I had to buy a new Blackberry last weekend, after my previous one died. Standing in the queue to pay, I mulled over how the PDA and smartphone have completely replaced the Filofax. A trusty companion of the Sloane Ranger and Yuppie (remember them?), the fad for these luxury leather small folders has almost completely passed. It's a shame, as they were very practical, acting as catch-all during a week's busy work. Although relegated to a drawer, mine is still perfectly useable. I wonder if they will become collectable in the future, representing, as they do, the fashions of a decade?
If they do, I am sure that brand names, condition and the quality will count towards desirability and value, much as they do for any antique or collectable. Filofax is at the top - like Hoover, the brand came to represent an object. There's a blog for Filofax fans, and you can see someone's amazing private collection here. The 'Winchester' seems to be the one to look out for.
Apart from Filofax itself, I think the big name to watch is Mulberry. Founded in 1971, the company has recently become globally renowned for its handbags, but the company's luxuriously large 'Planners' trounced Filofax, in my opinion, for years. I can see their hallmark brown or black 'Congo' mock-croc leather (shown here in brown) becoming amongst the most sought-after. Costing up to £350 new today, vintage and pre-loved examples are already fetching healthy sums on eBay - is this perhaps the start of something bigger?
Mulberry has always found inspiration in leather bags of the past, and it's perhaps this that makes their products so timeless and of such high quality. When I was a Junior Cataloguer at Bonhams in Chelsea, I would often see founder Roger Saul examining and buying antique luggage at our vintage textile auctions.
Chelsea Flower Show
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