A Look back on Numero 10

You don’t realise what you have... or don’t have, can’t do... or can’t see until it is taken away from you. This has become a reality for us all over the last few months and will continue to affect us in some way for the unforeseen future.

Not to begin on a negative note, but it has seen me reflecting on how we had planned our year. Within the space of 12 months, we would usually have two major overseas trips planned to Paris or New York to buy our European ranges.

To be fair, in the beginning this travel is exciting and anticipated but it is amazing how quickly 6 months rolls around and the thought of long haul travel for a week of exhausting days, big decisions, and sleepless nights begins to loose its shine. So while I feel very fortunate to have visited and immersed myself in both of these amazing cities multiple times with Leanne and have memories full of wonderful experiences, it is not the ability to no longer travel to them that I will miss. The pressure to make these twice-yearly trips has been removed but it is the people and the relationships that we have forged over the past 5 years and the inability to now spend time with them whilst viewing their wonderful collections that I feel the most disappointed about - virtual viewing is just not the same!!

So let me introduce you to some of the great people that we spend time with on each of our trips, beginning with Alberto Mondini from Numero 10.

Alberto is a craftsman, a top-notch artisan who has been working in the leather and fashion world for more than 40 years. Passionate about his truly stunning handbags, his greeting to us as he saw us approaching his exhibition space in the Palais de la Bourse in Paris or at Designers and Agents in NYC was this:

‘NEW ZEALAND!’ he would enthusiastically boom down the corridor.

Every time.

And then the obligatory European two kiss greeting. While I am walking toward him I am franticly trying to remember, ‘is it left/right...right/left?’. You would think after all these years of travel I would remember but in this instance, 6 months is a long time and it's not clear in my memory! I am one step away from Alberto, in I go, left/right, right/left. When I get it right the first time I mentally high five myself, but on more than one occasion we have met in the middle! Awkward.

Then we begin our viewing. We discuss his new styles and his new leather treatments. We can have any style in any leather! His enthusiasm over his creations on view is effusive and compelling. We catch up on news about Marina, his assistant who used to travel with him until she had a baby and now she is enjoying being a mother. On our last trip, we met his son who was selling with him and heading to Auckland to study. We make our selection and place our order. Each bag unique, hand made by a passionate Italian craftsman who still can’t believe we come so far to buy from him but excited that ladies on the other side of the world get the opportunity to own a bag to last a lifetime.

So whilst we can continue to view and order from a distance, this twice-yearly interaction I will miss and I have plenty of time to sort out my left and rights for when we can travel again, no excuses!!!

Numero 10 - some bags become bestsellers, but only a few can be called Legend.

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