One of the things I love to do is exploring the side streets to see what stores have opened, what’s closed and to look again at what historical remnant of the past still lingers about. Recently, one morning, I was walking down Wiejska and saw this new shop with its beautiful logo winking from the window. I investigated further and was surprised to find all these beautiful artisan leather bags inside. I immediately thought that it might be some Italian store, more so since it was named after Renaissance architect Donato Bramante. I wanted to check out the bags in person, but had to wait until it opened – not a problem, as that gave me the opportunity to eat in Why Thai? just down the street.
When we decided to go with the theme of “Made in Poland” for the issue I suggested this shop, reasoning that it might be a good idea to have a place that doesn’t carry Polish-only products. After I got the go-ahead, I discovered that I was half right. Most of the products for your everyday electronic carry (laptop, Kindle, MacBook, iPad, etc.) are designed in Denmark and created in India, while their exclusive line called 376 is made with Italian leather here in Poland by local designer Agnieszka Solomon.
While their standard line is beautiful (and I love the idea of something organic and long lasting juxtaposed against something not so long lasting – like the MacBook), I really love their 376 line. My curiosity got the best of me while in the shop and I asked the meaning of 376 – it turns out it’s a combination of lucky numbers and the three business partner’s birthdays. In the line the two that stood out to me were the beautifully crafted goatskin bags (ideal for an elegant sophisticate to stand out on Mokotowska), and the messenger bags that look like long, rectangular, old school mail pouches. The cool thing about the messenger bags is that no two are alike and you can custom order any color combination and even have an initial put on the bag. I would love to give this bag as a gift to my wife, but I need to make sure I don’t “pull a Homer” and put my initials on instead. – Kevin Demaria