Getting the Royal Treatment for your Leather Goods
I’ve been covering the luxury beat for a few years now and, while my focus is largely on timepieces, I do keep abreast of other luxe categories. That’s why, one Friday evening last month, I found myself at the opening of the Duchess of Luxury Manila, a small boutique that specializes in the care, restoration, authentication, and resale of luxury bags.
The opening was intimate, a small party thrown by proprietress and bag superfan Roe Quiambao-Dillera for her close friends, family, clients and some members of the media. Roe is all-in about what she does, an enthusiasm that is catching, and is likely how she’s grown this hobby into a business and taking what used to be just a Facebook business into a brick-and-mortar store.
“Bags are a passion of mine,” Roe says. “I started owning and collecting limited edition preloved and brand new premium branded bags even before I set up Duchess of Luxury Manila in 2008.”
Prior to becoming a professional purse purveyor, Roe would buy branded bags for her friends whenever she’d go to Singapore and Japan for her day job. She would scout areas such as Komehiyo and Ginza to hunt down elusive pieces and find great deals. Discovering that there was a thriving market for preloved pieces, she widened her circle through word of mouth and referrals from friends.
Like a good Swiss watch, a luxury bag is an investment. Take good care of it and it will last, retaining fair resale value should one decide to part with it. Duchess of Luxury Manila is there to ensure that your bag stays fit and healthy through maintenance and repair. “Expert maintenance is a must. That is why our team of craftsmen and artisans offer services that are at par with the best of what the global bag capitals have to offer.” Her travels to luxury bag hubs like Florence, Italy and Paris, France aren’t just buying trips. She meets with suppliers and restorers and researches their craft so she can apply her learnings here.
“[My vision] is not just to sell luxury designer bags but to be venue for servicing these luxury leather items as well as having a community of bag lovers like me where I can share what I have learned from handling these designer items, including sharing tips on the different kinds of leather – from calfskin, goatskin and lambskin, distressed versus smooth – how to take properly care for each type of material and even how to spot a non-authentic bag from the real one. A complete luxury bag experience.”
Now, if only I had a Burberry briefcase.
Duchess of Luxury Manila in Ayala Alabang is located at the ground floor of the CTP Alpha Tower along Investment Drive in Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang. Business hours are from Monday to Saturday, from 10AM to 7PM.