Making of a Bag: Sage Femme

Categories:Other Brands

An Interview with Corina Stefirta of Sage Femme

When I came across this new brand, I instantly fell in love. Sage Femme’s bags have clean lines, perfected symmetry, and classic shapes with distinctive detailing: all necessary hallmarks of Snob worthiness. Corina Stefirta founded Sage Femme after years of working at Tod’s, and her experience shows. She manufactures her own bags in her own artisan studio, which operates in the same space as her design studio. This is unheard of – unless you’re basically Hermès or something. If you’re wondering why the distinction is so important, it’s because Corina is able to collaborate with the artisan, ensuring each piece is produced in the most elegant manner possible, using techniques that allow for the highest-quality results.

When asked about what makes her process unique, Corina’s response was, “The uniqueness of my production process derives from the fact that I make my own products in my own workshop here in Italy. By designing in the workshop, I don’t have to worry about developing around volume-oriented seasonal collections. Rather, I can design and produce based on inspiration, see immediate results, and fine tune to my heart’s content.” Read on for the rest of my interview with Corina:

1) What’s your inspiration for the line?
The heart of the inspiration is expressed in our name “Sage Femme.” In French, this name has a double meaning. The words literally mean “wise woman.” It’s also the French term for “midwife,” a traditional female occupation that embodies trust, empowerment, and service to community. The concept of service is an important element of our project, which I’ll explain later.

Back to the idea of the wise woman: When I designed this line, I wanted to create models that expressed a distinctly female form of wisdom and confidence, an aura that derives from the sheer quality of materials, harmony of proportions and color, and unique practicality. To achieve this, I made a conscious effort to remove all unnecessary ornamentation and superfluous stitching. Simplicity of this sort poses a unique challenge in production. There are no distractions. It’s unforgiving of the smallest imperfection. The cut of the leather must be perfectly clean; the stitching, reinforcements, and edging, flawless. In short, it requires total, uncompromising, and even obsessive dedication to quality on our part.

I also wanted to integrate an almost imperceptible practicality. With my crossbody bag, the clean lines of the exterior hide a full five-compartment interior for organizing everything from a wallet, documents, and receipts to an iPad Mini. The end result, we believe, speaks for itself. To paraphrase Coco Chanel, if a woman carries an overly-embellished bag, you notice the bag, and if she carries a tasteful bag, you notice the woman.

The other inspiration for my line comes from the profession of my mother-in-law, a well-known midwife who practiced in the U.S. and more recently traveled the world, helping other midwives and women in need. I developed this line with the intention of sharing a significant portion of the proceeds with the foundations of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) andMidwives Alliance of North America (MANA). Our goal is to offer our financial support on midwife-led projects in the developing world where these “wise women” can make a real difference in the future of public health globally.

2) What is the price range? Were you mindful of being in a specific price range for marketing reasons or did the manufacturing process and materials drive your decisions?
The prices for the current models are $490 for the tote and $515 for the bucket and crossbody. This structure allows us to offer uncompromising quality similar to that of high-end Italian brands (for whom we have produced in the past) at a price point that’s less than 50% of what they charge.

When we ran the numbers, we were confident, given our unique ability to produce in-house and sell directly to the end customer, that we could offer the highest-quality product, pay our employees well, pass some of the savings along to the customer, and still donate a decent portion of profit to a worthwhile cause: namely midwifery in the developing world.

3) There are so many bag lines out there; why are you different? What niche are you filling that’s not already available to us?
I believe the crowded handbag market still leaves a gaping hole. On the lower end, there are bags in the roughly $150-$400 range. The bags in this category tend to focus more on styling and branding (and are often manufactured in China by licensee or franchised brands) than on materials or craftsmanship. How often have you seen a lovely bag in this range, only to wish upon closer inspection that the leather wasn’t so cheap or the detailing less haphazard?

Those of us who want a bag in a really nice leather and with quality workmanship inevitably have had to make the leap to the major fashion brands, who admittedly create beautiful bags in nice leather, but with prices that start at close to $1,000. Hence the gap: Either affordable bags with a mass market look and feel or fine European bags beyond the means of most.

