This bag I designed myself and it is probably the best-designed bag I have. Not that I have any great talent but it is everything *I* needed so it is the best design for me.
I found a Chinese seller on ebay called Fiona Ho who agreed to make a bag to my specifications. She posted me leather swatches and I sent her photos of colours and styles I liked, as well as drawings. If anyone wants her details just let me know.
In the end it came to this:
1. Black genuine ostrich leather. I chose full-quill for the whole bag. Full quill is more expensive and usually ostrich pieces only use full-quill on the visible parts, so the back and underneath are often smooth. But I wanted the best all over, so full-quill it was. I knew this would be an investment bag so I was prepared to pay more for real ostrich.
2. Lined in soft black lambskin. I like good bags to have good lining so I chose light strong leather rather than cheaper cotton or canvas. It is smooth and satiny soft but has lasted really really well.
3. All zips are double stitched and in heavy duty metal. There is one zip along the top, one inside, one zippered outer pocket and one closing a secret compartment on the front.
4. Outside pockets of various sizes – three with buttons and one with a zip.
5. Internal filofax holder, mobile phone holder and PDA holder
6. Long double-stitched double-strength straps.
7. magazine/newspaper flap at the back.
Oh how I love this bag. I love it I love it I love it. It can be used for work, as a handbag, as a weekend bag, on long flights. It is secure and hardwearing and the style means I know exactly what goes wear and where everything is. I don’t need a wallet or passport holder or makeup bag when I have this. I don’t need folders for papers or even a glasses case. Everything has its little slot.
If I could use one bag for the rest of my life it would be this one. It cost me about £300 for everything and I have had it about seven or eight years now. I use it probably for half the year each year. I get bored after about six months of using a bag so they are in regular rotation.
PS I made the little bead animals on the zippers. Here are some more on my TSM Balloon bag