After six years of business and the establishment of an unwavering brand identity, Eddie Borgo is shaking things up. This year he will launch a handbag collection of five styles. The motifs you might expect from Borgo—conical studs and geometric shapes—are, for the most part, absent from the line—and that’s not a bad thing. Borgo’s name had become almost too synonymous with edgy, architectural “new punk” styling, to the point that it might have been holding him back. His bag collection takes his work into a new dimension, quite literally, and shows off his talents as an engineer.
Inspired by industrial design of the ’50s and ’60s, Borgo and his team spent two years developing the bag collection. No thought was left unconsidered, from the bags’ weight to the ways a woman might want to carry it to the things she’ll store inside. Sure, those don’t sound like novel concepts for an accessories line, but few brands actually manage to marry aesthetic pleasures with functional ones. “We wanted to make sure before we launched a new category that we were very thoughtful about it,” Borgo told Style.com. That process included attending industrial design conferences and polling Borgo’s many muses about the ins and outs of handbag usage.
The result is a series of Italian-made bags with rubber- or latex-coated leather exteriors for water resistance and aluminum hardware to make them lightweight. Each style, from the doctor bag to the minaudière, features custom hardware, with the leather styles lined in a retro jacquard. Among the innovations in hardware are clasps that are designed to be used with one hand; same goes for the straps, which can be added or subtracted from most styles by pulling or pushing on a ring—no tricky lobster clasps. The retail prices match the bags’ thoughtfulness—entry-level leather pieces start at $990, and the metal-trim satchel will set you back $3,190. The best part, though Borgo never mentioned it, is that each bag and interior pocket opens wide enough to fit a fully adorned hand inside, ensuring that his rings and bracelets won’t be clanking against the edges of his purses. Growing the business without forgetting the pieces that made it? Good move, Borgo.