High on LOEWE

Stunning Spanish handbags grace Ala Moana

Though perhaps not as well known as Louis Vuitton, its high-profile sibling in the LVMH family, the Spanish luxury house of Loewe shares the same air of tradition, quality and crafts-manship that originally earned it the respect of royalty.

The House of Loewe started with German craftsman Enrique Loewe Roessberg, who moved to Spain in 1872, partnering with Spanish craftsmen to create high-quality leather goods. By 1892, a larger store, E. Loewe, was created, eventually becoming the preferred brand of Spanish aristocrats. King Alfonso XIII made it official in 1905 by granting Loewe the distinguished title of “Supplier to the Royal Court.”

In the 1950s, Loewe caught the eye of movie stars like Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly and other jetset clientele such as Ernest Hemingway, who is said to have given a Loewe purse to actress Ava Gardner, who accompanied him to bullfights.

Today, Loewe’s handbags are fashioned from the best 3 percent of lambskin, Nappa 7000, considered to be the highest quality in the world, and colored with organic dyes. Purses continue to bear Loewe’s signature brand code of four intertwined “L’s.”

The company launched women’s ready-to-wear in the 1970s. Like the company’s leather goods, its clothing conveys modernity through avant-garde design, and that commitment to quality and style attracted the attention of the LVMH Group, which acquired Loewe in 1996.

Today, there are more than 100 Loewe stores worldwide, including one boutique at Ala Moana Center, which opened in 1990 and is the company’s only store in the United States. Here, shoppers can still find handbags and clothing employing the same quality craftsmanship fit for royalty.

tagged in Loewe, LVMH

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