It’s In The Bag: Brahmin Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary

by Wendy Sy Photographed by
Thursday, August 10, 2017

What’s old is new again for Brahmin. The luxe accessory brand, known for its leather handbags, celebrated its big 3-5 with a party in Soho last night.

Upon entrance, rows of decorative satchels in various styles hung from the ceiling on opposite sides of the walls. To toast the milestone, the family-owned company based in Massachusetts, designed a 15-piece limited-edition collection inspired by the silhouettes and colors sold in its first year of business.

“Our design team went through the archives and found sketches and catalogs before we really got into photography,” said Joan Martin, who cofounded Brahmin with her husband Bill. “It was a fitting time to bring back the classics and create new versions of the styles.” The lengthy process to create each handbag—which takes more than 100 steps—starts with the sourcing of fine leathers from Italy and around the world.

From the ‘Hunt Berkshire’ saddlebag to the tasseled keychain, many pieces from the anniversary collection have one detail in common: the Brahmin logo. “We can tell you the whole story, but it would take five hours,” joked Bill. In short, the logo came from an imagery of a sailing vessel, which belonged to Bill’s four-times-great-grandfather, a sea captain who traveled back and forth to Europe from Massachusetts in the 1800s. The logo symbolizes not only the Martins’ family history but also the craftsmanship of the brand.

Across the room, host of the event—English fashion journalist, blogger and television presenter Louise Roe—arrived with a black ‘Melbourne’ envelope clutch in hand from Brahmin’s fall collection. “This is such a Sex and the City thing to say, but I think as a woman, your memories are so associated with what you’re wearing and your accessories,” said Roe, who flew in from Los Angeles. One memory in particular that she recalls is a date with her husband in Bermuda, while sporting a similar clutch from the brand, in a golden brown color.

DJ Harley Viera-Newton spun upbeat tunes throughout the evening while guests took snapshots at the photobooth and lined up to have their illustrations done by Dallas Shaw.

“So many people are just getting to know Brahmin,” said Joan. “It’s like an unkept secret. They say, ‘I’m not familiar with the brand’ or ‘oh, I’ve seen those bags somewhere before.’ My goal is for more people to discover it because once you own a Brahmin bag, you’ll absolutely fall in love with it.”


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