4 Things you need to know about hand­bags By de­signer Kat van Duinen

The lux­ury and ex­otic leather goods de­signer shares how to choose – and take care of – the per­fect bag.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Glamour 2017 March - by Kat van Duinen

1Buy these ba­sics

I love big bags for day­time. Choose a large black leather tote that can hold ev­ery­thing from phones and tablets to makeup. Also, carry a medi­um­sized clutch in­side your tote that you can sim­ply take out when go­ing for lunch or a quick meet­ing.

Minia­ture box clutches are trendy and great for evenings. Try a min­i­mal­ist style with a sim­ple and struc­tured shape in shades of white, black or brown.

2 Go ex­otic

Rep­tile ( like snake and crocodile), os­trich and stingray are ex­otic leathers that can last up to 10 years or more if taken care of cor­rectly.

Lux­u­ri­ous, sup­ple and re­silient, each skin is dif­fer­ent, much like a hu­man fin­ger­print, and it can take up to a few days to pro­duce a sin­gle bag by hand. Os­trich is my favourite ex­otic leather to work with. It’s the strong­est and has the most dis­tinc­tive pat­tern. I al­ways make sure that the skins I use are sourced from the farms of cer­ti­fied sup­pli­ers.

3Pro­tect it

Take care of your bag as if it were your child. Don’t just throw it on the ground, place it on a seat in your car or use a ta­ble hook when out at a restau­rant.

Be care­ful when drink­ing tea, cof­fee and red wine, as these stain badly.

Clean the out­side of and the in­ner lin­ing with a damp cloth. If the lin­ing is suede, use the suede cleaner that you use on your shoes. And store in a dust-proof bag to avoid marks and scuffs.

4 In­vest and save

Com­pared to fast fash­ion buys that won’t last over time, an in­vest­ment buy on a lux­ury handbag will save you money in the long run. “You can’t af­ford cheap prod­ucts if you don’t have much to spend,” as my grand­fa­ther al­ways said. So you’ll end up spend­ing more money fix­ing items that are eas­ily dam­aged than if you bought two to three qual­ity prod­ucts that last sev­eral years.

Also, look to vin­tage shops. ‘ Pre- owned’ doesn’t mean less amaz­ing.

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