Last fall we had the pleasure to meet with the designers and co-founders behind Be&D, Be Inthavong and Steve Dumain. Be&D reintroduced the Garbo when we were at the press preview and we could not have been more thrilled. In 2004, most handbag designers were sticking to the basics. At this time I was still exploring my love of handbags (this is pre-PurseBlog days). Though many bags continued to look similar, there was a standout that caught my attention. It was studs. Glorious studs on the Be&D Garbo satchel.
At the time the idea of a studded handbag was foreign. No other designer was doing it and in my mind Be&D was one of the first brands to release a studded handbag. The duo became known for their studs. So while they did follow up with other successes, like the KanKan, the studs were dearly missed.
The re-inception of the Garbo could not have come at a better time. The entire fashion world may not have been ready for studded handbags in 2004, but it is 2009 and we are seeing studs everywhere from everyone. For its 5 year anniversary, Be&D brings back the Garbo. Perfect timing, indeed. Now it is time for us to give you a look at the Garbo collection from Be&D; from bags, to shoes, to clutches.
The Garbo collection is unlike other designers who introduce studded bags. Nothing about these pointed studs are dainty. A seriously edgy handbag needs serious studs, and Be&D delivers. The downside of the studs is the weight, as the bags run quite heavy – even for an over-all studded handbag.
You will not stay occupied thinking about the weight when you get your hands on a Garbo bag. The lambskin is seriously supple, one of the softest I have felt in a long time. The colors are saturated beautifully into the leather and pop against the stud detailing. The whipstitch detailing on the handles gives a subtle yet sophisticated addition. The collection can be defined as the epitome of punk modernity.
When it comes to studded handbags, Be&D has perfected the art. Other brands are desperately trying to keep up with this trend, but Be&D invented it. The bags are modern, funky, and mean serious business. We were loving every bag, from the classic satchel (stack at the top of the post) to the fun clutches. We could not be more thrilled that Be&D brought back the Garbo for their 5th anniversary, and now Garbo will not be going anywhere.
More on the Garbo from Be & Steve
PB: Tell us about your first launch of the Garbo: When did you launch it? How was it different from the other handbags? Your vision?
We launched the first Garbo in July 2004 in Bergdorf Goodman. We felt their was a lack of fun in the luxury fashion market and wanted to see if we could fill that gap. The idea for this piece for us was to be a very seriously crafted bag but with a rock and roll appeal that was still glamorous but tough. There was nothing like it in the market and we just loved the feel of the super soft lamb with the metal studs.
Right after we launched that bag back in 2004, there were a lot of great young Hollywood ladies wearing it, which really caused our big luxury competitors to take notice. We were so little known at the time – that only super serious fashion girls knew who had started it. At first it was difficult to see this happening – but it really is an honor in a way and everyone says there’s no higher form of flattery. There are many editors who tell us we started the stud trend – but it was really just a fun moment for us that we felt was super relevant to how we felt about life at the time. I guess the Garbo bag has many illegitimate siblings running around out there in the world – and it’s really a wild feeling to think we were in some way responsible for the way so many women were dressing.
After the big craze post Garbo- we had another one that made us very proud called the KanKan (spotted on Katherine Heigl). This bag also had a similar trajectory if you look at the timeline – it’s very cool to see what became of that look.
I think she’ll be a permanent part of our collection from now on – and in some way will always influence our designs – whether it be the super soft structure or the rock and roll look – or just the feeling we had when creating her.
PB: What is next for Be&D? Can we expect more studs or do you have something else up your sleeve?
There’s definitely something up our sleeve that we just finished up for Spring 10′ that is so exciting for us – hopefully you’ll all feel the same.