Looking for the latest statement piece to complete your handbag collection?
Instead of splurging on the latest design from Louis Vuitton or Gucci, support local labels with this eclectic range of Australian handbags to choose from. These accessories, crafted with a distinctly Aussie flair, are a must-have for every woman’s wardrobe.
The brainchild of blogger Brooke Testoni, Rylan was born out of a vintage-meets-modern sensibility. The Sydney-based label creates classic, luxurious handbags that are a nod to the past.
You won’t find any tacky logo-emblazoned merchandise here – the bags lack any conspicuous branding elements. What makes them distinctive is their glossy Italian leather-and-brass construction and oversized statement buckles. They undoubtedly look and feel premium; there’s an emphasis on quality, with the line being manufactured in the United States.
But you’ll have to be quick to snap up one of these beauties – there are only a handful of styles available, from large satchels to small bags in timeless colours like black croc, cognac and chocolate emboss.
An Australian favourite, Oroton has been turning heads since its inception as textiles importer Boyd & Co in 1938. Its famous O symbol has achieved cult status, and the company has just celebrated its 80th anniversary as one of the oldest luxury labels in Australia. Oroton’s claim to fame began in the 1950s, when it innovatively transformed metallic mesh into purses and evening bags.
A believer in natural glamour, today the brand is still wowing customers with its simple handbags which exude elegance from every facet. Earthy tones and neutrals are favoured, allowing the accessories to complement almost every outfit.
Australian Hollywood darling Rose Byrne was once the brand ambassador for the Oroton, epitomising the label’s aesthetic with her sophisticated style.
Hailing from the rural town of Gundaroo, mother Helen Kaminski started off making raffia hats for her child as a hobby in 1983. Her whimsical creations caught the eye of local businesses in Canberra.
By 1993, she had formed her own full-fledged hat-making company, Helen Kaminski Pty Ltd. Helen’s headwear gained international success, gracing the heads of famous figures such as Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie and Steven Tyler.
Kaminski soon branched out into handbag design, with a focus on natural beauty, craftsmanship and individuality. Her beachy creations smack of summer. The designer never lost her love of raffia; many of the bags are constructed from Madagascan raffia by traditional artisans.
This label’s name reflects the endless comparisons we make between our lives and others’. The brand advocates ditching these superficial judgements and living the simple life. It’s a philosophy that carries over to all of the bags: they’re super minimalist and built to last. Curating a clean, monochrome look, the brand is not afraid to show off the occasional cross body bag in daring leopard print.
Despite the brand’s international acclaim, its products are still designed right in Sydney. Brick-and-mortar stores in Paddington and Newtown display the brand’s inner west roots.
Buttery soft to the touch and built to take a beating, the leather is ethically sourced from Italy and Brazil as a by-product of the food industry. All fur is made from hides and not endangered animals.
By Jennifer Luu