Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why "Handcrafted in Italy" Matters

"...Italian craftsmen say I make, therefore I am..."

A master Italian craftsman creating distinctive HVE wallets 

Why does it really matter that HVE bags are created by hand in Italy by the finest craftsmen? Quality, Passion, Integrity, and Culture.

Hester van Eeghen believes that you can recognize the true meaning of creation when you witness the pride of craftsmanship in Italy's artisans.

"Rene Descartes said I think, therefore I am. The Italian craftsmen say I make, therefore I am," Hester van Eeghen replied when I asked her why she insists on producing her unique luxury handbags in Italy. "Quality is a choice. Going for the best is a choice."

"They are what they do," says Hester. "What they create with their own hands is so completely personal to them. They care deeply and have a profound connection to their work."

It is that intense connection of the craftsmen, in addition to their skill, that makes Hester's creations so special. You can feel that commitment in her bags, starting with Hester's passion and vision, all the way through to their physical creation as the bags come to life. "You've heard of Haut Cuisine, well, what these italian artists create is Haut Cuir (High Leather)," Hester stated.

She also has a commitment to preserving the artisan culture in Italy. As more production moves to lower cost countries the leather craft community in Italy, vibrant for many generations, is at risk.

Hester van Eeghen's designs are distinctive and would stand on their design alone no matter where they are created. Certainly the items would be less expensive and profits could be increased if the bags were mass produced in China or some other low-cost country. But there is a special quality, an essential spirit of passion and integrity and history, which would be lost. And for Hester, that special passion and culture is just as important to her as her design.

When you own an HVE bag you not only have an amazing addition to your wardrobe, you also have  functional piece of art that was created with the heart and soul of its designer and craftsmen. And you help keep an important crafts culture alive and thriving in Italy.

(L to R) Odette Hoogland, a master Italian craftsman, and Hester van Eeghen
(Note the other bags this craftsman is responsible for creating)


  1. Dear Hester,

    It was great being in your Amsterdam store again! And I'm delighted with my new bag and wallet.

    I went to the USA websight, and they don't mention gloves. Seasonal?


    Deirdre McCloskey

  2. Deidre - don't you just LOVE the Hartenstraat store! I run Hester's US website. We are considering carrying some gloves for next Winter if there is enough interest. We are hesitating a bit due to sizing. Thanks so much for your comment! -Debby