Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Best of the bunch: Bree bags

I'm hard on bags: nicked corners, torn straps, scuffs from kicking them under airline seats. Every time I buy one, I mentally classify the buy as a one-season, a couple of years or, rarely, bulletproof.

Problem is finding a stylish bulletproof bag, one that takes winter slush, travel
torture, or whatever they do in coat checkrooms (I've always wondered where they keep the tank that rolls over bags).

The Lifetime Winner, Bulletproof category:
Bree, especially the vegetable-tanned leather models like the iconic woven Shopper (shown above)- though I would deviate from vegetable-tanned for it's head-turning cousin, this green Obra gloss clutch.

Where else do you carry your honey-aged Shopper into the brand's store and the saleswoman says with excitement, "How old is that? Let me see!"

The nicks and scratches polish out with a dab of leather cream, the leather deepens to deep butterscotch, and the bags look mellow, not ratty, as they age. I suppose you can wear them out, but you have to work at it. The stitching is extra-strong and bags have solid brass feet on the bottom. (Almost unheard-of anymore.)

Bree also produces handsome linen and leather or canvas and leather luggage, on my Someday List.

The company is devoted to longevity of its products and will repair a bag. I'm lucky to have two branches of Taschen, a Bree dealer, here. You can find Bree in some department stores and boutiques; unfortunately their web site does not have a mail-order option.

3 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

I've been dying to check out these bags in person since you first mentioned them, but cannot find any retailers here who carry them. Love that patent green clutch!

greying pixie said...

I have the same habit regarding the longevity of bags and will only buy bags that I know will last now. Actually, they tend to look classier anyway I find. My favourites are Lancel (French) and the very best I Cosci (Italian). I have a red leather Lancel that I have used every summer since 1988. The lining has gone but the leather on the outside just goes on and on! My winter bag is I Cosci which I got second hand five years ago and it just won't wear out!

I use saddle soap on my leather bags to clean them which I do at the end of the season before they are stored ready for the following year.

But I did buy a really lovely beach bag/shopper recently in Rome for 10 Euros which I will use until it falls apart. From experience that should be in about three summers from now!

Oh, the wisdom of middle age!

cybill said...

I love that woven top bag. We have no Bree here, but you have reminded me to take better care of my leather bags.