New Campomaggi Bags Received!

So I haven’t been writing much lately, mainly because I have been feverishly working to ensure that we have plenty of Campomaggi bags in stock for all you fans out there. Some bags are so popular that despite our best efforts, we just can’t seem to keep them in stock. I apologize in advance for that, and to those of you who will have to wait months before being able to hold their bags in their hands.

The first fruit of my labor arrived this week … a shipment to replenish some sold out items and, more importantly, a bunch of new bags!! Because it will take many days before we get around to posting all of the new bags on our website, we put together a quick video to show you what we got. If you see anything that interests you, please let me know! I’d be happy to provide more photos or video. Oh, and one last bit of good news … three new Campomaggi briefcases are expected by the middle of next week. Enjoy!

PETALO GRANDE Large Laser-cut Leather Handbag by Caterina Lucchi (Product Review)

PETALO GRANDE laser-cut handbag
PETALO GRANDE laser-cut handbag. By the way, I am 5'5" and the bag in no way feels too large for me.

When we write product descriptions, we try to go beyond simply listing features and convey the essence, or the “personality” of the product. Often I’ll let a product sit on my desk for days before I feel like I am familiar enough with it to write about it. If it’s a handbag, I might try carrying it on my shoulder to see how comfortable it feels, or try filling it with different items to see what kinds of uses it might be best suited for.

With the Petalo Grande Laser-cut Leather Handbag, I wanted to try something different. So I had Daniele take photos of me as I was toting it around. The result was somewhat surprising … the image I had of the bag was not the same as what I saw in the photos! Because the bag is so light – one of the big pluses of Caterina Lucchi‘s leather bags – I hadn’t realized how large the bag seems from a distance. (I also realized that my sepia-colored sweater does not really bring out the nuanced java color of this bag). The bag IS quite large. You can fit quite a bit of stuff in it. But you won’t feel like you’re toting around a bowling bag, because even though it’s real Italian leather, it’s calfskin … super soft and supple, and light-weight.

I love the Batik, two-toned look of this bag. It’s subtle enough as to not detract from the gorgeous laser-cut flower motif, but offers just enough of a contrast to remind us that the understated brown is most definitely intentional. A very nice feature (also typical of Caterina Lucchi’s handbags) is the removable leather strap. I thought this bag would be first and foremost a handbag, and secondly a shoulder/cross-body bag, but to my surprise, it looked fantastic worn crossbody style – perhaps even better than high on the shoulder. I loved this look so much that I decided to take even more photos with my 1-day old HTC Vivid and play around with some of the nifty effects that would take several steps to do in Photoshop! These two were my favorite.

Camera Effect 1
Depth of Field
Camera Effect 2
Vintage Effect

Anyway, now that we have smartphones that can take high-quality photos and videos that can be uploaded to our server with just a couple of key strokes, we hope to post more photos and videos of our products going forward. Hmm, maybe I can use this as an excuse to go shop for some new clothes!

The DA VINCI Soft Leather Briefcase by Campomaggi (Product Video)

As some of you may have noticed, we name each and every Campomaggi bag after a notable Italian. It’s a very careful and thought-provoking process … the personality, character, imagery and features of the bag must match, and be complimented by, the figure after which it is named. Our Campomaggi bags are named after famous explorers, scientists, philosophers and more. There are a few obvious names, however, that have been reserved for fear of  another bag coming around that is even more befitting of those names. “Da Vinci” was one of them.

When we laid eyes on this soft leather briefcase, however, it didn’t take long for us to be convinced that the name Da Vinci would not go wasted on it. We think it is that beautiful, versatile, clever, and mysterious.

Transformations: The Amici

Amici Business Tote by Campomaggi

Campomaggi bags often break down categories, which is part of their charm for yours truly, an inveterate metaphysician.  Poring over the Marcopoloni website as I often do on breaks from my editing jobs, I noticed the Amici. It looked like a girl’s bag; and indeed, if you google “amici,” you will be informed that the name may refer to a girly bag. But Marcopoloni, like Campomaggi, isn’t interested in confirming other people’s conventions (which is part of their charm for this metaphysician). So I decided to look harder at this bag.

It had all the makings of a great man bag. It zipped tight; it had pockets on the outside for phone and keys; it was somewhat narrow, making it sit on the hip (for older men) but could ride next the buttocks (for younger, who don’t mind bringing attention to their buttocks). Best of all, it had generous handles, so the bag could be scooped up from the car seat or the seat next to you at the bistro when your lady friend just happens by.

So, Emi had to be alerted! Manbag sighting on website, but . . . . the Amici was being presented as a lady’s bag, or so it seemed to me; it had cousins on the site that were definitely lady’s bags, even by Campomaggi’s liberal standards (their lady’s bags are indisputably womanly). But could the Amici be both! The Amici is, after all, a Campomaggi bag.

