As most of you know, I really like to pinpoint the gorgeous things that are offered to us in this world. And sometimes gorgeous isn’t just aesthetic but the story behind the product, however ADJUSTUS V certainly ticks both boxes!
I found this brand while collating products for another post and I don’t think I’ll ever look back! It’s a gorgeous bag brand which is practical, lovingly made and caters for all! They produce weekend travel bags, shopping bags, pushchair baby bags and more…and each bag is cleverly designed and thought out so that the extra hidden storage is perfect, for example, for that secret stash of snacks for your toddler!
Petra, founder of ADJUSTUS V has been in fashion for the last 15 years, and here she tells me a bit more about her great brand:
What’s the meaning behind the brand name?
The brand name honours my late grandfather, Adjustus, who was born in my birthplace, the Czech Republic, in 1922. He was a blacksmith and was himself inspired by true craftsmanship, people who were passionate about creating quality items.
Adjustus is a Czech name, which roughly translates as ‘to change, alter, adapt, customise or improve’. For me, this means taking a classic accessory – handbags – and enhancing them by thinking about the practical uses for each bag and its functionality while using a fabric that is very unique in handbag production – handloomed fabric.
Adjustus V has some seriously gorgeous fabrics. They are all made and dyed in Kerala. Do you visit India to see the process and if so, tell me about your experience…
Absolutely! I have a very close relationship with the team in Southern India who create our bags. In fact, they were responsible for naming the very first bag the ‘Petra’ bag and from there, each of our 11 bags took on a Bollywood name, also chosen by the team.
Our bags are made from handloomed fabric. Handlooming is a traditional method of weaving, which was brought to Kerala about 500 years ago. The fabric starts off as raw cotton, which is spun into yarn before being dyed and then dried in the sun. The coloured yarn is then put onto a huge floor loom which is assembled to make a certain pattern or fabric, and once complete, it is completely dismantled again. This whole process to achieve a finished 30m roll of fabric can take up to two months before being passed on to the seamstresses for bag production. As you can imagine, the art of handlooming is much more labour-intensive than machine/power looming and sadly – despite the skill still being passed down through the generations in Kerala – it is dying out, which would be a major knock to the state’s economy.
When you see a handloomed bag compared to other canvas-style bags, you can appreciate not only the natural, handmade beauty of the fabric, but also why this type of fabric is used for table linen and uniforms (in India). It is really durable, strong and hard-wearing, exactly what you need in a shopping bag, beach bag or even an everyday handbag.
Your background is in fashion… what were you doing and what made you start this new venture?
I have always made or adapted my own clothes since I was a teenager as I struggled to find the ‘perfect fit’. While my heart lies in the creative industry, I actually studied chemistry at school as there wasn’t an opportunity for me to follow a creative route, but there was at least something familiar about the structure and the patterns within chemistry! Sewing and dressmaking was a lifelong hobby and then 20 years ago I got my first job in retail when I came to the UK. I have always had a dream of creating my own range of handbags and I felt now – 20 years on – was about time I took the plunge! It was now or never and I’m so glad I did.
How do you design your bags? What is your inspiration?
For me, I’m designing with the consumer in mind. It’s fine for a handbag to look amazing, but I’m interested in it working from a practical point-of-view as well. Each bag has elements to it that make it super handy, for example, a simple Velcro divider in the Dilip large shopping bag is the perfect place to store your fresh bread from the farmers’ market or a bottle of fizz for your picnic. Our bags are incredibly versatile in that sense. The Kiren beach bags are extra large with padded handles, so they work well as not only as beach bag but as stylish toy storage too. I hope to have created something for everyone within the range.
Where, in a dream world, would you like Adjustus V to be stocked?
The bags are currently available through the website www.adjustusv.com and in a selection of independent boutiques. In a dream world? I think I would have to say Liberty!
Will you ever make little bags for the kids?
One of the great strengths of the handloom process is its ability to introduce innovative designs, which cannot be achieved by the machine loom. It would be wonderful to create fun fabrics for children’s bags one day! Watch this space!
My top 3 picks have to be:
The grab bag Anushka as a baby changing bag £49
The travel bag Dara for a trusty weekend getaway bag £69
The shopper bag Dillip to carry all the shopping every day! £30