For an accessories lover there are few experiences that rival a trip to West Loop boutique Bess and Loie. Clutches, handbags and duffels decorate the room at all eye levels, interspersed with jewelry, hats and mittens. It’s the ultimate accessories haven, a place with beautiful, classic pieces that will stay in your style repertoire for years to come.
Owner Allyson Holleb shows me around, helping me search for the perfect thing for my fashionista sister. She picks up a large black leather handbag and opens it wide. Instantly, I’m taken with the lining. It’s as eye-catching as the bag—black, with yellow, red and green images of anchors, dragons and skulls. Then she reveals the true goodness: a slew of accessory holders sewn in, including a cell-phone pocket, a key fob and a compact mirror, which are standard inside every bag.
She shows me more from the same line, and each one is so well crafted, I’m stunned that this is the very first collection from Ziordia, a New York-based handbag maker. The line is named for a small town in Spain, a nod to the heritage of Ziordia’s creative director Arlene Hildreth.
“We make a stylish, luxurious bag without veering away from the idea that a bag needs to be functional,” says Zeke Matthews, an account specialist with Ziordia. That explains why the inside is as important as the outside to Hildreth, although the outside isn’t too shabby either. Their holiday collection includes six different style groups made from rich Italian, Indian and Korean leather. The designs are unique too, featuring subtle details like leather ruffles, double-ring hardware accents and semi-precious beads.
When Holleb was approached about carrying the bags, she snapped them up instantly, making her the only boutique in the city to sell Ziordia.
“They’re classic styles with an edge,” she says. “Each bag is really thought out and very well executed.” Holleb will pay homage to the line at this week’s Ziordia trunk show, where you can check out the variety of holiday styles. And start planning your spring wardrobe with a sneak peek at their warm weather lines.
Holleb shows me a few more Ziordias, ranging from clutch to duffel-size, and I head home with my mind calculating. I must frantically restructure my Christmas budget to include a Ziordia for everyone on my list. Or, at the very least, for myself. (Molly Each)
The Ziordia trunk show takes place on December 14 at Bess and Loie, 1015 West Lake, 6pm-9pm. Call (312)226-2247 for more information or check out ziordia.com for a peek a the goods.