Friday, July 8, 2011


 While I am passionate about decorating, I am by no means a fashion queen.   I can spend day after day shopping at antique markets, flea markets and home goods stores, yet my patience for clothes shopping are pretty slim.  However, I sometimes find an item be it old or new that is just outstanding.  About three years ago, I attended a small antique show at a local church not really expecting to find anything that day.  

To my surprise, I came across this fabulous classic, sporty, vintage Etienne Aigner purse. I love the combination of the rich burgundy leather and oatmeal tweed along with the extraordinary horn clasp.  While there are so many handbags on the market today, I prefer this unique vintage purse with it's traditional, elegant look that will never go out of style.  

Along with this purse, the antique dealer was selling a belt with the same great combination of burgundy leather and tweed fabric..  While the belt was very small,  I couldn’t buy the purse and leave the belt behind. So what if I can only manage to wear it on the largest belt adjustment if I hold in my stomach and don’t breathe!  It still looks nice hanging in my closet and I can dream of the day that I will lose ten pounds and wear it comfortably.  

I purchased this vintage great looking Etienne Aigner purse for a friend of mine, and gave it to her for her birthday.  

I found this image online - isn't this bag gorgeous?

This is another stunning vintage Etienne Aigner handbag with the same great combination of oatmeal tweed and bordeaux leather along with some decorative brass studs.

After spending a considerable amount of time on the internet searching for images of these purses, I decided to research this designer.  Etienne Aigner was born in 1904 and grew up in Budapest.  He began working with leather when he was a bookbinder.  In 1930, Etienne moved to Paris and remained there until 1943 when he fled to avoid the German occupation.  After the war, he returned to Paris and started his business of making fine belts and purses and sold them to retailers such as Dior, Lanvin and Rochas.  In 1950, Etienne moved to New York and presented  his leather collection under his own name brand "Etienne Aigner".    The monogram of the letter "A" is in the form of a horseshoe which is also a symbol of good luck. Etienne Aigner became known as "The Man with the Golden Hands".

I love this bag with its beautiful clasp.

  I often search flea markets, antique shows and ebay for vintage belts and handbags by Etienne Aigner.   I can still remember my favorite pair of Etienne Aigner sandals from the late 70's - I wish I still had them.
What about you?  Do you have any vintage Etienne Aigner belts or purses in your closet?