Stored and Adored

Dedicated to Designer and Pre-Loved Bags

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Akris Ai Horsehair Bag in Cream and Taupe

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Two years ago I bought a woman's entire designer handbag collection; it represented decades of collection, and demonstrated an exquisite taste in designer bags. Amongst that collection was an Akris Alex Tote (which I'll be blogging about soon) and I've had that bag in my own personal handbag collection for the last couple of years. That bag was my first introduction to Akris, which you can read all about in my blog post here, and it encouraged me to pay a visit to their Old Bond Street store in central London. 

If you're ever in the neighbourhood, or near another one of Akris' stores, then I really would recommend popping inside. Akris is a very cool brand and their stores are beautifully laid out with minimalist displays of clothing and accessories. When I visited the London store there was an incredibly helpful sales assistant who gave me a really good introduction to the brand and brought out handbag after handbag for me to examine and try on. It was a wonderful shopping experience and completely sold me on Akris as a brand.

During that visit I was introduced to Akris' Ai Bag (pictured above and below) which comes in a range of sizes and materials. The Ai bag looks like a regular tote bag until you fold over the corners and fasten the bag into its distinctive trapezoid shape - supposedly designed to look like the letter A, after Akris. Although the standard calfskin bags are gorgeous (as they're made from really supple leather) I was completely wowed by Akris' woven horsehair bags. 

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In 1998, Akris bought the renowned German accessories manufacturer Comtesse, who specialised in working with horsehair. The horsehair that Akris use for their bags comes from nomadic Mongolian horses, and the hair is collected and prepared in a traditional process that has been used for hundreds of years. It then takes an entire day to weave juse two meters of fabric, which explains why Akris' horsehair bags are so expensive. The finished result is an incredible innovative fabric, described by the brand as an animal-friendly because no horses are harmed in its production. From a distance, the weave looks a little bit like corduroy but up-close it's looks and feels quite different - and is, quite frankly, rather fabulous!

For me, all it took was seeing Akris' Ai Horsehair bags in person - once I'd seen and touched them, I just couldn't get them out of my mind. I love this innovative luxury fabric (which, as far as I'm aware, isn't being used by any other brand) as well as the modern and minimalist design. These bags aren't flashy, there's no overt branding anywhere on the exterior, Akris' focus is on creating beautiful and discreet luxury handbags that are really functional to use. 

I'm very proud to have this gorgeous Akris Ai Horsehair Bag in my personal handbag collection and I reach for it quite often. For such a small bag it actually holds quite a lot, and the handles are perfect for carrying the bag by hand or on the crook of my arm. I will be surprised if this doesn't become my go-to handbag for the spring and summer.

You can buy the Akris Ai Horsehair Bag in Small online for £2,320.

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