- Process -
Made to order, made to last
Every item coming out of the studio - from the simplest of the card-holders to the most complex of the handbag designs - is handcrafted by the designer, from start to finish. For a glimpse of some of the techniques which go into constructing a bag watch the short film.
Work is offered on a made-to-order basis and is only available direct, this being the best way to ensure the finest quality of finish and continue the close relationship with clients which is at the heart of the label.
Every new order from the Core Collection has a unique number associated with it. This is simply the next in the sequence of that particular model.
A gold-plated disc is stamped with this number and presented to the client as part of the Commission Box. It acts to guarantee the order and to confirm their place in the waiting list. A second counterpart disc is also struck and put aside to be secured inside the bag as it nears completion.
Next, the client's name is carefully written on a slip of parchment. This note will be sealed inside with the final few stitches, a simple record of this particular order hidden within the body of the bag itself.
All the leather is sourced from northern Italy - an area renowned for producing the highest quality hides available.
Various thicknesses of leather are needed, each has its own degree of strength and flexibility to be put to use in the different areas of the handbag. Two forms of leather are used : 'Bridle' leather is known for its grain structure and its ability to be burnished to a clean surface. Whilst still strong, 'Bubble' leather is softer to the touch with a mossy suede underside. It is ideal for the bodies of the smaller designs.
Each item has a drawer set up for it in the studio. This will be its base while it is in production - a place to keep the various components organised.
A drawer is set up in the studio where these components are collected together - a home for the bag as it is brought to life.
Cut by hand
Every component is cut by hand. This task calls for a precise set of tools, many of which are unavailable so have been made especially for the purpose.
After the panels have been cleanly cut the edges are bevelled and then hand-burnished to leave a crisp shine.
Every single stitch-mark must be cut by hand using a razor-sharp awl. There are 738 of these stitch-points in the smallest of the Core Collection designs with many thousands on the larger models. If a single hole is cut out-of-line with the others, this component must be discarded and work begun on it once again.
Pure gold-plated hardware
All the fittings, from the studs to the feet, are plated in 24c pure gold.
'24 carat' equates to a purity of over 99.95% pure gold. This ensures a beautiful bright glow which will slowly mellow to a warm amber over the first few years of use. Should a client prefer the bright qualities of fresh gold this can be easily maintained with a quick polish once a year. The generous thickness to which the hardware is plated ensures there will never be any danger of the gold wearing through even on bags used daily for many years to come.
The process of hand-stitching is perhaps the most labour intensive of all those involved and the one for which the label is most known. The technique is an ancient one, known as the 'Saddle-stitch', which creates a stitch of great strength and flexibility. The linen thread used is the finest available. Lin Câblé 'Au Chinois' has been continuously produced in France since 1847,
It can take many days, sometimes over a week for the larger models, to carefully 'close' a bag. No sewing machines are used. Every single stitch is formed by hand using nothing more than an awl and a single cord of beeswaxed linen with a saddler's needle attached at each end. These two needles pass in opposite directions through the same hole, creating a pair of stitch lines which run back and forth, firmly bound together in a double helix.
When the bag is almost complete, the first components to be created - the gold sequence number disc and the parchment slip - are ready to be attached.
First the disc is secured inside the bag, confirming the sequence number of the order and ensuring its provenance can be traced.
Finally the parchment slip is hidden from view with the final line of stitches and will only be seen again should the bag require a repair decades down the line. With these stitches the clients name is bound with the bag forever and the order is completed.
When the item has been completed, the gold polished and the leather waxed, it is ready to be handed over. The client's name is etched onto the permanent records - simple brass plates kept in the studio.
The presentation boxes are either couriered to the client directly or handed over in person. This presentation represents the end of a long process in the studio but - for the client - it is the start of a long life with their new handbag.
All items are personally guaranteed.