Ben Gorham Adds Bags To His Byredo Fragrance Label

by Dena Silver
Byredo’s fragrances have a cult-like following, thank to their unique scents and even more unique names. This week, the label’s founder, Ben Gorham, unveiled his foray into leather goods with a handbag range that’s exclusive to Barney’s New York. Gorham was on hand to celebrate at a dinner on Wednesday, which was co-hosted by Padma Lakshmi and attended by the likes of Susan Sarandon, Johan Lindeberg, Waris Ahluwalia, Kate Young, Maria Cornejo, Devon Windsor, and Freja Beha Erichsen. But back to the accessories! He dished to The Daily about what’s in store…
Why did you decide to to branch into handbags?
Initially I came across historical connections between leather and fragrance as the old French glove makers would perfume their leather products. In this project I also felt a need to add another less invisible dimension to Byredo.
Fragrance is a totally sensory experience. How do you translate that experience into leather goods?
The process of creating such a visually impactful product was quite different from fragrance, but at the same time it was as much about capturing an emotion, so our approach translated very well.

Are there any bags for men in the line?
All the bags are for both women and men, although I’ve found that men are drawn to the larger pieces.

Are you inspired by any hommes who are dedicated to the man bag trend?

Mr. George Cortina.

You spent two years creating this line. What took you so long?!
To be honest the design of the bags is quite simple; most of the two years I spent learning about the materials and meeting with the craftsman in Italy.

Do the bags have a specific scent?
They smell like the most precious French calf leather.

If you were to create a scent inspired by your handbags, what would it be called?
Pricey But Worth It.

What’s the most unexpected item you have your initials emblazoned on?
Pajamas, I’m ashamed to say. 

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