To start off my New York trip, we spent the first morning touring the Gigi NY/Graphic Image factory. Y’all, I think I speak for everyone – Jenn, Kaela and myself – this tour was pure enlightenment. I had never actually put much thought into where or how my handbags were put together, so it was quite the experience seeing it first-hand (and it made me appreciate my Gigi items so much more).
We started by seeing the wall of leathers and learning the difference between the embossed and pebbled leathers including their different price points and origins. From here, every single station in the factory is operated by the human hand. It was really extraordinary to see considering how many products now are produced on machines and conveyor belts. The cutting, gluing, sewing – all done by human hands – to create everything from pencil cups and planners to picture frames and handbags.
One of the major things I took away from the day was that Graphic Image not only makes their own products but also supplies products to so many other companies too. There were silver planners being made for J.Crew and home goods being made for Henri Bendel. There was even a cost-efficient agenda being produced for Talbot’s. And those infamous Tiffany blue notebooks at Tiffany’s – all made in the Graphic Image factory. There was a special order in the sewing area all for Rent the Runway. It was interesting to see how the Gigi NY and Graphic Image reach really is so wide.
And because I’m a huge design/typography nerd, I really loved seeing how each product is monogrammed using metal blocks sorted by font (heaven!) and hand stamped using obsolete embossing machines. The Graphic Image factory is the only place that uses this type of monogram process! There really is something so special about those little golden monograms.
Thank you to Gigi New York and Graphic Image (Tom and Rosella!) for hosting us and providing us with such a one-of-a-kind experience to start off our NYFW trip!
Shop my favorite Gigi NY/Graphic Image products: