|CARLA MANCINI collection now at r.h.ballard|
Which brings me to my current fave find: Carla Mancini. I have been searching for a quality, American-made handbag for my shop for a long time and I finally found one. These are lifetime bags meant for daily use, travel, and they are just a joy to hold and touch.
Since 1995, Carla Mancini leather bags have been designed and made in the USA, using Italian leather and incorporating her signature hand-stitching. They release only a limited amount of new designs each season. I love the new hues and they come in inventive uses of croc and woven textures.
|Grace-woven top zipper tote--the BEST!|
|Grace, croc style in three colors|
|Melanie, woven in a gorgeous Cobalt|
|Grace, croc, top-zipper Tote|
|Kara, large shopper, woven tote|
|Kara, woven, show with additional closure option|
|Kara, large shopper, woven, in beige|
|Bali, cross body purse in leather and brass|
The story behind these amazing bags begins in Italy.
Mariana Goschin is the designer, and along with Richard Elgrichi, founder of the company, created the trademark Carla Mancini in 1995.
Carla spent most of her childhood at her father's atelier, in small town Constanza, Romania, watching him craft all sorts of leathers into jackets. She remembers how fascinated she was by his trade, "I was drawn to the smell and feel of the leathers he fashioned. I began assisting him by sewing the quilted linings... that's how I got my start in creating and designing".
After graduating from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Mariana moved to America. In 1990, she met Richard Elgrichi, "he observes my passion and allows me to run with my ideas. We balance each other and we consider ourselves not just partners, but good friends" Mariana explains.
The company's philosophy is to produce a unique product, crafted in the USA using the highest quality leather. The bags are easily recognizable by the signature saddle-stitched walnut linen thread found in every piece. Mariana and Richard frequently travel to Italy where they hand select the leather they will feature in the coming season.
Mariana views handbags as a necessity of life and passionately produces patterns and styles that fit each individual. "your bag is really an extension of yourself and should look and feel right on you she explains. "Italy inspires me, vintage bags inspire me too" she says.
Carla Mancini's amazing designs have been embraced by the likes of Elle, Lucky, WWD, Audrey, and other fashion publications, the duo cultivated a list of renown retailers including Verve-NY, Traffic-LA, Fred Segal-SM, Siany, Tootsie's-Dallas, and Miss Jackson's. Through it's association with product placement leader the Ross Group, Carla Mancini has accessorized Hollywood's A list celebrities Jennie Garth, Kate Hudson, Winona Ryder, Rachel Bilson, and Lake Bell. The designs have also been featured in "My Best Friend's Girl", "Dirty Sexy Money", "The Gossip Girl", and "Fool's Gold", just to name a few.
~ Joanie Ballard