THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Louis Vuitton Masters collection by renowned artist Jeff Koons recreates the iconic works of the Old Masters, think Van Gogh and Fragonard, on the luxury brand’s leather bags, encouraging customers to look at the paintings in new ways. In the UK, artist Boyarde Messenger is in growing demand for her personalised services, which involve hand-painting her pop art-inspired work onto bags that include Hermes Birkins, Goyards, Balenciaga and more. The popularity of hand-painted bags points to a trend where art is not just for your walls but also something that can be worn.
Taking cues from the Western market, Aranyani, a one-year-old Bengaluru-based brand, has positioned itself firmly in the luxury space with a promise of what else, but hand-painted leather bags, each with a story to tell.
“While today’s luxury brands are working on mass produced goods, Aranyani is taking the time to personalise every single product by designing them one by one. Our artists are personally working on each product like a painter would on a canvas,” says, Raphael Lombardo, their product technologist, who has worked with design houses such as Armani, Cartier, and LVMH, and is currently a teacher at the Palazzo Pucci Fashion Academy in Florence, Italy.
Aranyani, which means queen of the forest, uses nature as its inspiration and prides itself on using 100 per cent cruelty-free leather for its range of sling bags, backpacks, totes, clutches and more. Their latest collection, Finding Your Roots is a reflection of motifs from the land of the Kodavas. “Aranyani has the vision of connecting humankind to nature through our stories and works of art. The people of Kodagu are nature worshippers, which is apt for our brand's design story,” explains, Haresh Mirpuri, founder and CEO of the label.
Painted on aged goat leather, reinforced with handloom fabrics sourced from across India, are dramatic images of birds of paradise, magnificent peacocks, imposing elephants and a selection of abstract works. The pieces are given a gun metal or champagne-hued finish for a truly classy and timeless look. Having launched just in time for Autumn/Winter, the colours include what they call Vino Russo (deep red), Viola Scuro (plum) and Aqua Blue.
A departure from their previous two collections, Aranyani 5 and Love Peace and Happiness, the artwork, Haresh tells us, is a lot more polished in Finding Your Roots. “Research is our daily exercise and hence every time you will see us doing more intricate and interesting art forms. We are also continuously looking at better collaboration opportunities that will improve our knowledge and skill sets,” he signs off. The products are available online from `35,000 onwards.