16 Feb 2016

Delvaux: When You Are In The Know

Delvaux is a brand for those in the know.

A most beautiful luxury handbag maison established in 1829.

I want to tell you all about it.


Delvaux, When You Are In The Know, vickiarcher.com

Let’s start at the beginning.

I had not heard of Delvaux and as a woman forever obsessed with handbags I must admit to letting the side down. I was introduced to the brand some months ago and asked if I would like to visit the atelier in Brussels, meet the creative director, the team and the artisans who hand-craft these delicious morsels.

Why not?

I had never been to Brussels and after some “handbag” homework (they are exquisite in real life) I understood what a great privilege it was to be invited.

Delvaux have a handful of exclusive boutiques around the world and are represented in some of the finest department stores. What I found totally refreshing was a brand not covered with massive logos and nor on the arm of every “it” girl. These are handbags for real women who have a passion for beauty and who understand true style and elegance.

Sounds perfect, right? How could I not be in the know?

There is such joy in discovery and especially in a world of globalisation and trending “must-haves.” I understand that business is business and trends are a vital element to building a fashion image.

There comes a moment in a mature woman’s life when the thought of individuality, beauty and craftsmanship stands before all.

The Delvaux atelier in Brussels is striking.

A grand atelier with soaring light-filled space to showcase not only a selection of the latest handbag range but also an environment that is home for the men and women who work on each and every bag.

Delvaux feels like an extended family. There are those who have been part of the tradition for more than thirty years and there are others, younger artisans who are new to the family. They create side by side as each handbag is hand made from start to finish. It takes at least one day to make a Delvaux piece; from the detailed inspection of the skins to the intricate stitching inside and out. Each artisan has his or her station where they painstakingly work their magic.

Sidenote: What caught my eye were the handbags used by the women of Delvaux. These were loved and used by the artisans themselves. They weren’t precious, locked away in glamorous wardrobes, they were hanging or sitting on the desks and used for everyday life. 

Before my visit, I had not appreciated what was involved in the making of these unique treasures. Yes, I understand the terms, hand crafted, artisanal, one-off, and exclusive and the various emotive words to describe luxury.

I didn’t understand at all.

Delvaux, When You Are In The Know, vickiarcher.com

I am guilty of taking for granted the hours, the skill and the loving hands that make beautiful handbags. There must be a commitment to excellence and patience must be in abundance.  They are one of a kind and each handbag has a subtle signature. One gentleman in the atelier told me he could identify every bag that he had made. He knew his handiwork and for him it was unmistakeable.

I won’t race past or neglect such beauty again. It is not necessary to own Delvaux to appreciate the finesse; for most they are but a dream.

Delvaux, When You Are In The Know, vickiarcher.comDelvaux, When You Are In The Know, vickiarcher.com

Christina Zeller, the creative director is not only beautiful but blessed with superb style and elegance.

She understands the traditional history of the house of Delvaux and at the same time is infusing some re-invention into the designs. Aside from the classic shades and variety of skins, there is colour. How wonderful is the thought of a handbag in just the right shade of piment?

The truth is I felt like a girl in a candy shop.

If you have a passion for handbags like I do, you will understand my feelings. There is not one handbag more beautiful than another; each design has its own personality and functionality.

My love affair started with the Simplissime, has been tempted by the Brillant, teased by the Tempête and tormented by the Madame.

Delvaux so generously gave me a Simplissime cross body bag; I would not be truthful if I didn’t tell you it was the icing on the cake to the most wonderful day. What women wouldn’t be delighted to be presented with such divine extravagance?

In hindsight of course I am chuffed every time I wear my most gorgeous bag, for I am well and truly a convert, but the very best part of all is now I feel part of the Delvaux family.

Thank you for having me Delvaux, xv.


When You Are In The Know

divine inspiration

simplissime // brillant // tempête  // madame


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Cathy C

Hello Vicki,
Such lovely bags ~ and I love that the distinction is in the craftsmanship and not the logo. What a fun adventure to visit Delvaux.


It really was Cathy, a total eye opener for me.
They were such a wonderful group of people who were creating these beautiful bags and I left with a sense that they were artists not manufacturers..


Oooooooo, I want them all!! Who knew these treasures existed?! Nothing compares to a handmade objet by skilled craftsman or artisan. Thank You, Vicki. Love it when I learn something new everyday!!


What an experience you had! I learned of the brand last spring while in Las Vegas at Barney’s walking through with a friend. The salesperson who was so lovely and not “selling” showed us these bags and told of their history. They are exquisite! Most likely out of reach for me but I very much appreciated the quality and craftsmanship that goes into each item. Enjoy yours!


They have such history and that is one of their greatest charms. I like that the handbags are so beautiful yet entirely discreet. As I said .. they are a dream.. and I was so fortunate to be invited into their beautiful world… even for a day… :)

Barbara Novello

Thanks for the memories! When I was married in 1965 in a courthouse outside Washington DC, I wore a St. John knit suit and carried a beautiful Delvaux suede amber colored handbag. I wish I had it today!


Vicki, how wonderful this must have been. I LOVE Delvaux — I own two Le Pin’s. I bought my first one in black @7 years ago. I wear it constantly and it looks the same as it did when I bought it, and I don’t baby my bags. The craftsmanship and quality of Delvaux may only be rivalled by Hermes. Their products are just exquisite.


I am sure the comparison has been made, Gail..
They have made some beautiful shades of the Le Pin this season… and I like the deep bucket very much… I guess I am more used to a cross-body style or a bag with handle rather than a deeper bucket shape… Something to try ;)


What a wonderful time you must have had on your visit! I have never heard of the brand but I can see from the pictures that the bags are well made and very pretty. The style you received as a gift was my favorite as well. Oh, and I don’t like large logos either on my handbags.

When I read about artisans that make such exceptional products, I am always in awe. The patience and attention to detail are remarkable. Wouldn’t it be neat to have a family business like that? Such a legacy.

Taste of France

My husband (who’s Belgian) gave me a gorgeous Delvaux scarf that I wear all the time. I keep hoping to find a bag in a friperie one of these days….but I think even the most fashion-ignorant Belgians (there are one or two, but not many more) know Delvaux.

Anita Rivera

Good evening dearest Vicki! Late again….an early work schedule. But this is one DIVINE post. Those handbags are outrageously well made and simplistically designed to be classics. And both women are GORGEOUS. The older woman has such class and style that I am LOVING getting older as I see the possibilities for my hair and makeup too!

Enjoy your bag!!! Anita

Jan Nash

I too had not heard about Delvaux until last year and fell in love with them. I need a visit to Brussels but it is a long way from Sydney to purchase a bag.

La Contessa

I had a similar experience before we married in the GUCCI FACTORY outside FLORENCE………my husband use to work there and my FATHER IN LAW was a MANGER there.I GOT THE TOUR TOO…………a lot of pride goes into those bags……………it was fascinating.
I walked down the isle in shoes made just for me for my wedding by GUCCI!We were also given a set of luggage for a wedding gift from a few of the ARTISANS………………..who were making them at the time!!!!As you can imagine I still have the luggage and the shoes!XX


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