about us

The Bolan Group is a unique global product development company
specializing in luxury handbags and leather goods made in Italy

Quality is a choice, not a coincidence. Our expertise lies in ensuring a designer’s vision is brought to life by working together with the best manufacturers and artisans in the luxury handbags and leather goods industry. Operating from our studio in Florence, Italy, we manage the product development of deluxe, client-designed collections, enabling their creative vision to be perfectly realized.

Collaboration is an art, not a function. Liaising closely with renowned designers and distinguished manufacturers We serve an international portfolio of fashion designers, footwear designers, interior designers, architects, leather goods manufacturers and retailers.

Our collective experience at the top of the luxury leather goods industry has allowed us to forge close relationships with the finest suppliers of leather and the most talented craftsmen for hardware and special techniques.

Our incisive knowledge is allied with an extensive list of contacts that allows us to match clients with suppliers harmoniousto their style, price, size and technical requirements.

Our highly creative programs have set standards for more than 25 years, making it possible for our clients to focus on their creative needs while we transform their designs into beautiful handbags and other luxurious consumer accessories products.

We serve an international portfolio of fashion designers, footwear designers, interior designers, architects, leather goods manufacturers and retailers.

We specialize in:

  • Handbag sourcing and product development
  • Leather and hardwre research, sourcing, development
  • Designer handbag start-ups
  • Personalized online luxury handbag consulting
  • Sample development, Sample-making management
  • Production sourcing and production management

Our products:

  • Handbags, Small-leather-goods, Soft Carry-ons, Travel Assessories
  • Fashion Accessories, Home Accessories and Décor
  • Leather, Fabrics, Hardware, Ornaments
  • Bespoke, one-of-a-kind articles
  • Special Techniques - Embroidery, Pleating, Lasering, Casting, Plating

BARBARA BOLAN - President

is renowned in the industry as a leader in fine quality design and product development for leather-goods, fashion accessories and home accessories. Her eponymous handbags are displayed in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and of the Fashion Institute of Technology, both in New York. She excels in developing successful client collections by skillfully inspiring the designers, artisan producers, and raw material manufacturers. Her uncanny talent for discovery leads to a continuous influx of new suppliers, new materials and new creative techniques. She manages the creation of collections from concept to finished product.  Barbara enjoys the confidence and collaboration of industry principals in production, raw materials, fashion, marketing and retailing. Her opinion is valued and her expertise acknowledged by the owners and designers of the major tanneries, embroidery companies, laser manufacturers, accessory, footwear and hardware producers.

HENRY BOLAN - Director

specializes in small business management and operations; production planning, financial planning, production management, materials management, warehousing, logistics.He has worked extensively to help bring modern systems and com munications to the artisan production structure. Barbara and Henry Bolan ran their own designer handbag business, and were founding Directors and Board members of the Paloma Picasso fashion accessories company. They have lived and worked extensively in Italy.

services

Our comprehensive sampling service allows
for the development of client-designed sample collections.

Creative:

  • Provide clients with our in depth aesthetic and fashion knowledge regarding styling, plus advise on component and material selection
  • Advise client on design/styling concepts

Strategic:

  • Create a calendar based on the client's requested delivery dates
  • Determine the feasibility of the successful execution of the client’s designs
  • Analyze designs to help clients arrive at target production prices
  • Evaluate the production of a client’s handbag designs from an aesthetic and technical point of view
  • Provide solutions for creative and technical issues

Material and Component Review:

  • Assess client material and component choices in view of manufacturing feasibility
  • Review cost estimates for materials and components
  • Provide solutions necessitated by price and technical considerations
  • Procure selected materials and components for sampling
  • Evaluate client material preferences and ideas to determine optimal supplier selections

Technical:

  • Consult with pattern makers to deliver client's vision
  • Consult with designers and technicians in component companies to deliver client's vision
  • Supervise product development of materials and components at important intervals
  • Correct prototypes and recommend solutions and changes where needed
  • Supervise development of all handbags and components
  • Advise client on the final style decisions when samples are completed
  • Coordinate collection for on-time delivery to selected client venue

Financial:

  • Provide estimate of all financial obligations arising from sample and/or production costs for handbags, leather, components, hardware, packaging and transport
  • Offer alternative costing solutions where feasible

Production Service:

  • Production outside of Italy — We arrange delivery of completed models and patterns to the venue in the country selected by the client
  • Italian Production — We manage your Italian production from design to delivery

FOR BRAND ENHANCEMENT

  • When you wish to improve the content and breadth of your current collections, we will evaluate your existing sample infrastructure, production infrastructure and your product. We propose modifications and improvements, then select new sources, materials, hardware and techniques that will enhance the strengths of your collections and fill any voids.
  • We manage the product from your design drawings, to sourcing, to eventual final production shipments. Our comprehensive Sampling Service and our Production Service can be included at your option.

FOR BRAND EXTENSION

  • With much experience in integrating new product categories into design companies (brand extensions), we lay out the similarities between the new product and your core business. To add new products to your existing designer brand (i.e. handbags for an apparel brand or a footwear brand) we create a sample infrastructure and then a production infrastructure, as needed. We manage the product from design drawings, to sourcing, to eventual final shipments, as needed.
  • We adopt a target price strategy for your collections, and then work with you on margins and on distribution. And we advise you of the operational differences between your core product and your new product so that you can make appropriate financial plans.

client history

Ballanza, bMay bags, Barry Kieselstein-Cord, Calvin Klein, Casadei, Castello Di Ama, Celine, Conceria Meridiana, Conceria Miura, Donald J. Pliner, Ellen Tracy Footwear, Frescobaldi, Galleria Stores, Guy Laroche Paris, Hotel Le Sirenuse, Il Gioiello Group, Jamie Drake, Jay Strongwater, Kate Spade, Lulu Guinness, Mark Cross, Me Too Shoes, Neiman Marcus, Pamela Dennis, Pauric Sweeney, Pegasus Apparel Group, Eric Petersen, Sigerson Morrison, St. John, Sulka, Susan Benis-Warren Edwards, Vera Wang, Via Spiga Shoes, Lee Savage, Pollini, Asian Sourcing Link, Dasi J., Balenciaga, Bijou One and more...

group members

  • Senior leather specialists, leather technicians
  • Researchers in leather, fabric, hardware, accessories
  • Handbag, hardware, footwear designers
  • Handbag, hardware, footwear model and pattern-makers
  • Handbag, hardware, accessories sample makers