To fill this void, I chose to offer the finest bags possible in the $400-$500 price range and to focus on premium materials and craftsmanship. As for the design, I strove to create silhouettes that suited my personal taste for understated elegance and incorporated the most exacting elements of fine Italian leather crafting, such as:

1) Premium leathers from Santa Croce sull’Arno (the holy grail of leather tanning in Tuscany) firm enough to give the bags body but soft and pliable enough to be delightful to the touch
2) Perfectly smooth, burnished, and finished painted edges – the results of a six-step edging process we have mastered in our workshop
3) Precise stitch lines with exactly three stitches per centimeter in premium Gutermann German thread, hand-terminated and tightened over borders for durability and cleanliness
4) Leather-covered rivets, finished by hand
5) Linings made out of either pure calf suede or high-quality Alcantara with pure leather pockets and YKK zippers for internal pockets.
6) A purposeful absence of metal fixtures and ornamental stitches, allowing the premium leather to speak for itself

4) Why are you producing them in Italy? What advantages does that give you?
So much about Italy’s identity is related to the beauty and authenticity that comes from the specific place of origin of many of its exclusive products. Indeed, in the world of wines, they use a guarantee known as “Di Origine Controllata” (D.O.C., aka guarantee of origin), meaning the grapes must come from a very specific place to assure their quality. The same is true with fine leather goods. In Italy, and specifically in the four regions where leather goods manufacturing is clustered (Tuscany, Veneto, Marche, and Naples), you can find a distinct, integrated network of small and medium-sized workshops that offer everything you need to create high-quality product.

I have my workshop in the leather-making district of Naples, and within a one-mile radius, I can find virtually everything I need for making beautiful and exclusive handbags: Dye-makers, tanneries and leather resellers, leather machinery technicians, box-makers…the list goes on and on. There is a also vast and rich pool of artisans: Model-makers, machine stitchers, prep-workers, cutters who have worked for the most exclusive brands in the world, and those who can lend decades of experience to every element in the development and production of a new bag.

The Italian leather-making districts are unique in their focus on small-volume, high-quality production. This is the significance of “Made in Italy” for Sage Femme. When we bring our handcrafted, exclusive products to life, we are not only expressing the unique talents of our the artisans in the workshop but also the collective skills of a regional network of artisans and suppliers with decades of experience in every element of high-end handbags. It is truly an honor and a privilege to work in the midst of such a richness of talent.

The Making of a Sage Femme Crossbody
Corina also explained the steps of their entire manufacturing process (specifically that of my blue crossbody!), down to every detail:

“As an introductory note, your model was created with a construction technique known in the trade in Italy as ‘lavorazione a Costa,’ roughly meaning ‘raw edge’ or ‘painted edge’ technique. This technique, when done properly and according to exacting standards, gives a bag an orderly, geometric, linear look. All the leather edges of the bag — instead of being turned or folded — are left exposed. The bag undergoes an ornate multi-step process in which the leather patterns are perfectly paired, glued, painted, burnished, and repainted with several coats of edge lacquer. The edges take on a firm, yet smooth surface, accented by top-stitching exactly two millimeters from the border that terminates elegantly with hand-stitched reinforcements. If you look at the bag from any angle, it stands upright confidently, proudly showcasing the converging lines of the gusseted compartments.”

1. Cutting: We hand-cut the patterns of leather on a rubberized surface using thick cardboard patterns as guides.

An Interview with Corina Stefirta of Sage Femme

2/3: Patterns first stage: Once all the patterns of the bag have been cut, they are ready to go into production. We then split all the leather to a consistent thickness, reinforce the leather, and couple it with the calf suede lining.

An Interview with Corina Stefirta of Sage Femme

4: Completed Patterns: With all the leather reinforced and coupled, we cut the patterns to the final size and begin the edging process.

5/6. Detailing: With all the patterns ready, we begin to construct the bag. Each piece of the bag is precisely glued, modeled, and hammered into place on a smooth marble surface.

An Interview with Corina Stefirta of Sage Femme

7. Construction in progress: As the pieces are modeled together, the bag begins to come to life and take shape.

An Interview with Corina Stefirta of Sage Femme

8. Topstitch sewing: As the pieces are glued together, they are machine-stitched with premium Gütermann German thread. Precision is key here. We make exactly three stitches per centimeter to give a touch of cleanliness and sobriety. Note that all stitches on the bag are on the outside of the bag in plain view (instead of being stitched and turned inside out), which requires great care and attention to detail.

An Interview with Corina Stefirta of Sage Femme

9/10. Hand-stitching: All machine stitching is terminated at the end with the so-called “travetto” — a reinforcement that is looped around numerous times by hand with a curved needle to ensure that the stitching doesn’t weaken as the gussets are opened and closed over time.

An Interview with Corina Stefirta of Sage Femme

11/12. Construction, later stages: Slowly but surely the bag takes form as the patterns are fit together and modeled with a tool called the “stringi,” which helps to press the edges together.

An Interview with Corina Stefirta of Sage Femme

13/14. Hand painting/Burnishing: As the bag reaches its final stages, it undergoes a series of edging steps. First, we apply the edge painting by hand and let it dry, then burnish the edges with a special rotating brush composed of felt and leather strips, which smoothes and rounds out the edges.

