As a relatively young bag brand, De Marquet was launched recently in September of last year - however, the brand name itself, De Marquet, has roots in a much older lineage. The Swiss designer and owner Raffaella Iten Metzger, beautifully connects her luxurious brand to her family tree, while also relating to the reality of a modern day traveling European woman.
De Marquet was the name of Raffaella's great-grandmother, a noble Viennese who represented all that Raffaella and her brand values. The De Marquet name 'perfectly represents tradition and consistency, as well as the beautiful family ritual of passing favourites from one generation down to the other,' explains Raffaella. Family influence is even carried on through the unique design of the 'Carousel of Class' logo, emphasising the variety of elegant and chic accessories De Marquet has to offer. The roof of the carousel is represented above, with the initials of the brand name subtlety hinting at the noble family crest from which it originates.
When thinking about the needs and desires of many modern women, particularly in this global and wanderlust age, the need for a reliable handbag is indeed high, however the actual availability of a multi-functional bag - one that can be a companion in various forms - is a need De Marquet recognises. Bringing together quality and sustainability with sleekness and beauty is a concept that the De Marquet brand impressively grasps.
While the brand's name is clearly a huge influence in De Marquet's inherent values as a leader in accessory design, Raffaella, as a young entrepreneur, was always exposed to the fashion industry one way or another before launching her brand. With a marketing and advertising background, it is simple to see how her great grandmother's authentic approach has been passed down through the generations, truly inspiring the creative (and much-needed) fusion of multi-functionality with aesthetics.
'I have always been traveling a lot and was missing bags that had the sort of multi-functionality I was looking for,'
Raffaella explains. The most important element of De Marquet, and what makes the brand quite unique, is the multi-purpose element of the designs combined with high quality aesthetics. Designing bags that are practical but which can also be used for more than one function are key to De Marquet - and this is how the first bag was born.
The DoubleDuty bag, in a variety of colours such as caramel with python leather or chocolate with Dollaro leather, comes with supplementary leather handles as well as bamboo. The DoubleDuty bag can also be turned into a detachable clutch or can be used a small cross-body bag simply by using the additional chain strap. 'It's what I absolutely needed for short trips, when you can't possibly take three different bags with you'
Raffaella says as she explains the moment the concept came to be, 'and thus the perfect allrounder for every occasion.'
Meanwhile, the famous Night&Day collection, while much smaller in size than DoubleDuty, is similar in versatility. With no other bag in the world like it, the Night&Day collection contains flaps which can be easily interchangeable, allowing for the smooth transition from the same spacious elegant bag being an every-day around town accessory to the perfect going-out bag at night. This concept is so unique that De Marquet has protected the design with the World Intellectual Property Organisation and cannot be duplicated.
Handmade in Italy, the important Italian tradition of craftsmanship in fashion design is crucial to all De Marquet bags. Using high-quality Italian leather tanneries and textile producers, the process of creating De Marquet bags begins with simple pencil drawings. With approximate measuring as well as hand-chosen Italian materials, the process of bringing to life a handbag from pencil to fabric is a creative collaborative journey with the artisan, so that the practical and aesthetic aspect is brought in line with the technical feasibility of a particular bag design.
The long process for designing the perfect handbag is indeed worth the investment to Raffaella and her brand: 'The most rewarding was, and still is, seeing elegant and fashionable girls and women sport my creations and getting so much positive feedback.'
Once the new model is agreed upon, the artisan elaborates a prototype which is checked over by the designer and undergoes a series of tests to assess its durability and multi-functionality: 'I check the prototype, carry it around a few days to see if adjustments are required and choose or change leather and colours,'
explains Raffaella, 'after that, we're ready for an exclusive production of maximum 30-40 pieces with different platings and colours'
. Importantly, the entire process of designing a bag has in mind not only versatility and quality for the client, but also has at its heart respect for the artisans and their work - in other words, less 'fast fashion' and more sustainability instead.
Another gorgeous collection, and one that captures both sustainability and individuality, are the CosmoPolitan bags. As a boho collection reflecting the hippie-chic personality of the designer, CosmoPolitan bags are an intriguing and colourful assemblage of patchwork shoulder bags with large guitar straps that can also function as stylish belt bags. Ranging from black leopard print, blue suede, and golden metallic centres, these bags are perfect for the independent, classy and fashion-conscious woman who adores originality with a hint of eccentricity. CosmoPolitan, with its chic detailed straps and range of patchwork patterns and colours, are a vintage dream.
The SS18 collection will indeed continue the bohemian style. Currently De Marquet is working on the prototypes of soft and multifunctional hobo bags which can be smoothly turned into bucket bags in an instant. Suede, as a beloved fabric of the brand, is sure to be incorporated into the season's collection. De Marquet is also working on silk 'suitcase' pieces, such as versatile tunics, which can adapt from day to night. This innovative ability to magically turn one accessory into two for different purposes and settings, is an exclusive tradition which we look forward to seeing this season.
The De Marquet shop calls the heart of Bern home, a place for clients who are independent, stylish and fashion-conscious, who 'don't wait to be given a handbag - they buy it for themselves'. However, one doesn't need to travel to Switzerland to own a premium bag. A sleek and simple online shop provides the perfect alternative for women on the go to choose their own bags, either from the comfort of their own home or at the airport, with a click of the mouse. However, while the online shop and cozy Bern location are thriving, Raffaella strives to see her business five years from now more on the international fashion scene. Look out for De Marquet being proudly displayed in flagship store windows throughout European fashion capitals in the near future.
This article first appeared in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of LOVEFMD magazine. Download the digital edition from www.lovefmd.com or order the print edition here.
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