Collection: Unique Artisan Handbags

 

 

They told me, “go to Koko’s, he’ll make you the most beautiful handbags”.

Lost in the narrow streets of Bourj Hammoud, nicknamed the “Little Armenia” of Beirut, resonating with the noise of shoemakers and sewing machines, Koko’s workshop was hard to find! From alley to alley, navigating between cats and dust, I finally came across a tiny workshop tidied up like a doll's house: Koko and his father welcomed me with open arms, and there began our common story. Each bag is unique and one-of-a-kind: you'll be the only one in the entire world wearing it!

Scroll down to read the full story of our wonderful collaboration.

 

Unique Artisan Handbags

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57 products

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  • Lebanon Traveler - an artisan in his workshop in Bourj Hammoud

    Bourj Hammoud, the Mecca of Armenian handicrafts

    Since the 1920s, Lebanon has been home to a large Armenian community, the vast majority of whom are survivors of the 1915 genocide. Estimated at 140,000 people, the Armenian community has become part of the Lebanese society, actively participating in the economic and cultural life of the country.

    Bourj Hammoud is the Mecca of Armenian handicrafts: jewelry, leather goods, ready-to-wear, bags and shoes share this dense and animated district.

    Unfortunately, since the financial crisis of 2019 and the explosion, the shops have closed, the streets are deserted and the know-how of the Armenians, that has been transmitted from generation to generation, is slowly disappearing.

    But they say it themselves: "We are used to misfortune, and we will find solutions".

    --

    Picture by Lebanon Traveler

  • cuirs nina ricci

    A precious collaboration

    Leather is a family affair in his workshop. Four generations of experienced craftsmen precede him. His exquisite know-how, coming from years and years of experience, transforms our designs into timeless, original pieces. His optimism and his zest for life despite the challenges are a lesson, a model to follow. To create with him is a real source of joy. He intuitively understands our needs and makes the necessary changes himself, crafting surprising models that will make anyone shine in the streets!

  • Leather handbag workshop in Bourj Hammoud Lebanon

    Impact

    -We pay fair wages in dollars - the devaluation of the national currency in Lebanon is getting worse by the day, and an exorbitant price increase in goods is putting Lebanon on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. One of the few ways to survive today is getting paid in a foreign currency. Each purchase supports Koko’s family as well as two artisans from his workshop.

    -We try to reduce our production footprint in all of our collections: we use what has already been used instead of producing new materials. The fabrics and leathers we employ to make our bags come from end collections of major fashion houses. All bag accessories are purchased locally.

    - Giving international visibility to a small workshop’s creations has a big impact in-self: product sales allow our artisans’ families to live, which can help restore confidence in the future.

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