An Interview with Corina Stefirta of Sage Femme

An Interview with Corina Stefirta of Sage Femme

15. Final Piece: At long last, the Five-Gusset Sage Femme Crossbody is complete, closing a multi-step process that results in a bag of deceptive simplicity.

An Interview with Corina Stefirta of Sage Femme

Tags: A of Making Bag: Sage Femme

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A CLOSER LOOK: LOUIS VUITTON CROISETTE BAG

Categories:Other Brands

Louis-Vuitton-Croisette-Bag

A new bag from Louis Vuitton and we received a lot of positive responses. Take a closer look at the Croisette Bag.

A mini size handbag that has everything you need. And above all, it’s super cute. The top is crafted with a leather handle, it comes with a long leather strap for shoulder carry.

READ: Louis Vuitton Croisette Bag Details

The shape is even more beautiful and curved. It’s truly a lady bag adorned with a small tassel on the side.

It opens with flap & clasp closure, the interior features a flat pocket. The bag is crafted with the famous Damier Azur Canvas, of which you will certainly love.

Measuring 9.8’ x 6.7’ x 3.5’ inches, priced at $1590 USD via Louis Vuitton boutique.


Tags: Louis Vuitton bag A CROISETTE CLOSER LOOK:

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A Very Interesting First Review Of A Loewe Replica Handbag!

Categories:Other Brands

This is my first time ever writing about a Loewe replica handbag and I must admit this review was really interesting since I don’t have much experience with this brand.

Loewe Replica Handbag Review

You know how I always say that the more popular a brand or a style is, the easier it is to find a great replica? I’m afraid this review proved me right.

A reader of the blog asked me why there isn’t any review about Loewe replica bags on Spotbags and my answer is simple. My readers haven’t shown much interest in this brand before and there are very few replica sites that carry Loewe replica handbags.

But the Loewe Barcelona bag and the Loewe Puzzle bag have started getting some love from handbag aficionados recently, so replicas have also appeared on the market. It’s true, you don’t have a lot of replica Loewe bags to choose from but the simple fact they exist shows that this brand has potential.

Loewe Puzzle Shoulder Bag

Loewe Puzzle Bag – Rising Popularity

I do get why some people are attracted to less known brands though, it gives you a special feeling of exclusivity even if you’re wearing a replica. Not many people will carry the same bag as you and that feels nice. But the downside of this is that you are less likely to find a great replica…

One of my friends bought a Loewe replica handbag last year and she was kind enough to send me some pictures and a review. The Loewe replica Flamenco bag was bought from 1to1replica which is now known as Ilovebestbag.net but they don’t have this bag anymore.

Loewe Replica Handbag Review

“Hi Eva,

I tried a Flamenco from ilovebestbags [they used to be 1to1replica right] cos i was curious and it was just 289USD. I do not recommend it.

You know the protective blue tape they put on the hardware? When I removed it, part of the tape was on the bag and the top layer peeled off!

Loewe handbags are very affordable for the level of quality – comparable to Hermes but 1/8th of the price!

This is an older model from couple years back. I don’t see it anymore on the sites. These 4 are pictures I’ve grabbed off the site back then.

Loewe Replica Flamenco Bag Tassel

Replica Loewe Flamenco Bag Tassel Detail

Loewe Replica Flamenco Bag Side View

Replica Loewe Flamenco Bag Viewed from the Side

Loewe Replica Flamenco Bag Lining

Replica Loewe Flamenco Bag Interior

I was pleased when I received it, but it only lasted 5 minutes because when I started removing the protective film, this is what happened.

Loewe Replica Handbag Flaw

Loewe Replica Handbag after the top layer peeled off

Loewe Replica Handbag Protective Film

Loewe Replica Handbag the top layer on the protective tape

After contacting them, I was told this is the first time something like this happened, and because its hot [in August] and lambskin is really soft, this happened. They will take more care sticking on the film in future.

I didn’t return it, as I didn’t want to deal with the hassle and this is on the inside of the bag strap.

I regretted the decision 1 month later. A rough patch started developing and growing bigger. This is how it looks now:

Loewe Replica Handbag After one month of use

Loewe Replica Handbag Leather Patch Turned Rough

Replica Loewe Flamenco Bag Lining

Replica Loewe Flamenco Bag Inside Of the Bag

Loewe Replica Flamenco Bag Front Logo

Loewe Replica Flamenco Bag Front Of the Bag

Back of the bag – ironically the better side that’s not peeling

Loewe Replica Flamenco Bag Embossed Leather

Loewe Replica Flamenco Bag Back of the Bag

This is how it looks like on the back, beautiful:

Loewe Replica Flamenco Bag Leather Zoom

Loewe Replica Flamenco Bag Embossed Leather Detail

Unfortunately the peeling on the front means I don’t recommend buying Loewe replicas – they are simply too niche for the replica world. They probably have very few sources so it’s really the factory quality and I doubt they make 1:1 standard, maybe just AAA. As you’ve always said Eva, go for the popular ones!”

