Re-live the glamour of the golden age of travel – handbags by UK designer Karina Hesketh

Bags of character

From clutch bags to satchels and even phone covers these beautiful bags are designed and handmade by travel memorabilia collector and fashion designer Karina Hesketh, using only top grade leathers from the UK and Italy. Each bag is only produced once in each colour, guaranteeing exclusivity – we all know how important that is.

Karina uses vintage scarves, airline, cruise liner and hotel labels and other accessories collected on her travels. She also tells us she has an antique suitcase full of travel and hotel ephemera collected by her grandfather on his world travels as a chef aboard luxury cruise liners in the early 1920’s.

“Every bag is made, from cut to finish, entirely by myself. I seek out trimmings every time I go abroad, All of my trimmings and hardware are vintage, some fittings even date back to 1910. I have a vast collection of buttons and buckles that were inherited from my Grandmother, a milliner, and my mother, a sample tailoress for Hardy Amies in the late 1940’s and 50’s. This makes each bag unique.

I source my leathers very carefully, to ensure that each design has some unique feature. I will never use the same pattern more than ten times – even then, the design will be repeated in different leathers, with different trimmings. I always use fine English leathers for the exterior of my bags but line them with a heavier hide, so the stress is placed on the lining, we women seem to carry a lot of heavy duty “stuff” in our bags! I have based a lot of my designs around vintage frames from the 1930’s and have recently started to use more linear shapes. Designing bags seems to have its own organic form and can be quite sculptural, as you are not working to the confines of body shape.”

Karina’s collection is updated monthly to incorporate new colours and styles. For buyers wanting something really special; Karina makes a small selection of unique one-offs each month, using antique frames and Edwardian buckles to order.

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Related Post: The art of travel through hotel labels with Louis Vuitton.

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