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.




Gianni Chiarini bag Via La Moda MJ AND STUFF

Goodness-gracious I LOVE BAGS! If I could, I would buy a bag on the daily negotiate with my neighbours so that I go all Anna Dello Russo on them. I have gone beyond trying to reason for it, when I see a bag I want (every other day), an erratic, and scientific method proceeds in my system and I simply must have. My biggest obsession and the type of bag I’ve been in like with over the years is a giant tote and shopper style. I do believe that when aged fashion lords hiss at “big bag frowers”, an image of me marathons all over their heads, with reason -I am a bag lady’s son and this affair with carriers runs deeper than comprehension. Try to imagine my state when Loic Bellet from Via La Moda sent me an email to inform that they will be housing the newest Gianni Chiarini this winter. I am for great style and good quality stuff. This label ticks all the right boxes. LOVE IT PLENTY!!


To link up with Via La Moda’s Showroom check it here and a wide selection of these fierce Gianni Chiarini over here.

Via La Moda Gianni Chiarini bag MJ AND STUFF

Via La Moda launches Via Veneta!

Via Veneta at Via LaModa MJ AND STUFF

When Via La Moda brings out a new bag, you know it’s the real deal.  Being a bag-lady’s BFF, I happen to be among the first to get word as soon as a new good brand launches. Via Veneta represents the natural blend of genuine organic leather and inventive designs. 15 styles of handbags will be introduced into the Via La Moda showroom this month and if the details (hinted in this pic above) are anything to go by, the debuting Winter 2013 collection is something to look forward to. The full catalogue shall come soonest and I will share with ya’ll, some of my favourites.

I dreamt a Bush Baby Satchel!!

Via La Moda are at it again, providing a seriously ill (as in too damn awesome) in-house line of bags aptly called Bush Baby –Adventure Accessories. You know I have a thing for a good satchel and the Johannesburg based leather masters are bringing it hardest!

Fact: Via La Moda works with some of the finest leather materials available in South Africa –true story, they share a few tanneries with Gucci and Hermes… yeah, it’s that good. The company was established in 1989 and has since been producing fabulous high quality bags under express supervision of the third generation Master craftsman Hanspeter Winklmayr. I have been to their factory/ showroom and I can confirm that the production procedure is done my hands to ensure that only the best bags out there carry the Via La Moda brand.

Bush Baby Adventure Accessories is the newest addition, inspired by the African spirit. Delectably soft and lined with Nabuk leather tanned locally to a Nappa finish. All I can think about is just how pretty the grey satchel would look draped on my shoulder… since the birthday is coming up. I’m just saying.