I have to agree with my friend here. Loewe replica bags are quite a nice market at the moment because they haven’t reached an IT bags status yet. Maybe if more people start showing interest in this brand, more replica manufacturers will be willing to invest in them. I think my friend was brave to buy a Loewe replica handbag – curiosity can sometimes bring great surprises. After all, buying replica handbags is a trial & error process. But too bad the leather started peeling off so soon, this Loewe Flamenco bag with embossed leather was really beautiful.

Unfortunately I don’t know if the lining and the metallic interior tag of this Loewe replica handbag are correct because I can’t find photos of this Loewe Flamenco bag anymore. All I know is that now Loewe uses stamped leather tags for the interior of their Flamenco bags.

Has any of you girls bought a Loewe replica handbag before? I’d love to read about your experience!

Tags: replica Loewe review A FIRST of Very Interesting Handbag!

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Kris Jenner’s Hermes bag collection with an estimated worth of half a million dollars!

Categories:Other Brands

“I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet” SATC’s Carry Bradshaw once famously said and it seems like the Kardashian-Jenner family matriarch Kris has taken the words to heart. The bagaholics at Purseblog recently pulled out their calculators to estimate the net worth of Kris’ memorable Hermes bag collection. Featuring a mix of Birkins and Kellys in various sizes, her 16 exotic Hermes bags could be worth a whopping $534,000!
Puseblog’s list is not necessarily comprehensive, so she might have more of these gems hidden away. Additionally many of the bags might be bought from third party dealers or auctions and some might be gifts, so it’s not a given that she paid Hermes’ original price for all of them. Nonetheless her arsenal features an enviable diversity of picks. Check out a few of our favorites below with estimations of their sale prices

Kris-Jenner-Hermes-Braise-Crocodile-Birkin

Kris-Jenner-Hermes-Electric-Blue-Birkin

Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Kelly Bag, 25cm, $116,000Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Kelly Bag, 25cm, $116,000Hermès Limited Edition Candy Birkin Bag, $12,000Hermès Limited Edition Candy Birkin Bag, $12,000 Hermès Birkin in Ebene Leather and Natural Toile Fabric, 35cm, $11,000.
Hermès Birkin in Ebene Leather and Natural Toile Fabric, 35cm, $11,000.

Besides Hermes, Kris’ handbag collection also features plenty of Chanel, Céline, Valentino and Givenchy.

Tags: bag Hermes Collection A WITH of Kris Jenner’s an estimated worth half million dollars!

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Would You Pay $450 for a Kendall + Kylie Handbag?

Categories:Other Brands

You may have heard about Kendall and Kylie Jenners’ recently launched shoe line, aptly named Kendall + Kylie; the youth-focused (but not cheap) collection landed in some huge retailers, including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Handbags were conspicuously absent from the mix, especially for two sisters who love them so much, but that won’t be true much longer: Women’s Wear Daily reports that for fall, the sisters’ handbags will debut in stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks.

Many licensed celebrity fashion lines aim for a mass-market price tag, but like the clothes and shoes in the Kendall + Kylie line, the bags will occupy a price range that’s more in line with “contemporary” handbags: $75 to $450, for shapes ranging from clutches to roomier day bags in materials like croc-stamped leather and calf hair. The bag above, which is called the Brooke Mini Satchel, will retail for $295, according to Racked. For comparison’s sake, that’s roughly comparable to brands like Rebecca Minkoff and Botkier.

Although the Jenner sisters are well known for their tastes in designer fashion, their very young fanbases might make handbags on the higher end of their price range less interesting to those who can afford them. Women in the market for a handbag that costs several hundred dollars are likely a bit older than those who look to Kendall and Kylie for style inspiration without feeling self-conscious about it, which could make bags a tougher sell than, say, Kylie’s affordably priced (and notoriously quick-selling) lip kits.

Tags: For A Would You Pay $450 Kendall + Kylie Handbag?

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Taylor Swift’s Been Having a Love Affair With Chunky-Heeled Shoes Lately

Categories:Designer Shoes

Tags: shoes A WITH Taylor Swift’s Been Having Love Affair Chunky-Heeled Lately

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