Pack Mentality

joel storella

Photograph by Dave Bradley

Those who value artistry over in-your-face logos will fawn over Joel Storella’s one-of-a-kind bags, made from exotic skins in his MetroWest workshop. Using saddlery tools, Storella—who left a job at Hermès in 2010 to pursue his painstaking craft full time—sews no more than 20 commissioned carryalls (high-end trunks, sleek briefcases) each year. “When you’re dealing with special pieces, you have to be able to explain why the price is what it is, and how much goes into that,” he says. Case in point: This richly textured python backpack—a one-time collaboration with Boston boutique Bodega—took Storella 80 hours and nearly 5,000 hand-stitches to complete. Sexy and visually arresting, the pack screams over-the-top opulence without saying a word.

“Black Ops” python backpack, $11,000, 617-823-9130,