Now, more than ever, designers are creating pieces that women want to invest in. I personally have always taken a practical approach to building my wardrobe – while I am open to experimenting with new trends, I tend to invest in beautiful, well-made pieces that I know will last more than a season.
I think this is a philosophy that more and more women are adopting (just look at the recent autumn/winter 2014 shows) which is why I thought it would be as good to launch this column. The idea is to introduce brands and products (both old and new) that are timeless or destined to be classics of the future thanks to their high quality, beautiful craftsmanship, wearability and above all, simple yet intelligent design.
Belgian luxury house Delvaux embodies all these qualities and more. It’s actually the oldest luxury goods maison in the world (it was founded in 1829, before Vuitton and Hermes and it has long been referred to as the Hermes of Belgium.
Established in Brussels by trunkmaker Charles Delvaux, the maison later expanded into bags, many of which were patented as early as 1908. In 1933 Franz Schwennicke took over the company and transformed it into an exclusive label known for its luxe handbags. His wife Solange took the reins after he died in the 1970s, producing seasonal collections and some of their most iconic designs along the way. In 2011 the house embarked on a new journey when it was acquired by the Hong Kong-based Fung family under their private investment arm, First Heritage Brands.
It was then that the brand brought on Christina Zeller as image and product director, whose CV includes stints at brands like Givenchy where she created must-have bags like the Nightingale and Pandora. Rather than create brand new styles, she delved into the brand’s archive of over 3,000 bags, to launch two collections a year, in addition to small leather goods, scarves and jewellery.
Today Delvaux has various lines categorised in term of price, functionalities and shapes but the most exclusive is the Heritage line which features modern heirlooms like the Brillant which are updated with modern details. Every piece is still made in the company’s original factory in Belgium, using the same techniques. Some styles take up to 25 hours to complete and come with luxe details such as a super soft nude leather lining.
Top of the must-have list is the super soft Madame, a shoulder bag which is a favourite with Sarah Jessica Parker and Olivia Palermo. It comes with a shoulder strap which can be doubled or worn long, and minimal gold hardware which adds a modern touch. Choose from solid or bi-colour styles such as black and navy. Meanwhile, Le Tempete was originally created in 1967 and features cool metal closure system, and to me, is way more modern than the Birkin.
Whatever style you choose, it’s something you will cherish forever.
Delvaux is at the Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Hong Kong. www.delvaux.com