Travel Inspired Luxury Bags

Travel Inspired Luxury Bags

For Love Or Nothing, Baby

By John-Paul Pietrus

I enter the warm, wood-lined walls of number 59 South Audley Street in Mayfair, London. Sitting at the back of the bar is a gorgeous couple, the understated and chic Runaway and the effortlessly stylish Vagabond. They’re just so cool. They’ve got the perfect slouch, heart, and soul. I venture forth and ask “Who are you and where are you from?” They reply, “We’re Love Or Nothing, Baby”.

If bags were people, Love Or Nothing Baby (LONB) bags would be those cool cats in the corner that simultaneously stand out with style, but are welcome in any environment. They carry a timeless, beautiful form, created for travel as well as a quotidian living.

The idea for LONB started several years ago with the brand’s masterminds, Melissa Morris and Reinhard Mieck, frustrations with finding the perfect bag. As a bag-lover, Reinhard amassed a collection of over 50 varieties of bags, some of which he loved for function, others of which he loved for aesthetics, but he never found one which was just perfect in every way.

Reinhard comes from a background in the business side of the leather goods industry, having been CEO of Labelux. He recalls the stress of waking up at 6 a.m. to catch a flight, gathering keys from one jacket, wallet from another, passport, boarding pass and all the essentials, only to arrive at the airport and realize that one thing had been forgotten. Melissa remembers living in New York City, and getting dressed and ready to go to work, only to arrive at the subway station to begin digging through her bag full of makeup, wallet, etc, searching in vain for her subway card. Their bags looked great, but it was easy to lose things within or leave something behind. Thus, began their desire and decision to start LONB.

It took three years of product design and development before LONB finally launched in Spring 2017. One of the very first obstacles Melissa and Reinhard faced was finding a place to create their bags, as they wanted only the highest quality materials and craftsmanship.

These days most goods, leather or otherwise, are made in a factory by machines, with an emphasis on quantity and speed. The LONB method is the opposite. The emphasis is on quality via an artisanal approach. LONB eventually found their artisans in Florence, Italy.

Melissa visited Florence every two weeks for three years, to sit down with the artisans and make sure everything was absolutely indefectible. Each bag takes from 12-30 hours to make, all by hand. They remember a time sitting down with the hardware artisans for one week to get the sound of the solid brass clasps just right. Reinhard wanted the clasps to create a sound, which gave him the same satisfaction as the sound of his vintage Porsche door when it shut.

The inspiration for LONB lies in the 1960s counterculture, the vibrancy in the arts and music, Riva boats, Rolex Tool watches and sports cars. It was a time when travel became more popular.

Reinhard’s favourite leather is their Atelier Calfskin, from a small tannery in France. He likens it to his favourite leather jacket which becomes softer and gains more character with time. It gets marks which can easily be buffed out, but Reinhard prefers the scuffs to the buffs because they all tell stories. “I remember when I was on holiday in Morocco and I was going through the souk and scraped my bag against the wall, and that’s where that mark came from.” The marks have a charm to them, which adds to the soul of the bag.

At the heart of every LONB bag is a tribute to one of Melissa and Reinhard’s favourite saveurs. For example, the Alacantra lining of a bag may have a deep, rich burgundy colour, as a homage to the delectable Amarone wine. Customers can customize their bags with a beautiful range of subtle tones monikered Havana, Classic Red, Marrakech, Zabaione, Riviera Blue, White Sand, Caviar Grey, Dark Cherry, Alpine and of course, Black. Exotic leathers such as Porosus crocodile or ostrich are also available.

Going back to Melissa and Reinhard’s experiences at the subway station and the airport, they designed the Runaway to be portable and chic, and ready to accommodate all of their travel essentials.

It folds and claps shut with those seductively sonorous brass clasps, and it also clasps unfolded into the inside of any travel bag.

LONB has very demanding connoisseurs. Whether they are architects, artists, musicians, lawyers, or corporates, they all have a very rigorous lifestyle and a high level of taste. They covet beautiful things with a soulful attitude and flavour. For those discerning customers, Love Or Nothing Baby is not passing flirtation, it is a joie de vivre.

Photos Courtesy of  LONB
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