Created by Irish Accessory Designer of the Year Dee Mangan in 2014, Kinsale Leather designs are simple and elegant with no loud logos. Think shoppers (overnighters), backpacks, clutches and wallets handmade from soft-but-sturdy leather. The one to invest in? The two-way Jamie bag is one of the brand’s most covetable styles. It transforms from a cross body to a clutch by removing the simple leather strap and is ideal for almost any occasion, €170; www.kinsaleleather.com.
Born and raised in Chile, Walsh has been living in Dublin with her Irish husband for nine years. After studying at DCU, Walsh launched her fashion accessories business. Her designs are statement-making with an artisan touch, created for a confident wearer who wants to invest in a stand-out piece to transcend the whims of trends. The one to invest in? The Audrey Alter Ego bag. Inspired by Audrey Hepburn, the handbag is made from buntal (straw from a talipot palm) and leather. It is lined with back suede and is suspended by a choice of two straps; an 18ct gold-plated shoulder chain as well as an black cross body strap. Practical? Probably not. Covetable? 100 per cent. Black Audrey Alter Ego bag, €320; www.alewalsh.com
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