One of the downfalls of being a fan of luxury handbags is that it seems that the very top end of the market comes with a certain amount of predictability. Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Chloe...the list of fashion editors' “must haves” always seems to boast a very familiar list of names. However, for the hardcore collectors in all of us, there are still a handful of smaller operators out there that while they may not have the name recognition of some of the larger design houses, certainly do not skimp on either style or substance. One such brand is Moynat, a small French design house that was founded at the turn of the century and produced similar items (like steamer trunks and logo cases) as their contemporaries like Louis Vuitton and Goyard. The brand has always been a refined, word-of-mouth operation, relying on a base of high-end clientele and their stellar reputation to see them through. And see them through it did, until 1979 when the brand closed its flagship Paris location. Fast-forward to 2010, and perhaps ironically, none other than Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy acquired Moynat, allowing the brand to maintain its separate and exclusive reputation and clientele.

Collectors looking for a well-appointed luxury handbag that has all of the refined features of one of the big brand luxury handbags without the obvious status symbol recognition will love Moynat; they truly offer a little something for everyone. Top handles, soft hobos, clutches — the list of offerings reads like a greatest hits album from each of your favorite designers. But collectors should take note; already the brand is gaining traction in the industry. That which makes it so appealing to collectors, it's relative exclusivity and low-profile, may very well not last that much longer, so best to get it while the getting is good, as the saying goes.