After doing research, Emi agreed it could be a manbag. A new issue arose: in Marcopoloni’s holdings there were two versions (you are warned that Campomaggi bags tend to be one-of-a-kind). One version, in black, was definitively horizontal. Another version, in distressed cognac, was almost square. The difference was genderish, or at least I persuaded myself of this (and I hope someone will challenge this). The more vertical in cognac was worth a try.

And it has been tried and tried again. First, my Amici became the model for a new blog banner; even photoshopped, it holds its own. My Amici is like Wallace Stevens’s jar in Tennessee: “The wilderness rose up to it, / And sprawled around, no longer wild.” The blogosphere is indeed the new wilderness, and I hope my new blog, under the aegis of my Amici, will create a space for itself.

Second test: I recently used the bag on a trip to Bath, UK, where we stay at The Abbey Hotel and confront the grandchildren, at this point limited to Mary Elizabeth of the “terrible twos” and her younger sibling Frederick Emmanuel D’Evelyn, whom I have nick-named Il Presidente, and his lion-like roar bids fair for his living up to that handle. The Amici, if not quite defeating Mary and Freddie’s capacity for creating wilderness wherever they venture, at least reminded me throughout that one must not take appearances as definitive, that experience is constantly challenging stereotypes, and that the most we can hope for is that, in the end as in the beginning, love conquers all.

Bags personify our condition amidst universal change, of personal wandering in an open universe: this is the romance of bags as I understand them. On this trip, the Amici is my bag, and my bag is “literary,” so it will not be amiss to remove from its back pocket a haiku written on the spot:

Full English breakfast

one terrible two, one infant,

tears, wide-eyes, big laughs

Tom and Mary
Tom with Mary ... and his Amici peeking through!

Stazione by Giudi: the Evolved Man Bag

Stazione messenger briefcase
Stazione Messenger Briefcase

Young men who, on a day off,  can slow down, who know how to move as if they were old, are way ahead of the game. It takes talent and a certain bag.

Giudi’s Stazione is a most evolved bag. It’s a hybrid: A blend of messenger and briefcase, on a modest scale. It is no burden to carry, it has many pockets but little bulk, it zips up tight. It draws on many types of bag, but I’d call it a man bag.

A man bag is a bag a man is not embarrassed to carry, but it is not a briefcase or tote. It is too small to be a “work bag” – a new category which helps in marketing because it makes men feel they will be identified as a “worker” when in use. This need to be seen as working is one of the myths that keep men from being honest about their needs for a bag and the associated problem with self-expression: what does this bag, your bag, say about you?

As boomers mature, this identity as worker becomes problematic and finally false: I’m not working, I do not work, my career is over! I carry a bag because I like walking about (though on some days I make slow progress) and seeing things and people and I need to have some things with me.

I carry a bag because I don’t like vests with “multiple” pockets (I am not a mountain climber or an adventurer; I don’t turn leisuire into work). My bag may look like a briefcase, an echo from the past;  but it is a shoulder bag and only big enough for the novel I’m reading, my journal, my newspaper, my reading glasses, my keys, a pen, a flask for the grappa I will add to my espresso, and there’s room for something small I will pick up later in my wanderings, some nice chocolate. If I remember, I will get the mail – it’s always just bills these days, the children use email — and store it in my Stazione until I get home.

I am Odysseus, back from the wars, happy to have survived; Penelope is at home, or not (she’s a bit like me, likes to get out, we are not the jealous kind); I still wander, but I don’t make people suffer for my libido. I’m at peace with myself and my bag makes no apologies. It happens to be quite handsome, Giudi being a very fine outfit, masters of hides, and women do ask me about it, it has real charm. I like to think it rubs off on me, we’re that close.

Review of the STAZIONE Leather Messenger Bag Briefcase by Giudi

Daniele reviews the new STAZIONE Messenger Bag Briefcase by Giudi.

Transcript:

Hi. Today I want to introduce the STAZIONE: a new briefcase messenger bag by Giudi.

As you can see, it’s got the classic, sporty school-satchel design, but the smooth, high-sheen Italian leather and brass-colored hardware add a touch of elegance.

The front flap has two buckles – but they’re actually just for show. Hidden behind them are clip-in-closures … so you get the old-world coolness without the hassle.
The two open pockets behind the flap are really useful for small items that you might need to access in a hurry.

Inside, you’ve got one main compartment with a zipper closure, a back zippered pocket, a hook for your keys, a front velcro-pocket, and a couple of built-in pen loops and card holders.

There is also a larger zippered pocket in the back as well.
The shoulder strap is all leather, and you can adjust the length with this belt buckle.

All in all, I think it’s a great bag for business professionals, but I think it looks good with jeans, too … what do you think??