Luxury is synonymous with craftsmanship and considered design. It is both timeless, and yet requires moving with the seasons. In August, luxury leather brand Maxwell-Scott is launching an AW19 women’s handbag collection to achieve just this. Designed for the modern woman, the collection has been created to marry italian artistry and contemporary functionality, all produced in the heart of Tuscany.
The Design Process
Each luxury collection begins with a purpose. Behind the Maxwell-Scott’s autumn collection is a belief in everyday luxury and practicality for modern professionals. Accessories designer Catriona Forsyth, who has worked for the likes of Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson, developed a theme using references to aptly reflect the overall feel of the collection. Of the process she stated that:
“Practicality and a smart aesthetic were at the forefront of these designs. At this stage it is crucial to consider how these two aspects will work in tandem before the designs are sent to the factory to be refined.”
After discussions between the factory and the design team, the collection is ready to be produced. Maxwell-Scott products are handcrafted in the heart of Italy at a family-run factory. With Tuscany the epicentre of the traditional Italian industry, here their artisans possess a wealth of knowledge that is invaluable. The factory previously belonged to Domenico, with his son Roberto now at the helm. Almost the entire family still works here in the production, from the 79-year-old aunt to Roberto’s daughter. Leather craftsmanship simply is a part of everyday life.
At Maxwell-Scott, the focus remains both on distinct workmanship and primary materials. Only the very finest full grain, vegetable-tanned leather are used. Western cowhides are tanned with naturally derived dyes such as from the chestnut tree. It is a traditional process that requires skill and time, with the method taking up to 40 days. The result however is a highly desirable leather with a rich, warm finish. Vegetable-tanning is a sign of quality.
In the factory, the patterns are first scored into these large pieces of leather. Since the pieces of leather are sewn together at the end, some corners need to be thinned slightly – otherwise the needle will not go through the leather. Since the edges are a bit frayed by the cutting of the leather, they are again filed clean and coloured again. This ensures that the leather is consistent in colour and not brighter at the edges. Skilled hands craft this leather into handbags built to last years of daily use. In fact, before a Maxwell-Scott handbag leaves its factory, Roberto personally inspects each product again. It is this care and attention to detail which is vital to the creation of a luxury collection.