Quality materials, craftsmanship and the added bonus of supporting local talent - these homegrown handbag designers should be on your ones-to-watch list
Our minds are already compiling gift lists for the Christmas season (both for loved ones and for ourselves). God knows this has been a more difficult year than most, and all of us deserve to indulge and treat ourselves and each other to round off 2020. This year has seen us pay particular attention to local, homegrown businesses, especially independent designers who may have been struggling during lockdown.
A beautiful, well-made handbag will spark joy now and for years to come. Quality materials and craftsmanship can't be imitated from fast fashion, and with a piece like this, it's always worth doing the research and making an investment.
Creative director Julie Peelo launched her Dublin-based design studio just this year, with her designs handmade in Italian leather, and inspired by structered architecture. Her classic pieces are simple but statement-making, and we love the attention to fine detail.
Dee Mangan founded Kinsale Leather in 2014 with the aim of creating timeless, lifelong leather creations. Since then, Kinsale Leather has gone from strength to strength, showing at CREATE at Brown Thomas, and launching at Arnotts and select Kilkenny stores. If you're looking for classic, practical designs that will last for years, Kinsale is a real favourite.
Mastercraftsman Garvan de Bruir makes these beautiful leather creations in Kildare, using traditional craft skills from the area, combined with Garvan's own expertise and creative eye, to finish beautiful leather bags and accessories. Holdalls, saddle bags, crossbodies and even wash bags are all available in classic colourways and silhouettes.
Sinéad Roberts' spacious handbag silhouettes, paired with beautiful Irish materials, makes these bags some of the most covetable on the Irish market. Sustainable, oversized (yet practical), these bags strike the perfect balance, and their price point is an added delight.
For the past 8 years, Ana Faye has been making leather handbags and accessories in her workshop in Strandhill, Sligo, keeping to sustainable and high-quality standards throughout. Using Italian leather, nickel-free hardware and the finest craftsmanship, Faye's pieces are designed and manufactured in Ireland.