Weekly New Designer: Artemis Leather

What it is about expensive designer bags that makes our heart beat skip a little. Is it the status symbol, the desire to be perceived in a certain way, the “idea” of quality and price being synonymous, the inherent desire to put a “discreet” price tag on our arm for people to see? 

I once did an unintentional experiment when I walked around the shopping mall with a designer bag in the morning and without one in the evening (I left it  in the car the second time, and just had my wallet). It was amazing how the shop keepers welcomed me when they spotted a designer bag carried like a shield on my arm. Other fashion conscience ladies would also give nods of approval, carrying the bag gave me a sense of pride, a sense of cool in the morning, in the evening not having that bag almost made me feel more stripped back, more bare, more just me.

This whole “it bag” obsession dates back to late 90's early 00's, who can forget the Fendi baguette, the heavy, but beautiful Chloe Paddingtons, the motorcycle Balenciagas (the latter actually took on quite a classic status), then it was the Dior Saddles, Mulberry Alexas, PS1, 2 and then there were the Celine’s. Tommy Ton perfectly captured the meteoric rise of the bag and its iconic arm candy status.

A few weeks ago I won a voucher for a department store, so I ran into the store last week, my first thought being: I am going to buy a Celine Trapeze. NOW! I was told there was a 2 months waiting list, I just couldn't believe it, yet after a minute or two the "despair" turned into a relief: I looked around the shopping the mall and all I could see was that almost every single woman in the store was parading her Celine, Birkin, Proenza etc. The armour of the 21st century, hanging like a shield in a strategic position for all to see.
That was my moment of clarity. I didn’t want to be on any waiting list, in fact I have had enough of blending into the crowd, I did not need another bag to define me, I wanted something unique something handmade, something that was just very good quality and different.

That’s when I remembered a designer called Artemis Leather I came across her at a Hong Kong crafts bazaar in December, I remembered how her work stood from the rest of the arts & crafs mish mash. The quality of the leather, the finish, the delicate shapes, I never got round to emailing her.  It was time to find her business card.  

Hopefully I will meet her this week. In the meantime below are some extracts from her interview with a cool website called Nevermind 

Joe Wong, the founder of Artemis, produces a range of leather goods, from the initial idea to the final product all done by herself.

V: How would you introduce Artemis?

J: The name of Artemis is from one of the Greek mythological figures, which not only represents Moon, but also is the guardian angel of my birth month. I like the style of Artemis, so I name my brand with her name.

“A simple and practical design plus good quality leather”, this is the style of Artemis.

Since I strongly believe that leather is the leading role, I focus on the quality of raw material and the design is the supporting role in my works. I use Italian vegetable tanned leather only. They are natural and unique texture, which cannot be replaced. Also, leather is durable material. So simple design is the best design, it is timeless and can last for many years.

I really look forward to ordering my own handmade bag, it will be my mini-anti it bag :) 

What do you think about it bags? Which bag are you dreaming about?

All images courtesy of Joe Wong to order you bag visit the ETSY site


  1. I still love the one you first showed me (last photo here). Pastel is nice but I don't think it's suitable for all-year styling. I think a husky grey with a tinge of blue would be perfect on that bag. Or a dark plum. Yes.....

  2. Bags are beautiful and my pick would be on third collage, first photo...I love simple leather bags and row edges. I also love Celine Trapeze, beautiful bag but not that beautiful for two months waiting list so if I was in your shoes I would do exactly the same....choose uniqueness & quality!

  3. Oh I love the last one, it's lovely...I agree that it'd be beautiful in pastel! Great post (even though I still kind of want at Celine Trapeze...)

  4. I refuse to buy designer handbags for the same reason, I find it so boring, more like an uniform than a fashion statement. Instead I look for handmade goodness made by emerging designers, I think very often they tend to be more unique and I know extra love and care has gone into its creation. My friends however thinks I am insane...

  5. I love the craftsmanship. There's nothing like a handmade leather good. The satchel in the first picture is GORGEOUS. My friend has a handmade doctors bag and it's stunning. Hmm... now I want one:)

  6. good quality has it's price. I really need a suitable bag for my camera...

  7. That bag in the first picture oozes quality, it's beautiful


  8. I am addicted to designer bags but I must confess the moment I bought an Artemis black bag on my trip to hong kong July 2012, have never look back . I love the black bag to death . It's very simple , shinning leather bag with amazing shape. OMG words are not enough to describe the beauty and simplicity of this bag . I need to buy more from Artemis but I live in Australia.