Sweeney’s recent relocation to Tuscany — giving him proximity to the master craftsmen and tanners of Italy — is apparent in the quality of the new collection. The colors are rich with ebonies, caramels, and white and the construction combines Savile Row linings with snakeskin, braided bridle strapping, and refined industrial hardware. The results are textured and tailored bags that are never fussy or feminine.
Part of the line’s intrigue lies in its independent spirit. In a market crowded with luxury leather-goods companies with global market dominance and a war chest of advertising dollars, this small operation is doing something truly innovative. Highlights of the collection include a white-on-white duffel of snakeskin and braided leather, a weathered hobo in chocolate leather and snakeskin, and an ebony-colored, woven-leather duffel with bulbous, tan outer
pockets (for your iPod) and dark brown handles. The shapes are classic (totes, doctor bags) and the hand-tailoring is superb.
The collection is available in select high-end retailers, including Liberty and Harvey Nichols in London and Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Sweeney is currently designing limited-edition collections exclusively for Harvey Nichols Hong Kong and Barneys Tokyo. Not as readily available as the big, European leather-goods brands, this line is for those partial to products that are not plastered on the pages of every fashion rag.
The bags are sure to garner more attention for the women’s line and accessories that Sweeney has been showing since 2000. Madonna is reportedly already a fan.
Photos: Pauric Sweeney bags