Very few luxury brands today can claim to have been founded even before the country they originated in claimed independence, and Belgian-based Delvaux is one of these rare few. Founded one year before the Belgians declared their independence from the Netherlands, it was established in 1829 by Charles Delvaux in Brussels.
While they might have a boutique right here in Singapore today that’s located on the ground level of Scotts Square, my fascination with the brand started way before that, with my very first post on the brand appearing on this blog in 2010, with both house icons the Brillant and the Tempête being firm favourites of mine.
And because I’ve never done actually done a full post on any on these bags complete with enough information to help you all make an informed decision, here’s my everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-Brillant post, which I hope will also kickstart a new series for the bags that I love the most.
Her Majesty Queen Paola, the former queen of Belgium, visiting the Delvaux atelier in the 1980s. See the bag on the table? That’s probably the Brillant.
Created in 1958 to commemorate Brussels’ hosting of the World Expo, Delvaux worked closely with Paule Goethals, a renowned architect, on the Brillant, which would also explain its clean, graphic lines.
The horseshoe-shaped buckle? That’s just Delvaux’s signature D turned anti-clockwise on a bag that’s made up of 64 individual pieces of leather, still handcrafted by artisans based in both Brussels and France, who take about 8 hours on average to complete each piece.
Available in at least 7 different sizes today, the Brillant is also Delvaux’s most high-profile bag, with widths starting from just 8.5 cm (the Brillant Charms, which is more a bag charm/key ring than anything else) to the ‘giant’ of the family, the Brilliant Black Edition that spans 36 cm across by 35 cm in height. In between them you’ll find the sizes more suited for everyday use, the Mini (20 cm by 16 cm), the MM (29 cm by 21.5 cm) and the GM (36 cm by 27.5 cm), with most styles offered with an additional shoulder sling as well, which gives you another option of carrying this bag.
There are also the ‘vertically-challenged’ versions, more wide than tall, and known as the East-West that come in 2 sizes, an East-West Mini Brilliant (28.5 cm by 16 cm) and a regular East-West Brillant (37.5 cm by 19 cm).
Once you’ve decided on the size, you’ll have to contend with the leathers it comes in, from the box calf to Sellier leathers and exotics that frankly, will please even the most difficult of patrons. From alligator to lizard and even ostrich exotics, you can even have bags custom made in a combination of exotic skins, as long as your heart desires.
Priced from a few hundred for the Brillant Charms to a few thousand for the Brillant Mini, you could just head down to their boutique at Scotts Square for an up-close look at the almost 60-year-old bag that still looks as good (and as relevant today) as it was when it was first created 58 years ago.