BAZAAR Exclusive: Brooke Testoni Launches Her First Ever Handbag Collection

Launching today, Brooke’s new label, Rylan, offers a range of luxuriously handcrafted louis vuitton replica that combine quality with the fashionista’s inimitable ‘cool girl’ aesthetic.

BAZAAR sits down with Brooke to talk fashion, design and what to expect next from the Australian style maven.

When did you start working on the brand, and how long has it taken from the initial idea to now?

I came up with the idea of creating Rylan around two years ago whilst travelling through the U.S. and Europe. It’s taken me longer that I had originally intended to develop, however, I wanted everything to be perfect, not to cut any corners or make any compromises.

What initially inspired you to create your own line of louis vuitton replica?

I decided to create a line of replica handbags because I saw a gap in the market and was passionate about a particular style. I was looking for a luxury quality, classic bag, inspired by the past, with no obvious branding. I also had a clear vision of what this would look like. Unfortunately I didn’t find many I was fond of, especially underneath the $1,000 mark. This was how Rylan was born.

Did you ever consider creating a ready to wear clothing line, or footwear brand instead?

Clothing is not something I have been inspired to make. There are many talented designers already doing so. I have thought about doing footwear, however Rylan can expand into this at a later date. I think it is important to focus on one thing at a time.

How would you explain Rylan in five words to someone’s who hasn’t seen the bags?

Classic, luxury, understated, nostalgic and effortless.

Where are the bags made, and did you design them yourself?

The bags are made in the United States. I had a concise vision including high level design and sketches for the bags, however I have worked with a great team of artisans who have helped me put the technical aspects and final design details together to bring my vision to life.

Which is your favourite style, and why?

The Large Satchel (1.1 and 1.2) is my favourite style because it is the bag I had originally envisioned and always wanted. It has a strong link to the past for me. It reminds me of a bag my grandmother would have carried. It has a vintage feel, however is modernised with a minimal design and statement brass hardware. I’m particularly pleased with the shape and dimensions of the handle on this style.

How much do the bags retail for?

The bags retail from $500 – $900.

Where can we buy them?

I have launched Rylan online however will be looking at wholesale enquires as they come.

Are you looking to expand into other leather goods categories in the future? *Definitely at some point in the future. I would love to expand into shoes one day. However, I am passionate about home décor and can see the Rylan brand encompassing a home division that will focus on mid-century products which suit the Rylan woman.

For now, I’m quite content focusing on the bags and learning my craft. There is much more I can do with this design and I’m excited to see where the bags take me. I’m already working on the second collection. *

Does this mean you’re going to stop blogging?

No. I have no intention to stop blogging, I am however re-launching my site to focus on interiors and fashion. I think they go hand in hand. I have always had such a passion for interiors, so I thought ‘why not document both?’ It will not be a personal style blog, but be a destination where a reader can read about style, homewares and view the beautiful homes and work spaces of real people. I am very excited to see it come to life.

Handbag heaven! Desperate for an It-bag but can’t stretch to designer prices

A hush spreads through the auction room as Lot 259 comes up for sale. Handcrafted, in pristine condition and incredibly rare, few are lucky enough to lay their replica handbags on something so beautiful — let alone buy one of their own.

Smartly dressed women are nudging one another — and their husbands — as they crane their necks towards the back of the room, where a glamorous blonde in skinny jeans and a baby blue cashmere jumper is refusing to back down.

Silence descends on the room again. ‘Going once, going twice . . . sold to the lady in the back row!’ declares the auctioneer.

Grinning, the lucky winner struts over to the desk to claim her lot. But the item the auction staff produce from a locked cabinet with a flourish isn’t a painting, or a piece of furniture — or even a designer watch.

Rather, it’s a louis vuitton replica. An apple green leather Hermès Birkin bag, to be precise.

It’s mid-morning at Fellows Auctioneers in Birmingham and the Designer Collection auction is in full swing.

There are more than 500 lots on offer, from four rare Birkin bags — the extremely covetable designs made by French brand Hermès, the most expensive of which is a red crocodile skin number expected to fetch between £15,000 and £20,000 — to Chanel clutches, Louis Vuitton totes and evening bags by Christian Dior.

Since the doors opened at 8.30am, there has been a scrum of eager customers, most of them female, some accompanied by reluctant-looking husbands — all desperate to get their hands on a bargain designer bag.

This is the third auction of its type at Fellows, a family-run auction house in the city’s jewellery quarter, whose main business is antiques, fine art, coins and medals. The previous louis vuitton replica sale made over £100,000, and today’s is expected to be more lucrative still.

For the handbag auction is fast taking the place of the sample sale or designer discount village as the new secret haunt of fashion-conscious middle-class women desperate to bag — excuse the pun — a bargain.

‘We used to tag handbags on the end of our jewellery and accessories sales,’ explains Stephen Whittaker, managing director and today’s auctioneer. ‘Eventually the demand became so high that we had to make it a separate event.

‘When I saw how much money women were willing to shell out for a handbag, especially a Hermès or a Chanel, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

‘We get a huge turnout for these sales. Several hundred bidders are often crammed into the small auction room and bidding can be fierce.

