We were pleasantly surprised by the abundance of cool, Arizona-made handbags in the Valley – so many, in fact, that we had enough left over for a bonus page
Snowflake-based leathersmith Richard Polvino can – and has – made bags out of turtle shells, but a certain flightless fowl is perhaps his favorite media. “I’ve had boots made out of ostrich that lasted me 20 years, so a purse should last longer than a lifetime,” he says. Classic twist-lock closures add function to form.
Turtle Island Moccasins
Turquoise Inlaid Satchel
Japan-born but Arizona-raised Toyo Gilman has been working with leather since grade school and opened his first Tucson shop in the 1970s. Gilman likes working with exotic hides. Case in point: this handsome, latigo-overlay satchel that was once a water buffalo ($399).
Dark Star Leather
Scholar Laptop Briefcase
Mesa luggage-whiz Tony Usluca can do anything with a swatch of Napa Valley leather. For one liquor-sales-rep client, he created a customized briefcase with molded compartments for 12 bottles of Scotch. Bags like his Scholar Laptop Briefcase are less exotic but just as purpose-built: It stands upright for quick PowerBook extraction and comes with a lifetime guarantee.