The Making of Dior's New SCULPTED Leather Book Tote


First introduced in Dior’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection, the Dior Book Tote was an instant success. Part of the relaunch and reinterpretation of the decades old Oblique pattern, early fabrications also included colorful tapestries. Each season since then brought new patterns to the simple construction, from tie-dye, hound stooth, florals, leather, just to name a few. Dior also added smaller versions over the last couple of years. For Spring 2021, Dior takes the Book Tote in a craftier direction . . .

Inspired by Chiuri’s visit to Argentina, the latest version of the book tote is handcrafted with sculpted and embossed calfskin – a unique variation to the popular Dior Bag style.

A laborious tooling technique is used to create the bag that is inspired by the Argentinian Gauchos (cowboys) who used to customize their saddles with distinctive designs and cut out drawings. In this technique, the leather is chiseled by hand to render an artisanal effect to the tote.

The process begins by using a laser cut drawing as a guide for tooling. The natural leather is then sculpted and carved to create the impression of a 3-D drawing. After the leather has been chiseled, comes the waxing stage. To give the bag the ultimate desired color, the first coat of wax is removed and a new layer is added; this process is repeated five to six times. Finally, little leather strips are rolled to create knots – representing flower pistils, which are inserted onto the bag in the predetermined perforations made during the cutting phase.

The creation of each Leather Sculpted Book Tote takes around 12 to 16 labor intensive hours!

According to Dior, the bag is “[c]rafted in sculpted… calfskin with openwork overlays and a patina treatment, further enhanced by rosette appliqués, this style attests to the leather craftsmanship of the House.” In this sculpted leather variant, the bag reiterates the fashion house’s savoir faire: Dior’s translation of tradition diffused with modernity. The bag comes embossed with the “Christian Dior” signature. As with other book totes, this model’s firm handles allow it to be worn over the shoulder or carried by hand.

The new Hand Embossed Book Totes are now available in stores in two sizes and colors – Black and Brown. The small leather book tote retails for $6,700 while the larger one is priced at $7,000; which is more than double of what the Oblique Pattern Book Totes retail for, even after the recent price increase! Read: Dior Price Increase 2021 2020. A result of the meticulous and extensive craftsmanship and hours that go into making each of these unique bags no doubt.

The French fashion house has used the same tooling and sculpting technique to create floral patterns in other bags styles from the Cruise 2021 collection. One can spot the signature motif and style on the Lady Dior, The Dior Saddle bag and the Bobby Bag in this collection.

An epitome of luxury, we reckon this latest release to be a collector’s item worth coveting.

Your thoughts?

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Photo Credit: Dior and


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