‘Some people come to browse, but most have their eye on one particular bag, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it.’

Fellows isn’t the only auction house to realise bags can be big business. In 2012, Christie’s introduced a department entirely dedicated to handbags and accessories, and sales now take place not only across the UK but in New York, Paris, Dubai and Shanghai.

‘The attendees are generally women but they’re an eclectic, stylish bunch from all walks of life,’ says Matt Rubinger, who heads Christie’s new division. ‘We get young women looking for a vintage Hermès Kelly, working women looking for something functional, jet-setters looking for crocodile skin weekenders and collectors looking for rarities.’

Sometimes, the excitement reaches fever pitch. At one recent auction in Hong Kong, a 12in Himalayan crocodile skin Birkin bag, set with 245 diamonds and adorned with white gold, sold amid a frenzy of bids for £197,300 — making it the most valuable handbag in the world.

Today’s crowd don’t have quite such deep pockets. Most of the bags on offer, which come from private collectors and leather traders, cost between £100 and £1,000.

They’re piled high on display tables at the back of the auction room, resembling an Aladdin’s cave of glinting gold buckles, buttery-soft leather and designer monograms.

As I trudge home with my battered High Street shoulder bag, dreaming of the designer gems I could have bought, it’s little comfort. But now I know the secrets of bagging a bag at auction, I’ll definitely be back.

The Best Designer Bags to Buy Now and Sell Later

Designer handbags are expensive: This is a fact. And that many shoppers prefer to pay less than the original retail price for them is another. Fortunately, there are a lot of places to do that online.

Resale itself is a billion-dollar industry; the annual revenue is an estimated $17 billion, and the category of handbags is particularly lucrative. High-end consignment sites like The RealReal and Vestaire Collective are owning this space, and making it incredibly simple (and more secure) to shop for pre-owned designer bags online, with the same type of customer service experience you’d find at any other reputable e-commerce site. Secondhand shopping has come a long way in the past few years.

So what’s worth your investment? Here, we asked Graham Wetzbarger, The RealReal’s senior director of authentication, which bags you should consider buying now if you’re looking to resell later.

What are some of the most popular bags on The RealReal right now? What are people going crazy for, or showing an increased interest in?

There are always going to be some staples: the iconic brands that are always in fashion, both on the high end and on the low end. The biggest names are replica handbags. Those always have really high demand; they’re iconic, and because of their very high price point, people really seek them out on the secondary market.

Last year, Mansur Gavriel was huge, but now the bags sit for a few days. They still sell, but the sense of urgency is a little less than what it was. We’ve seen other brands come up and come down. Sometimes it has more to do with the silhouette and brands that cater to that silhouette. We’re seeing a big spike in Kate Spade right now, because they do a lot of really youthful and colorful bags. They also do tons of crossbody, just like Rebecca Minkoff. They’re an accessible price point, and the color palette is suited toward spring and summer. When people want a seasonal bag, they’re not going to go too expensive.

What other shapes are big?

I think Lady bags — with a nice, sophisticated, gorgeous top handle — are back, and have been for a while. You see these from Delvaux, they’re gorgeous; Valextra has many that are stunning. And then the backpack is back, so hard. Everyone from Chanel to Mansur Gavriel and so many brands in between — everyone wants a backpack, and everyone is doing a backpack.

What are some of the best bags to buy now that’ll be worth the investment later on?

You can’t go wrong with louis vuitton replica. Not only is it very durable, but it holds its value, probably 70 percent of what you paid for it. And then when you consider the brand increases prices 10 percent every year, that’s a great ROI.

Something on the more entry-level price point is harder, because they tend to go on sale. Department stores will put things on sale seasonally, so you can get them retail at a lower price point. And there are just so many more of them made, so the secondary market gets a little bit flooded. You’re never going to get a really strong ROI on something like that — it needs to be slightly less approachable and more covetable than a mass brand. Finding those brands that don’t go on sale, have smaller production, and have bags that are very publicized are always going to have staying power.

Also, there are some silhouettes, even in louis vuitton replica, that wax and wane depending on what the house is doing now. These houses and these brands that have lots of history and deep archives are often pulling and resurrecting styles that have been out of production for a while, so that really has an influence and effect on the secondary market and on vintage items that are similar.

The ultimate accessory: when jewellers turn handbag designers

When Cactus de Cartier launched last year, it came as a complete surprise. An entire jewellery collection inspired by the prickly succulent? It was a daring direction for Cartier, but it went down a storm here at the Jewellery Editor and, judging by the second wave of Cactus de Cartier launched this summer, it has been a hit with customers too.

Among the new jewels are affordable rings, pendants and earrings that have been downsized from the originals without losing any of their spiky appeal. But the pieces that most caught my eye are not jewels at all but handbags. Starting at £105,000, they take expensive designer replica handbags to a whole new level, but what fabulous creations they are: part jewel, part bag, wholly desirable.

On the most luxurious of the two designs, the crocodile skin has been covered in a layer of 24-carat gold dust. The clasp, depicting a cactus in full bloom, is crafted from emerald beads and diamonds topped with orange carnelian “flowers”. Even the shoulder chain is made from 18-carat gold.

