Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud is a shining example of Middle Eastern female entrepreneurship. The Saudi Arabian royal set up her own business, Baraboux, two years ago, making and selling luxury bags because she felt those on the market did not fulfil her exacting requirements as a frequent traveller. Working mainly with exotic skins and high-quality craftsmanship, she started with large, versatile bags that had practicality at their heart, but – somewhat ironically – her runaway bestseller is much smaller.
The Reema is an elegant, round, scroll holder of a bag – tactile and ergonomic to carry. The skins are beautifully worked on a solid frame and the bag is divided into two hinged compartments, held in place by a smooth cuff – often in a contrasting colour or material – that moves freely and allows one side to be opened at a time, so you can literally compartmentalise the essentials of your evening life.
Now Princess Reema has launched crocodile versions featuring cuffs embellished with semiprecious stones that can be interchanged with plain ones for less formal wear. They are set in enamel using traditional Florentine methods, and the stones are the same as those supplied to jewellers, reflecting the idea of the bag as a piece of jewellery. “We thought about using traditional precious stones set in gold, but semiprecious ones are more practical and less dressed up,” she says.
Sold exclusively at Harrods, two unique examples (both £4,200) arrive in store on Saturday October 17. One is in emerald-green crocodile with lapis lazuli stones (pictured), the other in brown crocodile with rose quartz. Further examples can be made to order, allowing customers to choose different designs of stones – the idea is that no two should be identical.