Leather bags with heart.
A well-designed leather handbag is like an extension of yourself: you hardly notice it’s there. Still, you want it to look good, which is why an artisan bag makes such a satisfying purchase. “One of the most important things I bring to design is intention,” explains Belle Hilmer, of Maine Leather Co. in Portland. “I think about what’s comfortable and where the wear and tear will happen. That’s not something you get with mass-produced bags.”
She and the other Maine craftswomen whose work is featured below are passionate about making bags that are beautiful, practical, and durable. “It feels good to me to put positive energy into it,” Hilmer says, “and I think you can feel it on the other side.”
Photograph by David Butler