MARNI : Art and Commerce

For my third posting I would like to discuss a relatively new player on the high couture scene. Consuelo Castiglioni launched her own label named MARNI in 1994 when its original showing was fur garments. Consuelo wanted to diversify her husbands already lucrative fur production business. She named her own label after sister Marina. Consuelo born in Switzerland has based her brand on Italian soil allowing her a connection to some of the best materials for the construct of handbags. Italy also has a high human craftsmanship index. Consuelo can be quoted “either you love or hate Marni” which is very true. My first glimpse of Marni was perplexing due to its differentiation from other labels.

Marni is classified by many as bohemian style. It is nonetheless a different echelon called European bohemianism far different and from my viewpoint today superior to American bohemianism as well as French bohemianism. Marni’s aesthetic is inspiration of a dream coming to fruition. Each season’s catwalk is intended to be season-less as Marni shows it is anti-conformist to standards that other powerhouses revolve around. The Marni stance differs from trends yet is glamours thru its production and corporate image.  Marni Handbags reflect artwork from the era’s ranging from the renaissance to romanticism.  Unlike true Bohemianism; European ditches the simplicity/festival/feminine revolving aesthetic to embrace distinctive design. Someone once told me not to be caught in a bag nobody can recognize. After tapping into my inner Marni I embrace individuality rather then something everyone and her mother have.

Consequently I came across a handbag made from leather materials to make an insane 3D silhouette. The Marni twist hobo with guitar strap first caught my eye inside the Designer Handbags department at Nordstrom. That handbag however was a different color in a white and brown color block. I thought the handbag was interesting but couldn’t picture myself with it. Two weeks later I went back and they had the handbag in solid red and black maxi strap. The thick black leather strap that functions as a shoulder strap wraps around the hand as well to create an out of this world feel and look. I instantly fell in love with the handbag it was so unique and had a completely different composition when compared to my other handbags. The fact I already owned a red handbag was thrown out the window at first touch. The handbag also futures two inverted triangles that add character to the design.

The bag is made of 100% Italian calfskin using deep leather saturation processes to get the leather a vibrant red. The leather is worked over to create an evenly smooth feel and treated to prevent discolorations. Care for the bag is medium I find it safer than thermo leather and suede, that are of higher classification in care. One drawback is the lack of protection at the bottom for when one sets the handbag down. Most designers incorporate buffers to keep the handbag from coming in contact with surfaces. Regardless the handbag is thick leather that can be wiped down as long as one is not living la vida loca when using the handbag it should holdup.

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