Monday, January 24, 2011


The retail landscape is such that it is filled to capacity with a sameness of product. No matter what the item or its price, there is some watered down version to appeal to almost any customer. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the handbag category, whether it is diluting the latest Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, or Valentino “it” bag, one can find some version somewhere and at a price that you can afford and still get the look that you want

. Today is about two resources who are not about being “me too’s,” they stand on their own knowing that they produce a magnificent handmade items, made of the finest materials that only a few can afford.

Steven Harkin ( is first up with a stunning collection of handbags and accessories for both men and women. Mr. Harkin presents a more structured product that comes in varying degrees of appeal for those interested in either utility or cutting edge design. The bags take shape from backpacks to shoulder bags to belts to clutches all made in Italian cowhide to your specifications. This to me is the epitome of fashion, when one can own a handbag that does not look every other handbag you see on the street. This is a collection for the discerning and well educated fashion client.

Fossati ( is similar in its methodology of doing business except here there is a deliberate intention of offering only luxury exotic skins in limited numbers and in limited styles. From “ring lizard” to karung, to painted python, you will find exquisite “jewels” which will last a life time because of their classic styling and their “uber” hand craftsmanship. There is an extra added aspect of these “gems” as they are produced in the USA but in an artisan “old world” atelier rather than some sterile mass producing factory. Each piece is numbered and includes the “edition.”

Call it art, call it jewelry, call it bespoke, but never mistake either one of these designers for mass produced leather goods.

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