For generations, the Maison Morabito in Paris has produced some of the finest and most expensive handbags in the world. This is a brand that has remained a secret, but for any discerning lady who appreciates the finest of quality in a bag, this is the absolute reference. Who remembers that fabulous shop on Place Vendôme, with its windows full of the most beautiful bags made with the best leathers and skins of ostrich and crocodile? This boutique moved to a larger location near the Champs Elysées in 1996 to the corner of Avenue George V and Rue François 1er.
The address changed again in 2007 when Morabito moved back to 259 rue Saint-Honoré, just a few steps away from the original store.
The story of this famous brand began with its founder Jean-Baptiste Morabito. Born in Naples in 1885, Morabito opened a jewellery store in Nice in 1905. He produced jewellery made of tortoiseshell, coral and mother of pearl, combining them with gold and silver. Success followed and this young craftsman’s work quickly became popular amongst the European aristocracy and wealthy travellers who spent their vacation in the Côte d’ Azur. The reputation was such that in 1908 Morabito obtained a Royal Warrant of the Imperial Court of Russia. The Royal Houses of Sweden and Yugoslavia become important clients too.
A legend was born.
Determined to conquer Paris, Jean-Baptiste Morabito opened his first shop rue Saint-Honoré in 1921. His reputation continued to grow and he was recognised throughout the world for his mastery of tortoise shell, which he used to fashion into exquisite “Articles of Paris”. But then he expanded his business into suitcase making, setting the standards of elegance between the two World Wars. Of course, his most famous products follows – the ladies’ handbag.
And what a pleasure to see that his original designs still inspire the collections today. Here are just three models that I absolutely adore:
The «Vendôme» model evokes the famous Parisian square where Morabito’s Paris store was located for half a century. A very precious evening bag with a timeless design. It was offered by Mrs. Pompidou to the Empress of Japan and Japanese and since then, has been very much appreciated by women politicians and businessmen.
When Marilyn Monroe was looking for a model that could be her travel beauty case, Morabito Paris created the «Orsay», a glamorous bag to for a busy lady. Marilyn loved this bag. It’s the perfect handbag that you carry with you all day long. The Orsay continues to pay homage to the beautiful American film star.
The «Traviata» was created for Maria Callas. Ornaments and the clasp are replicas of her famous acorn-shaped lucky charms. This is a sophisticated model that just fascinated me to open it. As a small jewellery box, I loved it!
All of these models have a story to tell… These bags continue to enchant buyers, who really buy more than a just a handbag. Morabito used to say: “Luxury is not exceptional, it is the exceptional which is luxurious”.
These exceptional products are part of the French art of producing rare hand made products that has made Paris the centre of luxury, a heritage that includes Hermes, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel.
Each step in making these bags is performed by skilled craftsmen and material is always selected from the finest skins. The making of each bag takes more than 20 hours. No machine could produce similar results with the meticulous care taken in their creations.
Recently in Paris, I had the great honour and pleasure to spend an afternoon in their workshop.
I was welcomed by the master craftsman Pascal Charpentier, who showed me the step by step process of constructing a bag.
It was a unique experience, watching this master craftsman working with the most sophisticated and expensive crocodile skins. For most bags, he uses more than 4 skins for a single piece, to ensure perfect framing, to ensure the perfect skin match for all angles of the bag, and so that each bag is unique!
All steps are completed by hand in the most professional and unhurried manner; they take the time required to guarantee that every detail receives the necessary attention, which explains why these pieces are destined to last through generations.
Cutting, stitching, sewing, and then having to turn the pieces that are sewn in reverse; every detail requires accurate and experienced hands.
Kindly, Pascal, invited me to perform one of the steps – the seam of a point – and in doing this single step, I could understand the real difficulty of this work. I fulfilled my “point” but it was a full 5 minutes of tension between laughter and words of encouragement from the staff! An unforgettable experience!
The Maison Morabito Paris still proudly bears the name of its founder and like him, thanks to the unique sensitivity towards the interplay of materials and colours. Morabito Paris owes its fame to the constant concern for representing the highest tradition of French leather goods.
What more can I say ? Morabito is just one of those iconic brands that I really love. To have one of their handbags makes you feel very special and proud. I will always admire ladies that I see with these handbags. They appreciate the real deal.
- Morabito Morabito Paris Boutique tentatively moved from Saint-Honoré to our VIP Salon near the Arc de Triumph. We are happy to welcome our client by appointment at our Salon. New boutique will be opened also at rue St.Honoré soon)
- MORABITO Paris VIP SALON – 8 rue Villaret de Joyeuse 75017 Paris FRANCE
- Open hours: Monday – Friday 10:00 – 17:00 by appointment Tel :+33 (0)1 53 23 90 40 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org