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Mary McCartney: Moment of Affection


Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.

Courtesy of Valextra.
Courtesy of Valextra.
Courtesy of Valextra.

Valextra’s Makeover on Madison Avenue and All-New Superbag

By Eliza Jordan

May 3, 2017

Design and architecture are two major sources of inspiration for the Italian leather goods company Valextra. The two facets are seen throughout the brand’s classic collections, offering structured shapes, clean lines, and elevated materials—and their boutiques around the world are no different. If you pay close attention to the intricate detail, you’ll see and feel familiar shapes and textures as you explore its accessories collections and international boutiques.

Valextra’s luxury leather items are made from a high-manufacturing tradition, which draws from the past to reinvent the present. Some of the brand’s most successful and popular designs date back to the 1930s and ’40s—but the most recent Iside bag is Valextra’s bestseller. It paints an evolving yet authentic picture for the brand, showing its audience that old designs can be reimagined, and new ideas can rise, too. And right now, there’s nothing like a new-world take on an old-world design and no time like the present to come forth with it.

Open Gallery

Courtesy of Valextra.

This year Valextra opened one new store in China, at Plaza 66 in Shanghai, and reopened one in Japan, in Roppongi Midtown in Tokyo—and both stores have created a chance for a new twist on the tried-and-true past. And its New York boutique on Madison Avenue also received an updated makeover that follows the design approach of its Asian sister stores. Careful consideration was paid to color choice—such as for the bold yellow “Steelcut 2” fabric walls by Kvadrat—and varying surfaces. The space features ceppo di grè stone, a material present in traditional Milanese architecture from 1930 to 1950, and funky navy blue strips of ottanio fabric from Italian textile specialist Dedar. The contrast between the sleek dark stone, sensual textures, and bright colors is immediately striking, and then engaging.

In addition, Valextra has released a new limited-edition bag for Spring/Summer 2017 entitled the Superbag, which can be found at the Madison Avenue store. The reimagined Iside bag was inspired by Ettore Sottsass’s and Alighiero Boetti’s travels and works of art and design. Derived in design (and name) from Sottsass’s Superbox, a cabinet on a plinth similar to a totem created for Poltronova in 1966, the bag is clearly a work of art.

Open Gallery

Courtesy of Valextra.

The new Superbag is playful, colorful, and graphic, with a set of strict principles, too. Colorways are bright and patterns and sharp: a royal blue backdrop supports arched, angular stripes in black, white, and the same blue; a large side stripe of orange and white is daring against a hot pink base; a large taupe blob is perfectly placed atop a beaming yellow. As seen in the bag’s four different patterns—Stripes, Pocket, Opposite, and Blob—the clean lines and compact, structured frame give way to an inevitably iconic accessory. Enriched with detail and complemented with pops of color, the Superbag is sure to super-stun.

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