DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT LAB, LLC
Carlos Falchi is unrivaled in the world of luxury handbags. Committed to staying true to his own distinctive way of designing, Mr. Falchi has remained relevant and competitive for over 37 years. Industry recognition of his talent spans from a 1983 Coty Award to CFDA award nominations in 2004 and 2006. His designs have always influenced the market from 1980 when Women’s Wear Daily declared his Buffalo Satchel, “the most copied bag in the industry,” until today as he designs accessories to compliment the runway creations of designers such as Donna Karan, Catherine Malandrino, Vera Wang, Ralph Rucci and Bill Blass.
It all began when Mr. Falchi began designing unconventional clothing and bags for himself, and soon thereafter his musician friends began wearing his leather designs on stage. Before long, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Elvis Presley and Mick Jagger were just some of the few to don Carlos Falchi creations. His designs still permeate the entertainment industry and have been featured in television shows such as “Lipstick Jungle,” starring Brooke Shields, and the movie, “Sex in the City,” as well as Darren Starr’s series, “Cashmere Mafia.”
His loyal customers are as diverse as his talent, and have included such fashion icons as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Sharon Stone, Nancy Reagan, Jessica Simpson, Ann Bancroft, Tina Turner, Cate Blanchett, Mary J. Blige and Tina Fey.
In the early 1970’s, Mr. Falchi focused his attention on handbags and ultimately counted Henri Bendel, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman among his retail partners. Today, these same retailers remain Mr. Falchi’s biggest and largest retail partners.
His handbags were originally distinguished by unusual collages of a range of exotic skins. Each bag was completely unique and his creations continue to be made by hand. These techniques influenced the entire industry. After having studied traditional arts in Japan in the late 1970’s, he reinvented his approach to design. In 1979, he created his first unconstructed, unlined buffalo satchel that he made from a single skin with only two seams. Until that time, handbag production had been based upon traditional rigid European construction. This initiated a revolution in handbag making.
Mr. Falchi has worked for decades to develop and increase farm-bred, exotic skins. These farms protect the species, provide environmental controls, and bolster employment in underdeveloped areas of the world. The success of these programs, coupled with Mr. Falchi’s dedication to being green has increased the availability of quality exotic skins. He continues to work with tanneries to develop new techniques that are more protective of the world’s eco-systems.
After a brief hiatus in the early 1990’s, Mr. Falchi re-launched his collection in 1999 and has enjoyed resurgence with stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf-Goodman, all reporting brisk sales. His signature bags are renowned for their use of exotic skins and fine leathers and the shapes which include sleek and minimal clutches to oversized hobos. His collections have always showcased inventive finishes and new tanning techniques.
In addition to his other awards and many nominations, Mr. Falchi has also received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Accessories Council of America in 2004 and in 2007 from the Independent Handbag Designers of America. Several of Mr. Falchi’s designs have been placed in the permanent collection of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.