In a time where large logos, flashy materials and showy patterns may capture the attention of consumers, Parisian-born designer Phnam Bagley wants to return to the basics — the basics of high-quality craftsmanship and timeless beauty. That’s why she launched her own luxury goods business Eternal Luxe in 2012.
Based in San Francisco, Eternal Luxe produces leather goods handcrafted by local artisans using select materials and paying attention to the finest of details — details many of today’s luxury brands have forgotten, according to Bagley. The designs are inspired by architecture and also blend Parisian chic with American fearlessness. The result is an intricate balance of effortless beauty and meticulous precision.
But all of this requires a lot of hours and human skill. Bagley says one wallet may take 15 to 20 hours just to execute, but quality is not something she’s willing to sacrifice for the sake of time and money. To find out why she dedicates her time and efforts into this labor of love, we sat down with Bagley at her design studio in the Portrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco to talk inspiration, creative process, brands as status symbols, and more.