Based in New York City, Maria Fano recently launched her company via a successful Kickstarter campaign. Maria’s goal is to offer luxury handbags with premium materials for an affordable price. She and seven artisans based in Lviv, Ukraine, have designed a minimalist product line made for women who want handmade, designer quality at a more reasonable price point.
CONSTRUCTION & FUNCTION
The Michelle bag is hand-stitched from shrunken calf leather from Germany and lined with brightly colored French goat leather. The bag measures in at 9.5 x 12.6 x 6.5 inches, making it a nice small to medium handbag size. Each side of the bag is gusseted with Riri snaps that allow the bag to fit more or less, depending on your needs. The bag maintains an attractive trapezoidal shape even when the gussets are open. The bag can fit all the purse essentials and
Each Michelle bag comes with a matching strap. I wasn’t able to check out the strap as I was given a first run production piece to review, but there were two small rings on the inside to attach a strap. The handles have enough drop length to carry over the shoulder if need be.
The Michelle bag has a gorgeous, modern simplicity to it. The bag comes in four color options – light grey, taupe, slate, and black calf leather. Two colors are currently available on the Etsy store – taupe and black. My taupe color is a beautiful, versatile color that compliments nearly any outfit. Photos don’t quite capture the subtle greyish tan hue that makes this bag so versatile. Even with minimal branding and ornamentation, the Michelle bag stands out and gets noticed everywhere.
The goat leather lining is one of my favorite parts. The bright magenta color adds a fun pop to an otherwise simple bag. Options include black, purple, magenta, rose, yellow and light blue. The lining is stitched quite beautifully and keeps the inside of the bag clean and attractive looking.
I’ve been quite impressed with the quality of the Maria Fano Michelle bag, especially as a first run product. It has a really lovely, luxe look that feels much like high-end Givenchy bags, but at 1/4 the price. It straddles the line between serious and fun with its pink goat leather lining and sleek silhouette. The bag is still not cheap at $700, but with premium materials, excellent construction, and a minimalist look, it will serve you well for a very long time.