Our handbags and accessoriesSaturday, 01 September 2012 by Belen Echandia
Belen Echandia’s handbags & accessories are designed to fit perfectly into the modern woman’s busy lifestyle.
Every bag features a leather key holder, 2 smartphone pockets & a secure zipped pocket. We use the softest leathers and beautiful polished zips and line our bags with colourful & luxurious ribbed silky grosgrain lining.
Each Belen Echandia is hand-crafted in Italy in a family-run Italian atelier, by experienced Italian craftsmen who have produced leather goods for many of the top European luxury brands. Since Belen Echandia bags are designed to work for your lifestyle, most have multiple/interchangeable straps & all have several compartments and pockets. We have always prided ourselves on designing beautiful yet practical, well-organised bags.
Made in ItalyEach season, the first step towards developing a new collection is visiting the leather and fabric fairs in France and Italy. We source beautiful leathers in vibrant colours, materials and hardware in Italy.
PreparationThe skilled artisans in our atelier cut every piece of lining and leather by hand.
Here you can see the lining of one of our bags being prepared in the old-fashioned way. You can imagine that this takes a lot of skill and concentration!
When each piece is cut the bag is stitched, the lining and hardware is added, we wrap it up with care and send it on its way to you.Here you can see the hardware being added to some Love Me Minis in chocolate leather...
...and here you can see one of our tags being stamped.
Our Creative Director Jackie recalls the first time she saw one of our handbags being made: "I was transfixed. Before I began designing leather goods I had never previously thought about how or where the bags I bought were made. It is truly a fascinating, laborious process when done in the old-fashioned way."
Product namesFor a long time we didn't name our bags, as we searched for a more original system than the women's names used by many designers. Jackie recalls "One day I was sitting in my studio reading through the wonderful email reviews we receive every week and I was inspired. I suddenly thought that since our muse is the Belen Echandia woman, we should dedicate our collections to you by naming them after customer comments". And so we did.
Some of you say you love the way our bags are soft and strokeable (Stroke Me), that you find them extremely wearable and use them for everything (Take Me Anywhere) or just that you love yours (Love Me).
Now that we've evolved, we have other names as well, of course. In 2010 we launched our Cities collection, which will comprise bags from all the most stylish cities around the world - London, New York, LA, Tokyo, Paris, Madrid, to name a few.In contrast with the mass-market luxury brands, it is very important to Belen Echandia that our bags are produced in Europe. European ateliers have a history of excellent workmanship and Italian leather is world-renowned for its finishing.
The importance of Europe
They are masters of a leather craft which has been passed down and perfected through generations. Most importantly, our collections are hand-produced in very small quantities. It is impossible to produce such quantities in the huge, mass-market factories of Asia and Eastern Europe.
You may be shocked to hear that most large luxury companies now mass-produce their bags in countries with little or no leather tradition, most often in China. Lower wages result in higher margins. When you buy one of these bags, you are really buying into a name and an advertising campaign. By contrast, when you buy a Belen Echandia bag, you can be sure that it is ethically-produced.
If you're interested in the process of a bag being made, you can visit our new website which details the production of a custom bag and features bags being produced for our customers