Good Stuff

Their Favorite Things: Downtown’s Liave

Handmade leather bags you can live with—or in.

July 29, 2009


If you feel yourself drifting toward a natural aesthetic and tactile, artisan-made goods that look and feel as though they will age gracefully and get better with time, you’re not alone. At Liave, owner Cornelia Veit loves the bags by Studio Malou in part for this very reason.

Another reason to love these boxy, user-friendly sacks: They’re beautiful. The simplicity of their design and integrity of the materials—blue-black, taupe, chocolate brown, and honey-tan Dutch leather—makes them feel organically chic.

Although Veit carries mainly housewares, and gorgeous ones at that, she reports that she can hardly keep these bags on their pegs. Interesting, especially considering she’s the only American stockist. She’s got a line out to the Malou designer in the Netherlands and expects more within a few weeks. Prices are alarmingly reasonable, all things—the Euro, the craftsmanship, the exclusivity—considered.

Styles and shapes vary as we all do when it comes to what we chose to carry. I really love the blue-black suede number in the slideshow. For the most part, I’m a long-shoulder-strap kind of girl, but smartly, you can convert this one with a few snaps and carry it by hand. Because you just never know.

I also love the honey-tan model shown with the aforementioned one. It’s giant. When I first saw it reminded me of the suede satchels used to carry firewood in from the cold. A short list of things a person (because let’s be clear here: these bags could easily be categorized as co-ed) could cart in that thing include: all the ingredients for an eight-person cassoulet, a rolled-up sleeping bag, twin Bichons Frise, an old-school Hermes typewriter and a ream of paper, a two-year-old child.

Farmers market shoppers, weekenders, hitchhikers, and bag freaks would do well to go check them out.

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