Before I fell for Cartier’s latest offerings, I had already been planning on writing about a clutch of other bejewelled bags I saw at the Couture Show in Las Vegas. Many of the big jewellery houses already sell louis vuitton replica – Bulgari’s gorgeous Serpenti designs immediately spring to mind – but I’m loving the new trend for independent jewellery designers stamping their style on a completely new type of accessory.

Born in Bombay and based in New York, Coomi Bhasin’s creations range from jewellery to sculptures and are a fascinating mix of the precious and the ancient, the spiritual and the cultural. Among her new launches for spring 2017 were a handful of replica handbags that got lots of attention at the Couture Show.

The bags, which originally launched at Neiman Marcus and Saks as trunk show merchandise, were a tremendous success and will now be carried in Neiman Marcus’ Precious Jewels salons as well as in Saks Fifth Avenue.

On the front of one patent alligator purse, Coomi has placed a half-cuff in 20-carat gold, set with rose-cut diamonds, which you slot your hand through to hold it in place – an important consideration when you are carrying such a jewel of a bag.

“I originally designed textiles in the 70s and early 80s and have always had a passion for working with both fabrics and skins,” says Coomi of her new bags. “I decided to combine that with my passion for jewellery for this special collection.”

Following suit, Brazilian designer Silvia Furmanovich, whose extraordinary wood marquetry jewels were among the most innovative, and beautiful, of 2016, dumbfounded me once again at the Couture Show with an exquisite range of wood marquetry clutch bags.

Continuing her collaboration with a team of craftsmen that she befriended in the Amazon rainforest in the north of Brazil, the one-of-a-kind bags, made from indigenous wood, are designed by Furmanovich and made by the artisans who specialise in this painstaking technique.

The craftsmanship, which involves cutting and piecing together tiny slivers of wood by hand to create a picture or pattern, is mind-blowingly detailed. On one clutch, a parrot with a diamond for an eye perches on a branch, surrounded by leaves displaying every tiny vein. On another, more graphic, design, feathers have been layered to create the lifelike plumage of a tropical bird. The clasp on each bag is set with two faceted blue topaz.

Ending on a fun note, Jane Taylor has just launched a collaborative collection of bags with Paige Gamble, founder of the eponymous luxury leather goods label based in NYC. Among Taylor’s signature pieces are her stacking bangles set with rows of grey pearls, cabochon opals, baguette diamonds, faceted blue topaz… the list goes on and on.

Handmade in the Garment District of New York, the PG x Jane Taylor Jewelry collection includes clutches, totes and bucket bags in luxurious Italian pebbled leather, digitally printed with Taylor’s stacks. It’s gem heaven, but on a louis vuitton replica – what’s not to love?

Summer Totes, Backpacks and Replica Handbags

Looking for a new bag for summer, but aren’t sure where to begin? First decide where you’ll be using it and then concentrate on color, texture, safety features and design. Also, while choosing, bear in mind that you can go with extreme neutrals like luggage colored or even black, especially for travel. Here’s some inspiration:

For some reason I can never find anything in my summer replica handbags, maybe it’s because the majority of them are so huge, or don’t have any pockets.Replica handbags by Kipling has a great silhouette along with a ton of pockets to help organize your day. It’s also made of Kipling’s super light canvas, so you don’t have the added weight or bulk of a larger hobo shape. Just an aside, if you love the brand, but not the signature monkey key chains, feel free to remove them (and share with a young friend!) for a more sophisticated, less easily identifiable look.

If you spend a lot of time at the beach, it makes sense to invest in a really great beach tote. The Stella large tote with a long handle by louis vuitton replica is handmade by artisans in Oaxaca, if you loved those plastic lanyard necklaces as a kid, you’ll relate to the design and look of these. It’s also fairly huge, and has a solid bottom, so you can prop it up near your beach blanket and not worry about everything spilling over and ruining your fun in the sun.

Then again, maybe you like your backpacks even smaller, in that case. There’s a ton of design detail here, from the zippers that don’t get stuck (and meet in the middle, so you’re not always fiddling to find them) to the unique ergonomically designed shape which is like an elongated kidney bean- which keeps weight evenly distributed across your back so your neck and shoulder don’t get sore. It can be worn across your back as a backpack, or as a cross-body or fanny pack. This one is perfect for nights out when you’re traveling since it’s small enough to look chic, and you’ll have all your essentials easily at hand, without weighing yourself down with a larger backpack or travel-y looking bag. Bonus points for the beautiful weathered looking leather which make this a perfect transition bag as well.

It’s sophisticated enough to wear to work, and has a roomy enough interior for both your laptop and day to day essentials. It’s also water resistant, so you don’t have to worry about potential staining from daily use, or louis vuitton replica leaving their mark. It’s also a great size for shopping or schlepping and has enough room to take you from the office to the gym or away for a short weekend. One caveat though, while it features a brilliant magnetic closure, the Vessel tote has no zipper, so it doesn’t close securely and might not be your first choice for a subway commute.