Old School

December 1, 2005 by  
Filed under Edit

She carries a wedding album, but her boyfriend doesn’t mind. Her yearbook lacks a single signature from former Bellaire High School classmates. She gladly shows friends the contents of her diary.

Peek into the satin books that Robin Goetz totes around town, and instead of paper pages, you’ll find her signature lipstick and other daily necessities. Embroidered with titles like “Our Wedding,” “Yearbook” and “Diary,” these rectangular clutches are a few of the Ex Libris items from femmesud, the new line from Goetz and co-founder Joanna Lipman. Made of Italian lambskin, styles like “The Birds and the Bees” are so unique that strangers stop carriers on the street to ask about their origins.

Goetz, a Houston native, discovered the practicality and prestige of a special bag when she moved to New York in 1995. “There, your bag is like your car – you take everything you need for the day,” she says. Goetz was working as a publicist in Manhattan, but she and Lipman ran a side business searching flea markets and estate sales for vintage accessories and selling their finds at boutiques across the country. Last year, they decided to fashion their own high-end styles.

“The idea for the bags came from a combination of wanting to make a well crafted bag and wanting to create something totally different, not another boring hobo,” Goetz says. “We wanted to create bags that are special and nostalgic while including modern aspects, like room for cell phones.” You can judge these limited-edition books by their covers, but open the “Fame &Fortune” book to find an oval mirror, a glossary of superstar terms and a coin purse embroidered “mad money.” Or flip through the “Datebook” to view a colorful calendar, to-do list and a stitched-in reminder of “don’t be late.”

“We have taken orders from people ages 14 to 65,” Goetz says. “You won’t see anything like them out there.”

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