Bulgari launched its Serpenti Forever handbag line in 2011 and the enamelled snakehead-clasp designs have since seduced the likes of Kate Moss, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Erin O’Connor. Now the Italian maison is teaming up with British shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood for a capsule Serpenti Forever collection that represents a first for both parties: a handbag debut for Kirkwood and an inaugural venture into backpacks for Bulgari.
The range is themed around a chevron pattern of zigzagging studs – in a mix of either varnished flat and round studs or matte pyramid iterations – that is set off by a revamped, enamelled snakehead clasp interwoven with contrasting metal. The monochrome calfskin rucksacks (£2,190) feature sleek, tone-on-tone studs and come in either white with contrasting black straps or in punchy all-black.
Bringing colour to the collection are the shoulder bags – a square flap-cover version (£1,990) and a more traditionally feminine, rectangular chain wallet (£740) – in pink spinel or blue sapphire calfskin, matched with pink quartz and with blue lapis eyes on the clasps. There is also a pale gold, nappa leather shoulder bag that oozes 1970s glamour with its glitter gold enamel clasp, and a more restrained black-on-black style.
But it’s the flap-cover black and white shoulder bags that are the most eye-catching, their contrasting studs making the most of the sinous chevron motif – so much so that Kirkwood has also put the same designs on an elegant envelope pouch (£790).
The collection can be found at Bulgari in New Bond Street, Nicholas Kirkwood’s Mayfair boutique and online at Net-a-Porter.