Mahlatse James MJ AND STUFF, Via La Moda 01

I find the concept of “coming full circle” a really frightening and funnily awesome at the same time. Perhaps one has come accustomed to throwing the term around –loose as I do, as a way to find chill feelz because I simply cannot contain the exciting explosion channelled by an opportunity to celebrate pure greatness of my times. The re-launch of Via La Moda’s showroom had me all giddy and fuzzy and fuzzy and stuff on the inside.

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Over the years, I have followed the brand’s beautiful collections of master handmade handbags, always reminding me of the very first time I fell deep in love with it a while ago when I still worked fulltime for a print publication. The business was founded 26 years ago right here in Jo’burg by the charmingly knowledgeable Hanspeter Winklmeyr.

I had the most remarkable of times at the re-launch of Via La Moda’s showroom, alongside a few industry contemporaries  and Hanspeter was once again very generous with his time; taking us all through every single step to creating some of the most sought after bags. A definite set of enviable artisanal skills refined over the years throwing back to his beginnings when he started working in his grandfather’s workshop as a young boy in Austria.

Master at work

Master at work

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*cue a worthy collective and rhythmic stream of ooohhhs and aahhs*

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Every bag and accessory is hand-made according to the highest standards.  Organically tanned raw materials are used in order to preserve the natural characters of the skin.  The skins are sourced from only the best suppliers around the globe, and those who comply with the standards and regulations set in place to ensure ethical practice.

The most precious of ostrich, crocodile skins among many other exotic finishes make up the coveted Via La Moda collections –talk about a perfect marriage of art and science. And, Via Veneta, the more affordable and bang-on-trend range is masterfully manufactured using patent leather, calf and gorgeously soft goat’s skins.

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It is near impossible to walk into the showroom and not wish to leave with one of the stunning pieces. Especially, knowing that the factory shares the same building. I go crazy for Via La Moda. All day every day.




Radley London- Grosvenor Medium Flapover Shoulder Bag at Stuttafords. MJ AND STUFF

I am always on the run. Like, literally! Okay, maybe not anything like Julia Roberts as Maggie Carpenter in that late 90’s hit of a movie. More like an individual whose entire existence has to balance a life constantly on the move and have to have many of my tools of trade with me at all times -thus my predestined crush on Radley London’s Grosvenor Medium Flapover Shoulder bag. Coming straight out of an attraction to sling bags bigger than big (because trust me, size doesn’t necessarily mean that things come easier to find – lesson I learned hesitantly) I am open to open to a stylish change of a reasonable size and this right here, may just be IT!

 With classic craftsmanship and beautiful, naturally grained Harwood leather coupled with grosgrain lining at its core, the Grosvenor Medium Flapover Shoulder Bag has an adjustable shoulder strap and a full flap with magnetic closure. All the partitioned compartments inside and on the exterior of the bag are just enough to have all the necessities placed in an organised manner –like a grown-ass-human would.

An added bonus is a known fact that in its stylish and relaxed design, the sling bag is having a huge moment as the most versatile bag to have right now.  One can be worn with almost everything really.

The Grosvenor Medium Flapover Shoulder bag is available at Stuttafords stores nationwide.



Anni King Autumn Winter 2014 MJ AND STUFF

You know how people go-on-and-on about how “shoes maketh the man and a dress maketh the woman”? Well, I choose to believe that these telecasters also dreadfully forget to mention that a good handbag maketh the human.

Anni King Red Bags MJ AND STUFF

Welcome to Anni King as the most recent label to launch their first line of designer bags right here in South Africa. The brand is the mastery of Joanna Chen who worked with her brilliant team of aficionados to create an Autum/ Winter 2014 collection –beautifully named The Foreign Affair.

Anni King bags MJ AND STUFF

Just as the headliner deliberately suggests, this range of high quality genuine leather goods is inspired by the appreciation for travel and an aspiration for the unfamiliar excitement. Anni King looked to Belgium for references and all of the bags in The Foreign Affair collection are named after the towns and cities in the European country.

Anni King Durbuy Wallet MJ AND STUFF

These bags are all sorts fab-tastic and even though the collection for this year’s cooler season, I say one could wear them with any and everything for years to come. My ultimate favourite has to be the grey Charleroi weekender style bag made out of genuine suede with smooth cowhide leather finishes *see pic below* not only because it is bound to look equally amazing in black and white images as it does in exposed colour backdrops, but its size is #EVERYTHING– especially convenient for me because I prefer to have all my (many) necessities in a single stunning carrier when navigate through fashion things. If the fashion gods are reading this, I’ll have them know that I’m literally on my knees…