The quintessential accessory; the handbag. If you are anything like me (and if you are reading this you might be) then you’ll have day bags in different colours & sizes, evening bags in different fabrics, totes, clutches, shopping bags, overnight bags, casual, executive and downright impractical girlie bags.
I was actually quite excited to see bags made of carpet! Yes, you read that right. And not only that, they are UNISEX. So you don’t only have to worry about your house-mate pinching your bag, you have to worry about your partner pinching it too.
The European runways were awash with these fabulous unisex Made of Carpet bags; and don’t they look like they can hold the suntan oil and a WHOLE lot more! This unique Indie business is the brainchild of Irina Bragin who launched her first collection in 2011 after a year of research and development.
Irina says being an Indie business is both demanding and rewarding because she has to make decisions about absolutely everything. Coming from corporate London where she was a small screw in a giant corporate machine, Irina says she now has the rewards she didn’t find in the corporate world.
To be an indie business is very demanding matter – you have to know everything and to be everywhere. You have to know every aspect of it. Have an idea about every step and task. Well … ideally.
Irina was inspired to start Made of Carpet almost serendipitously as information about Victorian fashion started appearing in front of her. She bought a bag allegedly made of carpet and then several others from Europe, UK and USA. She found that none of them was real carpet; they were furniture fabric, velvet, tapestry, kilim, mosque mat, simple cloth…certainly not made of carpet.
The absence of competition can be a good thing. But I was seeking to make a traditional carpet bag whereas the original technology had been long surpassed. I was starting from zero. So it took me a year to find the right suppliers, manufacturers and to undertake the necessary business preparation to launch my first collection.
Irina says the fabric she has exclusively made for her range by ‘a beautiful lady, very open-minded and adventurous’ is truly unique. She says she trusts the family-owned company implicitly. Carpet is a very difficult fabric to work with, according to Irina, so her unique & bendable carpet does not exist outside the fashion world. It’s rainproof, easy to maintain, does not leave fuzz on clothing and has a unique metal clasp designed by Irina and produced exclusively.
Whilst couture houses including Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Maison Martin Margiela and Ralph Lauren have versions of bags made of carpet, the prices are up to 10 times higher, says Irina. See how the Burberry models compare to Made of Carpet.
Irina says she loves the fact that Made of Carpet is a truly unique and independent brand in a world full of mass production.
Truly unique, high quality fashion handmade by artisans is the modern preserve of couture houses and indie businesses. Made of Carpet is my passion now because it’s the job without a job and the rewards are amazing.
Check out the beautiful ‘Mary Poppins’ inspired bags at Made of Carpet and be VERY surprised by the realistic pricing and unique designs. You can also see more Made of Carpet on their Facebook page, Twitter page and Youtube.
Made of Carpet bags are sold via their own absolutely secure e-commerce web store (payment getaway is serviced by SAGE – the best and the biggest in Europe) www.madeofcarpet.com
They are also available on Amazon Europe (Germany, France, UK and Italy), Amazon Japan and Amazon USA
Could one of these amazing bags find its way into your life?
For other unique, artisan bags see ‘Convict’ for very special Australian leather bags that come with surprising histories.