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Heimat Atlantica Offers a Collection of Basket Bags That Stand Out Among the Rest

If you spent any time scrolling through Instagram last summer, chances are you probably felt compelled to buy a basket bag. Woven top-handle totes and bamboo clutches were everywhere, as if the spirit of Jane Birkin had descended upon the wardrobes of the millennial influencer crowd more than ever before. It’s true that the summer basket bag has long been a favorite accessory of French girls and those who want to dress like them, but it certainly surged in popularity in 2017. Now, as we slowly inch our way into the warmer months, a new label of handwoven carryalls has come onto the scene and is poised to take over as one of 2018’s most intriguing iterations of the basket bag.

Montserrat Alvarez launched Heimat Atlantica in 2016 after writing a dissertation at the Sorbonne on the role of architecture in the creation of the corporate image of luxury fashion brands, as well as having worked as a director of a design studio and at various museums in Paris. “I am quite a novice in the fashion business,” she admits. For Alvarez, Heimat Atlantica is an experiment of sorts, mixing various cultures, crafts, and design aesthetics to create something unique. All of the collections brightly colored reed bags are handmade by craftswomen in Portugal and are decorated with porcelain talisman charms that are also handmade in Galicia, Spain, where Alvarez is from originally. The leather lining in the bag comes from Ubrique, Spain, but everything is assembled at the workshop in Galicia. The bags are manufactured in a limited- edition run of 500 units per model and she currently sells them at The Webster,, Le Bon Marché, Dover Street Market Tokyo, and Barneys New York.

Alvarez lives in Paris now, and it was there that she met Laure Hériard Dubreuil of The Webster, who put her stylish accessories on the map by wearing the shell bag during Fashion Week. Alvarez has big dreams for her little label. “Heimat Atlantica was born with the aim to protect, highlight, and add value to the craftspeople from the Atlantic coast by working closely with them and helping to create a real profitable business for them.” She adds, “For me, it’s not just about creating a label. This is a project related to entrepreneurship itself, to understanding that culture and business initiatives are intrinsically related.”