The Altuzarra Handbag, Unicorn of Fashion

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Photo: Angelo Pennetta for WSJ. Magazine

Joseph Altuzarra — man of many capes, raccoon-printed fur coats, jazzy coins on the edges of things, and zipper-slits — will soon be adding handbags to the list. According to Meenal Mistry in WSJ. magazine, Altuzarra is ramping up his efforts in accessories — whether for this season or some season in the near future, it’s not completely clear — and is determined to have whatever shape these bags take be exactly what women (or at least the Trainas) want. He asks Mistry: “What makes you buy a bag?”

By one measure, however, the Altuzarra bag is overdue. Many of his peers have already planted a flag in that potentially lucrative ground. ... What will the Altuzarra bag look like when it finally makes its debut? The designer has been mulling over for some time. "I don’t know yet," he admits. "But we have such a clear idea of who the Altuzarra woman is, it makes the extensions of what other categories would look like or function as more defined.”

That woman, as Altuzarra describes her, is aging but, "the lead character in their own romantic comedy … They still want to be sexual and they still want to be beautiful.” And, further confirming our suspicions that he cares about what his customers want, Mistry writes simply: “He lines his peacoats with Thinsulate because [Vanessa] Traina told him she wanted a fashionable coat that was also warm.”