Cognac alligator frame handbag .JPGC

Since every bag at Anthony Luciano is a custom creation, every bag has a story.


This custom bag started long before Anthony began to work on it. Like many of the custom bags, it started with a vintage frame, but this vintage frame was not one of Anthony’s estate sale finds. It once belonged to our clients grandmother, Faith Vigurs Grannis. She was born in 1922 and died in 2013 at 90 years of age. She was the mother of 5 boys and a college graduate of Wagner College on Staten Island, NY. She was a very charitable woman throughout her life and was named woman of achievement in Staten Island in 1973. With her husband, she owned the Austin Baldwin shipping company, was a member of the King's Daughters club and was an avid bridge player.


The origins of the bag are not certain but Debbie suspects it was a gift to Faith from her father, Leslie Philip Vigurs who traveled extensively during WWI and was believed to be a spy. Many antiques from his travels have been passed down to the family


handbag in progress .JPG

This frame (and bag) had accompanied Faith to occasions such as various fundraisers in New York City and evening events surrounding her active social life at the Great Kills yacht club in the 50s, and 60s.  Now it would experience a revival and continue it’s path on the party circuit thanks to the mastery of Anthony.



Anthony could imagine this frame being attached to a needle point bag which was typical for this type of frame, but now he would reimagine an updated body to fit the needs of his customer.

Debbie wanted a material that would highlight the beauty of the carved jade tiles. She wanted to be able to use it in a more updated, casual way. After looking at several skins in the studio including green python and a neutral matte ostrich,  they decided the cognac alligator was the best combination to compliment the frame.


Anthony allows the shape of the frame to inform him of the shape of the bag. Next steps were making a pattern for the bag and cutting it from the alligator. The shape was an updated, tailored, more modern version of what he imagined the original to be.  He used the belly which is the most softest and most luxurious part of the animal. There were no other details on this bag to keep the frame as the focal point - Classic and simple. For lining he chose a cognac lamb suede because it was a great match to the alligator and he loved the velvety texture. For the final touch, it was completed with the customarily sewn in penny filled with wishes of good fortune.

Contact us to book an appointment or just brainstorm and idea for your custom creation.