These days almost every brand uses the word luxury to describe their products, although in reality there are very few out there that truly uphold the ideals of what luxury should and originally represented – artisanal craftsmanship, high quality materials and the creation of specialised products.
It was with this in mind that we have seen the rise of several niche brands that are determined to provide the consumer with a truly luxurious product. Our latest discovery is Peau de Chagrin, which was launched earlier this year by fashion industry PR veteran Mesh Chhibber and artist and handbag designer Sofie C Guerrero.
Fed up with designer products that were badly made and poorly designed, Peau de Chagrin (the label’s name is taken from a novel by 19th century French author Honoré de Balzac) speacialises in functional objects d’art made by the finest European artisans. Each piece is crafted by hand using age old traditions and is designed to be handed down from one generation to the next.
“We have been travelling around Europe searching for individual craftsmen who use traditional leather making techniques. The process of making things properly is slow but we want to work with artisans who maintain the tradition and knowledge of European craftsmanship. Due to the difficulty of finding craftsmen with knowledge and skill means we only intend to release two or three leather objects/accessories a year,” says Mesh.
Peau de Chagrin’s first collection consists of just one product – a structured leather day bag, which is made by one master craftsman in the Swiss Jura who does everything from the cutting of the leather to stitching the bag. It comes in one colour – a beautiful yet classic tan leather, which happens to be chrome-free to minimise environmental impact. Luxe details include burnished edges and decorative stitching that really elevate the bag from simple to exquisite.
Of course real luxury comes at a price. Due to the laborious processes involved in creating each bag, only 100 pieces are available via their website at a price of 3,500 euros.
It’s a small price to pay for a product that will withstand time.