Outsiders may interpret the world of fashion and luxury as hedonistic or superficial, but Joshua Orbeta and Nisha Ramchandani – the team at Handpicked – are optimistic that designer handbags encompass much more than fragments of leather and metal.
Based in Japan, which houses one of the world’s most fashionable capital, Handpicked thrives on the notion that decades of experience and craftsmanship weave a priceless plot into a luxury product’s story – which is why Joshua and Nisha enjoy seeking out vintage handbags with a mature existence. They consider designer handbags a broadening perspective in an otherwise borderless world.
Taking a break from papers and numbers, Joshua and Nisha brought forward some industrial insights when we had a quick chat with them.
1. Can you tell us more on how Handpicked came about?
Handpicked started out as a little test for us – based in Japan, we were always on the search for newer and easier ways to reach out to consumers from all over the world. The brand was born from the understanding that despite how costly luxury can be, designer items can still be found at affordably good prices.
2. Why do you think luxury is important to men and women?
We believe that luxury is important to everyone because fashion is a way for people to express themselves. It doesn’t matter if it’s a handbag, vintage watch, or costume jewellery from the eighties; people appreciate beautiful things – even more so when these things possess good quality that can last forever.
3. Where do you usually source for vintage luxury pieces? What is the process like?
The dedicated merchandisers of our team selectively handpick each designer piece in our curation by sending in suggestions of what they would like to see on Handpicked. More often than not, we are lucky enough to find great styles of mint conditions at amazing prices! What can we say? Everyone loves a good bargain, including our clients and us!
4. Share three unique items that HANDPICKED has in its inventory. Why are they so special?
Only three? Each one seems so unique! Although, if I had to pick three, I would say the Céline Macadam Evening Clutch, the Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Flap Bag and the Gucci Mesh Bamboo Handbag.
I had chosen the Céline Macadam evening clutch because it has such a feminine silhouette rendered in the Blason canvas, which is something you hardly see anymore. Whereas, the intricate hand weaves of Bottega Veneta’s Intrecciato handbags have always left us in awe.
With Gucci, it is the pervasion of directional spirit that bought us over. It is amazing how these brand histories intertwine through past and present, even before Alessandro Michele.
5. Which is the most popular designer brand from HANDPICKED?
The most popular designer brand from Handpicked is Prada, and we are not surprised! Miuccia Prada has such a talent for producing beautiful yet practical designs and her bags definitely pack a punch!
6. What are this season’s must-have pieces sold on HANDPICKED?
Some of this season’s must-have pieces include the Chanel Quilted Lambskin Handbag, because boxy silhouettes are having a resurgence on Fall’s runways; the Nylon Lady Dior, because it is a utilitarian and directional take on the brand’s classic; the Mulberry Patchwork Bayswater, because we have seen the revival of the seventies in the past few seasons; and last but not least, the Chloé Georgia, because Claire Waight Keller is having such a moment right now.
7. If HANDPICKED were a celebrity/fashion-icon, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Madonna. She’s a maximalist with distinct fashion direction that is a little wacky, but rich in connotation. Also, she’s always playing with vintage elements and giving them a fresh spin. That’s what we want to achieve with our curation: allowing our clients to view our vintage pieces through renewed perspectives!
8. Name one of the best memories you had in running the business. What can consumers expect from HANDPICKED in the next year?
Every time we receive positive feedbacks from our clients, it makes us feel accomplished in what we have set out to do. This is especially so when long-term clients begin asking for specific pieces; the trust that is put in us motivates us to source for these items, and we are always happy to witness how the shopping experience entitles our clients.
9. What are three words to describe HANDPICKED?
Eccentric, nostalgic and curated.