Handbags by Corto Moltedo crave attention, and that’s exactly what they’re getting on the Paris fashion scene. Balancing elegance and technical expertise with youthful audacity and plenty of sex appeal, this relatively young label is on the verge of much wider recognition. It doesn’t hurt that Gabriele Corto Moltedo, the young designer behind the label, is the son of the former owners of the luxury leather goods giant Bottega Veneta. With a lifetime of experience in the trade, Moltedo has earned the confidence so clearly expressed in his wares, and has honed a rare acumen in dealing with elements that would cheapen a lesser handbag—metallic leathers, crystals, studs and sensational colors.
Luxury skins like buttery calfskin, ostrich, eel, lizard and supple python add an irrepressible glamour to the more classic styles, like the Monaco bag, as well as a series of envelopes and clutches in many shapes and sizes. The Corto Pannier messenger bag in velvety electric-blue suede and pearl-grey python all edged in black calf, from the Fall/Winter 2012/2013 collection, is drop-dead gorgeous, and his ongoing collection of jewel-like minaudières, tiny evening bags, are perennial standouts. For now, Moltedo’s sleek Palais Royal boutique is one of only two in the world—the other is in Milan—but probably not for long. Bags this good can’t remain a Paris-Milan secret forever.
146–148 Galerie de Valois, 1st, 01.49.27.97.91. www.corto.com
Originally published in the July/August 2012 issue of France Today
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