chic ~~ alviero martini 1a classe back on my radar

Do you know the name Alviero Martini?  Or maybe  Alviero Martini 1A Classe ?  Does this help?:

Medium "Upper Casual" Underarm Bag Dark Army

(via alviero martini)

I remember these iconic bags from the early 90s.  I always loved them whenever I saw them…which wasn’t often but enough for an impression to form on my mind.  That unique, vintage map design seared the memory cells all those years ago. Yet, I never owned one.  Now fast forward 25 years and I honestly can’t tell you when I last saw one being carried.  Maybe in 1995???

Recently they came back on my radar and I wish I could remember the trigger but I can’t.  Suddenly they were in my brain and I found myself looking on Etsy and Ebay in search of the “vintage map handbag”–I didn’t even know what to call them.  But sure enough, my generic search terms yielded results and before I knew it I was in the world of  Alviero Martini 1A Classe–the vintage world and the current one.

Large "Neo Casual" Hobo Bag

(via alviero martini)

 Alviero Martini 1A Classe is an Italian brand…alive and thriving.  These beautiful map motif bags are still being made and are considered part of their “Geo” line (they are a bit pricey but the website does have a sale going on now).  I decided to stay with “vintage” shopping so I have searched on Ebay and Etsy for a “great” deal.

Curiously, why don’t I see them around in the big name stores?  Well according to their store locator on the website, they don’t have any stores in the USA.  So evidently they don’t supply here either?  Just guessing, folks.  They have a huge presence in the Asia and the Middle East which would explain why almost every seller on Ebay was from Japan.  It’s very sad because I think they are truly unique and beautiful bags.

Alviero Martini (the man) was the creative genius behind the design.  If Wikipedia can be trusted, he left the company in 2005 and has started a new name “ALV” (Andare Lontano Viaggiando) which again encompasses (pun intended!) travel on his designs–this time using a passport stamp motif.

Semi round bag safari jaguar cadillac

Very cute but I think I prefer the maps.

Item picture

Item picture

(above are vintage examples from Ebay)

It is always fun to (re)discover something that makes the heart pitter patter a bit faster.

Are you a fan of  Alviero Martini 1A Classe bags?  I would love to hear your story on how you discovered them.

Monday is up and running–hope you can keep up.



22 thoughts on “chic ~~ alviero martini 1a classe back on my radar

    • Yes, I agree! I love that they offer a large variety of styles on their website. There is even a Kelly one that is super cute. : )


  1. You wil have to use the bag to illustrate a geography point in casual conversation. What fun! You can be known around town as the “woman with the map bag.” It’s nice to see that a quality company is still up and running to make beautiful things for those who truly appreciate the craftsmanship.


  2. Gosh! You allow comments again! Must admit I felt frustrated at not being able to comment and drifted away. I know there was the potential to email, but that seemed a bit hard work just to convey my less than world-shaking opinions. Will come back more often then!


    • Welcome back! Just so you know, even though commenting is open, I may not “always” respond but I love reading what you have to say. Deal? It’s all about time management for me. Too much computer time was bumming me out. : )


    • I am not sure where you live (USA or elsewhere) but be patient as you scour. There are many sellers from other countries but prices and shipping can be pretty high. USA sellers are few but I have seen some great prices when done true auction style (the other day one went for under $60). The one I am using (and LOVE) was very reasonable. They are out there…I hope you find yours!!


  3. Pingback: chic ~~ it has been the season for boots | vintage french chic

  4. Pingback: french chic ~~ longchamp le pliage (personalized) bag | chez bliss

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