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I’m always excited to talk about great bag designers; and let’s face it, we all love an up-and-comer. So I’ve been hunting around to see if there are any hot new designers on the rise, and I’m happy to report on two of the best that I’ve come across.

1. Angela Olsen from Angela Valentine Handbags.

Angela Olsen designs, creates patterns, cuts and sews each bag herself (with the help of her husband!). She uses an industrial sewing machine to put it all together. Yep, hand made in the USA one at a time – impressive and seriously artisan. Angela is obsessed with using only the best and most unique leathers.

I personally think her Loel in Military Bee Saddle Bag is just gorgeous. It’s made from Latigo leather. What’s that I hear you ask? It’s cowhide leather that’s combination tanned. First it’s chrome tanned (chrome-tanned leather, invented in 1858, is tanned using chromium sulfate and other chromium salts. It’s more supple and pliable than vegetable-tanned leather); then it’s vegetable tanned (tanned using tannins and other ingredients found in different vegetable matter, such as tree bark prepared in bark mills, wood, leaves, fruit and roots). Latigo is one of the most expensive cattle hide leathers due to the work involved in this combination tanning process.


Angela Olsen's Loel. Photo: Angela Valentine.

2. Lynn and Tiffany from Heirloom.

Friends since college, they both lived lives of the classic “parachute kids”, constantly flying back and forth between Asia and the USA. Lynn’s father and uncles ran their own handbag line and have over 35 years of experience in leather goods manufacturing – the perfect background for Lynn to start her own line. Tiffany inherited her Interior Designer mother’s eye for elegance and classic designs; as well as being a certified bag fanatic – always obsessed with having the latest ‘it bag’ on offer. In 2007 Lynn and Tiffany decided to quit their jobs and start their own handbag line. They spent two years working behind the scenes with highly experienced craftsmen, world renowned fashion labels, and getting their hands dirty in leather tanneries and production lines. And the result is Heirloom.

Lynn & Tiffany of Heirloom. Photo: Heirloom.

The bag from the Heirloom line that I’m especially obsessed with is the Twin. According to Tiffany: “A woman’s strong independent spirit is shown through the hardware bars that gives structure to the soft supple cowhide. The Heirloom logo is an artistic extension of the letter H, incorporating Chinese traditional latticework that is subtly sewn to create a perfect juxtaposition of edge and elegance.”

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Heirloom's Twin Bag. Photo: @heirloombags.

I’ll tell you about some other great new bag designers next week.

In the meantime, are there any new amazing designers you’ve come across lately? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

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