суббота, 15 сентября 2012 г.

The high roller; The09/10look; Coats, jackets, boots - leather is the look this year. But dare you put your money where your mouth is with a [pounds sterling]5,000 hand-painted bag?(Features) - The Mail on Sunday (London, England)

Byline: Simon Lewis

Five thousand pounds for a travel trolley? It seems excessive, especially when it appears to have been painted brown by a small child in a hurry. But with Berluti, the streaks are what you pay for: that's patina, the secret of the French leather house's success.

Alessandro Berluti founded the company in 1895 but it wasn't until 1980 that his descendant Olga Berluti invented 'Venezia' leather, a supple natural skin to which she applies essential oils by hand, giving each shoe and bag a unique complexion. The little zip's a trademark touch, too.

Known for its (very expensive) men's shoes, the Formula 1000 is Berluti's first piece of wheeled luggage.

Five grand gets you 4.8kg worth of highquality, Scotchguard-protected calfskin in either brown or black, lined with waterproof Jacquard Scritto in a choice of six colours.

Inside are zipped pockets and removeable reinforced leather pouches, plus a monogrammed ID tag. The polyurethane wheels feature shock absorbers for silent running, and come in 'sport' or 'sedan' styles.

All the gunmetal parts are coated in shockproof polymer and the whole case has been subjected to thousands of 'load stress tests'- which means, literally, chucking it down staircases.

Can't stretch to [pounds sterling]5,000? The businessmen's travel range comes in three sizes considerately labelled Un Jour ([pounds sterling]1,190), Deux Jours ([pounds sterling]1,330) and Trois Nuits ([pounds sterling]1,420).

Your only problem might be tracking one down: Berluti, like Ferrari, has a policy of 'limited distribution', with only eight boutiques in the whole of Europe. Luckily, one's in Mayfair and another's in Knightsbridge.

We clearly like to travel in more style than other nations - as any trip on EasyJet will confirm...

By Simon Lewis

Main picture: the [pounds sterling]5,000 Formula 1000 bag. Far left, from top: Berluti's Un Jour bag, Deux Jours bag and Trois Nuits bag

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