The Oldest Fine Leather Goods House in the World

Delvaux is “a divinely singular label.” Such is the high praise one grande dame of fashion bestowed on the prestigious family-owned company established in 1829 by Charles Delvaux in Brussels. Internationally recognised, the House of Delvaux has earned its reputation by remaining true to its values and for its savoir-faire and uncompromising craftsmanship, as well as for the supreme quality of its creations.

Delvaux Archives: invoice 1847
Delvaux Archives: an invoice from 1847

A Visionary Mind

In 1835, the first passenger railway line opened in continental Europe, joining the Belgian cities of Brussels and Mechelen. By 1875, Belgium possessed the largest rail system in the world. Both visionary and practical, Charles Delvaux, a trunk maker in Brussels, foresaw the implications of this revolution. As early as 1880, his firm swiftly began to adapt to the new need for women to have a carrying bag to keep certain items close at hand while they traveled, which led the company, in 1908, to file some of the earliest patents for handbags.

Delvaux Archives Serpolet bag 1975
Ad campaign for the Serpolet bag, Spring-Summer 1975 Collection

An Exceptional Mastery

In 1933, Franz Schwennicke took over the company, transforming Delvaux into a highly exclusive label by responding to the increasing demand for ultra-luxurious handbags. He was also the first luxury leather goods manufacturer to introduce the concept of seasonal collections, taking up the custom practised in haute couture. Under his direction, and later that of his wife Solange, the House of Delvaux produced numerous masterpieces that have made a mark worldwide in the history of fine leather goods, notably "Le Brillant",a bag created especially for the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels.

Delvaux Studio team discussing the designs for the coming season, 1951
The Studio team discussing the designs for the coming season, 1951

As any visitor who has had the chance to tour the Delvaux ateliers can attest, the world’s oldest luxury leather goods manufacturer is an establishment like no other. In the hands of its extraordinarily skilled master leather artisans, Delvaux bags are more than just handbags — they become genuine living sculptures, small works of art. Each Delvaux product is crafted by hand in its European workshops, situated in Belgium and France.

Delvaux Stylist Eve De Dryver at work in the Studio, 1951
Stylist Eve De Dryver at work in the Studio, 1951
Delvaux Atelier in Brussels
Artisans at work at the Atelier in Brussels in the 1950s-70s