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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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