Italian accessories brand Valextra is celebrated for its discreet luxury. It’s better known for its precisely crafted handbags than its name, and throughout its 80-year history, branding has always been subtle. But with 1990s-esque logomania back in fashion, Valextra is finally joining in – on its own terms. There are no bold emblazoned Vs; instead, Valextra’s take on the trend is a custom service whereby a client’s initials are repeated in letter shapes inspired by the graphics of midcentury Swiss designer Max Huber and Italian typewriter manufacturer Olivetti. The results look more like geometric patterns than monograms.
#NoLogoMyLogo is available at certain Valextra flagship stores as well as online. First, the client chooses one of 15 bag styles, from the petite Iside crossbody bag (£2,450) to the boxy medium tote (£2,450) to the soft-sided briefcase (£3,250). The pattern is then made up of two or three initials in a combination of one or two colours, chosen from eight multiple variations, and in one of three sizes for the initials. The backing for the resulting print is the brand’s signature Pergamena black or white leather, while the final choice is whether to have black or white leather for the non-printed parts of the bag.
The actual pattern of the letters, and which colour is used for which, is left to the artistry of the designer, and within five days the client receives a portfolio with two alternative pattern suggestions, including a rendering of the bag with the pattern in place. If neither meets with approval, clients can request a third, or specific changes, before the unique piece is put into production. Each bag is then handmade in Valextra’s factory near Milan, a process that takes up to three months. The exact logo is never used for anyone else, although the owner can reorder it for other bags and smaller items such as purses and card holders. You could say it’s the modern urban equivalent of one’s own estate tweed.