Baila Caramel Leather Handbag


Baila is Spanish for ‘dance’ – and why not add a flourish, a little music to your everyday with a handbag that is a piece of art, but also ticks all those practical boxes.

Yes, it’s large enough to hold a laptop, super durable, zips closed for security, has five large internal pockets for easy organisation – but that’s not what will lift your spirits or put a little swing in your stride –  it’s the luxury and beauty of a hand tooled, intricately detailed leather exterior, the long, long tassels, those elaborate handle details and the craft of hand stitched edging.

Details: Size 32cm W, 33cmH. Artisanally handcrafted in Mexico from vegetable-tanned leather,  utilising traditional leather tooling, hand stitching, natural dye and tanning techniques. Fully leather lined, with five generous internal pockets ( two with zip closures) and zipper at top.

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La Marca handbags are handcrafted by a family-run business in Mexico.

Leather tooling is a traditional Mexican craft typically passed down within families and traces back to a masculine heritage of horsemanship and elaborately detailed saddles, belts and boots. Patterns (usually floral) are carved into the leather by hand by craftsmen using chisels. Much of the detail is tooled ‘free-hand’ requiring great skill, which takes many years to acquire.  This artisanal craft is regaining prominence in Mexico and around the world, aided by the shift away from mass-production and resource wastage, as consumers look to how their garments and accessories are produced.  Termed ‘artisanal luxury’,  these products reflect the time, skill and amount of hand-crafting involved in an item and the culture and heritage they reflect.

La Marca’s  makers have long worked to keep alive the traditional skills of leather tooling, stitching and colour using natural dyes which are usually natural vegetable, berry and bark-based pigments applied by hand to the leather.

The leather is cow leather which is also artisanally-processed. La Marca’s makers have teamed with a small leather producer who uses vegetable-tanning, an environmentally friendly process which does not involve harsh chemicals. Leather is tanned through a series of washes using different combinations of vegetable tannins. Both labour and time intensive, it is the original leather tanning process, which was overtaken by modern chemical factory methods that were faster and cheaper.

However, leather tanned using this method is more durable and wears better over the years. It is initially stiffer to the touch, but will soften over time.