The Madly's handmade leather bags are shaped by the nomadic existence of the label's co-designers, Melanie Dizon and Jake Quellman. The pair met two years ago in New York, bonding over a shared sense of wanderlust. She ran her own women's accessories line at the time, while he had a background in marketing and international trade. They took off on an excursion throughout Asia and South America — fortuitously skipping town just before the recession hit — living in the Philippines and visiting artisans throughout Peru.
The duo returned last year and launched a collection of six styles for spring 2010; their subsequent fall collection was picked up by Barneys. The label's rugged, Peruvian-made leather backpacks, duffel bags, totes, and briefcases are as fit for canvassing the mountains of South America as they are for city streets. Each bag is individually cut and sewn, and each piece of hardware is handmade. This month, Dizon and Quellman unveiled a pop-up shop on the Bowery, showcasing their latest collection alongside photos from their recent travels.
For spring 2011, the pair is working with a new limited-edition fabric called The Nomads, woven by cooperatives in the Sacred Valley of Peru (available for preorder at the pop-up), as well as expanding into hats, wallets, and small leather goods. The pop-up will remain open through the end of the month, when they will set off on their next trip. Click ahead to see designs from the fall 2010 and spring 2011 collections.
The Madly pop-up, through 9/30. 350 Bowery, nr. Great Jones St.