from the kingdom of belgium

from the Kingdom of Belgium

I walked into one of the Arsenal buildings in Brussels on a sunny Spring morning one Monday. I'm greeted by a friendly receptionist. After I inform her of my appointment I'm asked to take a seat. So there I am... in the place of where the truly Belgium magic happens and icons are born.

I can see a glimpse of their exquisite showroom space through the glass doors and can't help but wonder how 'Brilliant' and 'Madame' come to life. I am impatient, since I know that craftsmanship translates into things that reach far beyond mere industry standards in this building.

Sarah is the one to do the honours and she is my guide and interpreter for the next hour or so. We begin at the very showroom, housing the current collection. The one some might have seen in Paris not long ago. Clean lines, meticulous execution and utmost precision in proportion and design captivate my mind while we chat about the history of the oldest house in Belgium and go back to where it all started... the railway, travel, luggage and carry-ons. Moving on to the 'archives'. The room has it all. Quite literally, every piece ever crafted is tagged, named and placed in a dust bag waiting for its moment to be used by the design team from upstairs as a source of inspiration. There are easily a hundred items in there, which inevitably takes me back into the childhood treasure chest memories. Yet, I am eager to see the very space where tens of skilful hands cut leather, assemble, stitch, fix hardware and present you with a bag that is meant to last for centuries and will probably be inherited by someone's granddaughter. So there we are... Just around the corner from the archives I am submerged into the world of industrial sewing machines, pattern cutters and all kinds of equipment essential to Delvaux's history making. It's captivating... And I could probably spend a day there wandering around from station to station watching people cut, and clip, and paint and fix things together. There you have it all... I can see a 'Brilliant' in assembly, and pieces of 'TempĂȘte' ready to become a glorious new it-bag, and another unseen design that is coming out next season and will probably blow everybody's mind.

As they say, crash tested by Kings and Queens, Delvaux created a universe of handbags with a story. It begins at Arsenal in Brussels and then becomes a story of a lifetime - your personal story.

Thank you Delvaux for showing me around!

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