Demellier

The next step for DeMellier bags: Apple ‘leather’



Demellier New York tote small grained leather

An interesting update in WWD on handbag brand, DeMellier*. On track to become a $50 million business, the article puts the brand’s success down to a number of factors with a focus on price point and ethics.

I first wrote about DeMellier in 2014 (it was launched under a different name and not five years ago, despite what WWD says). And it’s true – price, problem-solving design and ethics were at its core from the get-go. Its founder Mireia Llusia-Lindh spotted a niche for stylish office bags that were practical (read laptop-friendly) and way below the luxury price point of Celine and co, while giving off an air of mid-2010s stealth-luxe. DeMellier was also early in the purpose marketing era, donating vaccines and medical treatments to children in need for every bag sold. And quality manufacturing was another win – bags are produced in ethical European factories, not fast fashion sweatshops.

Demellier Lisbon bag

Over time, the designs of the bags have evolved. Not strictly for corporate types, they now include smaller fashion bags, like the Nano Montreal* carried by Kate Middleton (an early brand endorser) and my current fave, the beach-friendly Santorini* (below). Which is lucky, as the diversity of design and online business model helped DeMellier weather the Covid storm as people adjusted to stay-at-home lifestyles, replacing laptop bags with phone pouches and micro bags.

Demellia raffia beach bag

While the brand has dipped a toe in clothing with a knitwear capsule*, and customers have requested shoes, Llusia-Lindh is in no hurry to expand. Instead, next steps are clearly focused on evolving its leather use. At the moment, bags are made from leathers that are a by-product of the food industry. But DeMellier is looking at an apple-based ‘leather’, responding to the demand for alt-leather materials such as the mushroom-derived ‘unleather’, Mylo. Watch this space…

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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES:  DeMellier SS22
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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Buy it now: Demellier SS19



Demellier SS19 Miami - affordable luxury leather tote bags

Demellier bags have had a major boost since I first discovered them in 2012. Quick back story: I discovered them in the best way, when I was at an event talking to someone and my eyes kept resting on somebody elses’s bag across the room. When I found the owner and quizzed her about her bag, she revealed it was her own design. That was Mireia Llusia-Lindh, then a corporate consultant whose frustration at not being able to find a practical and sensibly-priced bag for work led her to design her own. Classic founder story! We made friends and I’ve followed her success – and the evolution of the brand name – since.

The Duchess of Sussex (aka Meghan Markle) is another fan, whose high profile patronage has shot Demellier bags into the mainstream. Actually, Demellier bags have developed from the original laptop-friendly totes into smaller fashion bags, offering more choice, colours and price points. (more…)



Buy it now: DeMellier bags



Demellier bags

Milli Millu has rebranded. I met founder Mireia Llusia-Lindh a few years ago by chance at a networking event by – how else? – admiring her bag and asking where it was from. We got chatting and I was happy to champion her growing brand of handbag workhorses.

The brand has evolved tremendously and last year won Walpole’s Brand of Tomorrow award. (more…)