Photo: Courtesy of theMadly
The beautiful copper buckle on a leather messenger bag hails from a blacksmith on top of a hill in a tiny town in the Philippines.Actually, every material used to make the bag, from accessory maker theMadly is from the Philippines, and the bag was constructed there, as well.
Every season, Jake Quellman and Melanie Dizon, founders of theMadly, choose a new country to explore and then use inspiration from that land to make a new line of bags with all of the products coming from that place as well.
The duo, a married couple with design and photography backgrounds, launched the company in 2010. They consider their bags to be works of art, but also functional carriers for both men and women. So far they have traveled to Peru, Japan, Turkey, and now Brooklyn to create seasonal lines of bags.
“We want our bags to transport you to the country we gathered the inspiration for the bag from,” said Dizon, whose background is in fashion design and accessories.
“Bags are about portage. They carry the things in your life that belong to you, that you need, and have memories attached to them,” Quellman added.
Anthropologie, Barneys New York, and other boutiques have recognised the craftsmanship in the bags and picked up the line for their stores. Prices reflect travel, materials, and local labour costs, and this season, the pair’s Brooklyn-made bags are retailing for between $485 and $595.The bags are named for artists, photographers, writers, and characters, such as “The Hemingway” and “The Kurtz,” Marlon Brando’s character in “Apocalypse Now.”
Every season there are normally six to eight styles of bags in two different colours.
“We want our bags to have a nomadic feel for the user,” Quellman said. “You can feel the indigenous roots of the bag, yet can wear it anywhere and it makes sense. It transports you to where you want to go.”
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