The wonderful thing about Madison is the glittery stores that line the Avenue and the secret hidden gems that are tucked away just above. Paige Gamble Atelier is just one of these jewels. The small but chic handbag showroom/boutique is hidden above the Pucci store on 64th (just steps West of Madison).
These are just not any bags. Paige Gamble Atelier bags are all one-of-a-kind and limited edition clutches and purses made from exquisite exotic skins and adorned with semi-precious gemstones. The marriage of exotic skins, like alligator, crocodile, stingray and python with the extra glamour of stones like jade, pyrite and quartz provides for an offspring that rivals that of Angelina and Brad.
Paige Gamble herself is a Connecticut native who bagged her Wall Street career when she was inspired by a turquoise covered Yves Saint Laurent purse. She says that she fell in love with this jewel adorned bag at first sight. To only find it was sold out everywhere. She scoured eBay and all other likely outlets until she found her dream bag. That is until, it started unraveling. "I was disappointed by the quality and lack of craftsmanship," she explained from her showroom that's more like a grown-up fantasy version of dress-up.
Most of Paige Gamble's purses are made from a single hide, meaning you won't find any distracting seams down the center. She also warns shoppers on how to spot a high quality skin from a lower quality hide. "The skin should never be rough to the touch or flake," she says. A bag that is made out of high quality skins should last years, if not generations.
Unlike most companies specializing in exotics, Paige Gamble is able to keep her bags young and just-- not serious. This is not the Judith Leiber crowd. Rather, think Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf. Prices range from $950 to $14,000. For those not interested in taking a four-digit plunge, Paige also offers dramatic headbands ranging in price from $90 to $500.
I don't know about you but Paige's design spin makes me quickly forget about the old and cliché Blurkin. For more information go to paigegamble.com/