Exquisitely hand-crafted handbags at Anteprima

Like many luxury brands, Anteprima showcases fine leather shoes, handbags and accessories, but it’s always been in designer Izumi Ogino’s nature to experiment with alternative materials.

Ogino was born in Japan and grew up with an appreciation for arts and crafts, textiles and design from working in her family’s business as one of the country’s leading obi suppliers. A love of color and the tactile qualities of fabric has informed her work since then.

One of the materials she worked with was an exclusive PVC cord manufactured in Italy, which could be made in a wide range of colors and knit into lightweight wire purses that gleam with just a hint of light.

The line became known as Plastiq, and became an instant hit in Europe and Asia, where there are now 40 Anteprima Plastiq boutiques. The Royal Hawaiian Center became home to the first Anteprima Plastiq in the United States in December 2006.

Boutique manager Hiroyuki Yanagimoto said that because the handbags are designed to be suitable for everything from jeans to kimonos to evening wear, women find them easy to incorporate into their wardrobes, whether they consider themselves playful or sophisticated.

Using virtually indestructible PVC also means that travelers trying to pack light also find them handy.

“You can get them wet, you can set them down anywhere, on the roughest surface, and they still look good,” Yanagimoto says.

Each purse is handmade, a task that takes one day to complete, and bags sell for about $200 to $1,200. Small accessories start at about $35. Demand has been so great that the Honolulu store became the company’s top performer worldwide, and as a result, Anteprima Plastiq will open a second store at Ala Moana Center in late April.

Yanagimoto suggests that one reason the bags may sell so well in Hawaii is that the sunlight bouncing off the PVC gives it an extra sparkle. Next up for the company are plans to open in Las Vegas, another city known for sunshine as well as sinful expenditures.

Anteprima Plastiq
Royal Hawaiian Center
924-0808