Founded in 1829, one year prior to the independence of the Kingdom of Belgium – Delvaux swiftly progressed from its luggage-making origins and became the first brand worldwide to file a patent for handbags in 1908. The realisation that women would want to keep their most precious belongings close to hand in practical, small bags during their travels turned out to be a visionary move.
Surreally, the grand opener of the brand’s newly opened 1,000 m2 Musée Delvaux in Brussels, is a monumental black epoxy resin Brillant handbag, the house’s emblematic style, lacquered seven times over to bestow it with a true-to-life leather effect. The story of Delvaux is very much one of collaboration, and the brand’s choice to work with Verhelst is a serendipitous one. As the oldest fine leather luxury goods house in the world, it could seem Delvaux has a dusty burden to bear. But even in the process of building a museum, the brand manages to keep things light and playful, even when the subject at hand is historical and reverential.
Creating a museum, Delvaux’s chairman and CEO Jean-Marc Loubier have a lot of interesting elements to show, but even more because the brand is an inventor that share the story of Delvaux, the history of the handbag and the story of Belgitude. The Museum conveys our specific identity which is about being historical, open and Belgian. Older archive pieces were selected on the basis of their design particularities, such as special locks or crocodile leathers. As Delvaux launches a new collection twice yearly, more recent styles will also be displayed in vitrines on rotation. With such a wealth of designs to choose from, editing down the huge archive was not an easy task.
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