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You know what I love coming home to? Surprise packages in the mail! Complete with a handwritten thank you note addressed with some super neat handwriting. Click for pretty! Click to see what’s inside! Click if you’re just plain kaypoh :)

A little while ago, R called me up and asked if I wanted to attend a trunk show for a young and upcoming handbag designer known for his cool, quirky box clutches – spotted on the likes of Anna Dello Russo and other famed fashionistas. Never one to turn down free bubbly or an opportunity to check out something new, I begged invites for the girls and we made an evening of it.

On arrival, we were greeted by a wall of box clutches – and it wasn’t any ordinary wall of box clutches – every single piece was beaded, studded, embellished, topped with bows and tassels, hand-painted or at the very least made of exotic skins and other funky materials (like cork and this dream number) I could barely take my eyes off the wall long enough to meet the owner, founder, and designer extraordinaire – Gabriele Corto Moltedo.

Gabriele is easy to get along with – he’s fun and puts people at ease, and from a business perspective he has a great deal of knowledge when it comes to making luxury leather products (progeny of the people behind Bottega Veneta – that’s enough of a luxury pedigree by my way of thinking). What I remember most distinctly is the way he described his customer, and the appeal of his bags to her “it’s for the girl who’s already got everything, and just wants something a little extra because she can..”

When I asked him why he makes it so bloody difficult* to get his bags he said “the girls who carry Corto – they travel. From Paris to Milan, they spend some time in NYC, and summers in Italy. My bags are not made for everyone. Not everyone should have one. You should want it – and know where to look for it”

I suppose one of the keys to luxury is exclusivity – and Gabriele’s got that locked down like no other. Whatever it is – we were sold on those lovely little pieces, and we walked away with one each. Surprising since we normally don’t like having the same thing. But I guess that’s where Corto Moltedo is special – he works hard to keep the pieces unique, and doesn’t produce too much of any one design. In my case, I had originally wanted this neon yellow number but it had been sold to someone else, and when I asked if he could ship me the same one, he stared at me aghast and responded with a resolute “no”.

WHO DOES THAT!?!

Corto does apparently. He won’t have too many people on this tiny island prancing around with identical pieces. So he offered up a lovely alternative, with a neon pink trim in full-on python skin with a hammered metal finish which I must say is more to my taste!  He leaves no detail to chance – and even remembered to add the saffron yellow satin insides to mine.

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I had to wait a little while for it to be made, but it was well worth it :) So if you’re in the market for a box clutch, and you’ve already got a Bottega Veneta intrecciato knot clutch (or even if you don’t), it might be an idea to consider a clutch by Corto.

*Previously, you could only get Corto pieces in his stand-alone boutiques in Paris and Milan. He’s recently conceded to sell them online via his own website

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