When my friends ask me what is that one product, in the emerging fashion market worth investing in, I reply: a bag!
At first, I see a slight puzzlement! For some, an IT bag must cost as much as a fancy car to have good quality while others would trust their money only to recognizable brands. If that’s what they want, fine by me!
But I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t take that chance to manifest the existence of the local retail that has so much (better) to offer.
So I pull out my “emerging fashion’ card up my sleeve and commence my fearless mission!
“Sleek, unique and creative design”, I say.
“High quality with reasonable pricing”, I announce with satisfaction
“Flexible and personal customer service. Bah! Even a direct one with the designers”, I narrate reminding myself a lovely email I received from Monika Przywara-Strzałka
“No fast passing trends. Instead, timeless design that will follow you through seasons and maybe even generations!”, I proudly show my fuschia Pilewicz bag that I bought (4 years ago!) for a friend’s beach wedding and find myself wearing it with the winter coat!
“While we might not be saving the planet. We support the small steps that hopefully will lead to the giant leaps”, I say shamefacedly
“And finally, we support dreams and life projects of young creatives”, I daydream
Having said that, here’s my little guide of eight Polish IT bags. Treat it as your gift inspiration and/or that flash of light next time you’ll (really) need a new bag.
Atomy – conscious brand
The real beauty of Atomy lies behind the scenes.
By looking at the retro-inspired and beautifully simple designs, we don’t see the mottos and practises that the designers have sewed their brand with. And there a few!
Let’s start with lean manufacturing. Have you heard about it? It promotes a minimalization of waste during the production processes. But it also puts the human aspects and environmental needs on a pedestal.
What’s more, the creators and the local craftsman make sure that each and every single leather left-over is reused for other smaller parts.
By a well-thought-through geometrical design and hand-made construction, they created a sustainable choice that is for us to make!
Price range: 125 – 400 euro
Mandel Bags – circular concept
I love how Mandel brand introduces itself with a (still!) unique circular fashion approach! They change so that the planet doesn’t have to!
They design, produce and offer us a creative yet functional IT product. We buy it. It brings us a little bit (or a lot) of joy. It fits with our beloved outfits, carries our most treasured possessions. But the years pass, and maybe it’s high time to go separate ways or maybe your kitten had some fun with it too? Then what do you do?
Well, Mandel has three excellent answers hiding under three simple actions – Repair, Reuse, Recycle!
If you feel like you need to update your accessories, send back the Mandel bag to its own secondhand/rental section – surely some kind soul will happily take it over.
Or maybe you want to give it another chance? Then send it for the repair and the fix-up team will do magic!
Price range: 140 – 250 euro
Zisou – durable and functional
Is there a more graceful material than wood?
It’s elegant, resistant, it olds with class and will always remain unique with its nature-created patterns and warm smell.
And that’s exactly what pushed a founder and a former antique renovator, to create a collection of wooden (birch and ash) bags.
She perfectly captured and materialized that antiquity but managed to sculpture the design into the everyday practicality.
The clutches are produced in Poland basing on traditional technologies and carpentry craftsmanship.
The wood itself is well resistant to any weather conditions and is perfectly protected with ecological preparations making it an ideal daily object!
If that wasn’t enough, you can take a small part in the design process and order a personalized laser engraver so that the Zisou remains yours and only yours!
Price range: 150 euro
Lobos – wearable art and storytelling fashion
What seemingly looks like classically designed bags is just a canvas that serves the Lobos designers to express their creative concept where art blends so seamless with fashion!
By designing a 2in1 product, they preach the beauty of versatility, and by incorporating all sorts of decorative art techniques, they cherish the originality and freedom of expression.
So how does it work?
By simply detaching or attaching the ornamental flap (that comes in a set) you can customize (in a speed of light!) your bag depending on your mood and tell your individual story!
And to transform it into your absolute statement piece, the brand is offering a personalization with a hand-painted graphic chosen and even sketched by you.
Price range: 290 – 360 euro (doesn’t include hand-painted personalization)
Molehill – classics for nomads
Would you believe that such a materialistic thing as a bag was an effect of a very spiritual trip to the Himalayas?
Inspired by a local tribe and a rather social symbol of bags and backpacks, the creator of Molehill – Łukasz Król – was determined to mirror its role within a more modern environment. And who reads better the most complicated cultural codes than digital nomads?
What’s more, the same contemporary wanderers who value quality and functionality above all can finally reach for a piece that will blend perfectly within their demanding and always ‘on the go’ lifestyles.
Molehill is an excellent fashion response to the challenging times we’re living in and has everything it takes to become that lifetime essential piece. For him and her.
Price range: 100 – 800 euro
Monika Przywara-Strzałka – strength on demand
I mention Monika’s brand on any appropriate occasion only because of how much I believe in it!
Three factors made me a forever faithful supporter.
Primo! When purchasing my first bag, I received the loveliest e-mail from Monika herself who just wanted to let me know she was about to start cutting and putting together my bag!
A personal approach – check.
Secondo! Przywara-Strzałka can be an international ambassador of simplicity. The boxy yet feminine designs have the power to dress up or down even the most complex looks.
Longevity and versatility – check.
Terzo! I’m not ashamed to admit that I literally use up my bag. I carry it everywhere, even hiking! And you know what? It doesn’t wear off at all!
High quality – check.
The art of leather runs in Monika’s blood since generations. Now, through the craft of purse making, she’s sharing this family passion with us.
Price range: 80 – 150 euro
Slava Varsovia – Slavic soul
When looking at Slava’s designs, I immediately think of the noble constructions of Cristóbal Balenciaga and the meticulously constructed pleats of Mario Fortuny.
But this time the influence is somewhat more rustic than the Spanish warmth of origin countries of both designers.
Slava draws her inspirations from harsh, grey and cold yet rich of emotions Eastern European scenery reaching to the local craftsman and highlighting the handmade artisanal.
Don’t expect to see the entire Pantone palette but rather basic colours framed in classic forms like shoppers, clutches, pouches or baskets.
Price range: 70 – 340 euro
Sabrina Pilewicz – your little Italy
That is probably the most ‘colourful’ and ‘out there’ brand within my selection. But there is a reason.
First of all, we all have that quirky part of us, so why not manifest it through a joyful object without actually sacrificing our local fashion integrity!
Second of all, Sabrina, inspired by Italian design, is capturing so well its essence of beauty, elegance and warmth.
And just like in the Italian architecture, her designs are luxurious but uncluttered, well-made with a pinch of sleek elegance (and fun!).
So why not taking the Powerpuff pouch to the summer garden party and then carry it with your favourite brown fall coat?
Price range: 140 – 625 euro
Whether you got here by reading through (thank you!) or by scrolling down (thank you for stopping by!), I hope that I managed to light in you a sparkle of interest and change that way we perceive the IT bag.
P.S This post is NOT sponsored and is based on my personal experience and honest opinion.
Homepage and cover picture credit: Lobos