Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Luxury Handbags by Quentin Mackay

Visiting Quentin Mackay’s handbag showcase in 43 Berkeley Square was exciting in itself as there is no shop front thus giving the aura of entering a secret and exclusive place. You felt like once pressing the buzzer to this wonderful town house you had to say “Joe sent me”. In this case it was Louisa from Neville McCarthy PR.
Quentin Mackay has always believed that for a luxury good to be truly luxurious every aspect in the creation of that good should be of a high standard. So it is not surprising that for his own collection of luxury handbags, not only is grade “A” leather used but the actual process of dyeing and fixing the colour is of a high quality. The hides he uses have been treated with aniline as a dye which produces delicate soft supple leather. Because aniline is transparent, it allows the grain structure of the leather to be seen. All the hardware on the handbag (including the signature ball & claw) is jewellery finished and coated in either one micron of gold or platinum.

A/W2010 is Quentin’s third season and is comprised of two distinct lines – the signature Ball & Claw and the Showgirl.
For his Ball & Claw line there are four bag styles: The Persia, the Jeannie, the Delphine and Daphne. All names were chosen for no other reason than Quentin liked the names – a good a reason as any I say.
The Persia is a smart classic day bag with the ball & claw at the base of the handles and smaller versions attached to the zip ends. It comes in large and medium sizes (called mini Persia). Colours used are two toned racing green with chocolate, brushed gold, burgundy, teal, tan and of course black. Leathers range from calf, python, pony skin, alligator to the most exclusive leather of them all– the Porosus crocodile.
The Jeannie is a casual slouchy bag with one shoulder strap made partly of chain with the signature ball & claw at the base. The chain can be adjusted to create a shorter strap. Here the side pocket zip has a leather tassel zip fastening. Colours used are burgundy, black, and natural. Leathers range from woven buffalo, python to the white tailed deer.

Both the Delphine and Daphne are evening baguette shoulder bags with one chain shoulder strap and the ball & claw decorating the front of the bag. On some designs, the ball & claw becomes the actual fastener. The Daphne comes in silver, light gold, black, burgundy and one embellished with Swarovski crystals. The leathers include quilted patent calf and quilted textile effect goat suede. The Delphine colours are gold, black and teal; leathers python and calf
All the bags in the ball & claw line are lined with either the signature red calf suede (why red? Because he likes it and also makes it easier to find items rather than a dark lining) or in a cream.

For the Showgirl line there is the large CanCan bag which mixes luxury and technology which Quentin describes as the “Luxology “philosophy. Inside is a Beetagg multicode which stores information about the brand and can be decoded via your mobile. The handles are made of carbon fibre and chain in palladium. This makes the bag lighter in weight than the ball & claw collection. Also the lining is of a lighter red ottoman fabric instead of the calf suede. The CanCan comes only in black patent which is quilted for a modern take on Quentin’s family tartan. Believing I cracked the reason why it was called CanCan (the sides of the bag’s opening go in and out like a cancan dancer) I was advised yet again it was just because he liked the name – ah well nice try.

Each handbag is individually numbered and crafted by hand exclusively in Italy. Quentin not only wants his handbags to look good but ensures that (where size permits) they have a functional internal zip pocket, two internal slip pockets for mobiles and a unique key/security leash. With this you need never to rummage around in your bag searching for your keys again!
Quentin Mackay handbags can be found in Browns at South Molton Street and online at www.quentinmackay.com


  1. Hi,i'm from Italy and i love to discover new blogs and sites. Thanks for your articles. To Your Success

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