1846: Madrid is a-buzz with wedding fever as the city prepares for the royal marriages of the Borbón Queen, Isabel II and her sister, the Infanta María Luisa Fernanda. In a narrow back street, a group of leather artisans struggle to meet demand for tobacco pouches, coin purses, boxes, bags and cigar cases. In 1872, Enrique Loewe Roessberg forges his expertise in leather with that of these local craftsmen, with such success that by the 1890s, aristocrats are finding their way to another small street, calle del Príncipe, and the first shop to bear the Loewe name above the door. Inside, everything is made-toorder, custom-created to the whims of the ladies and gentleman of the court.

1905 and it is royal wedding fever all over again. The new King and Queen, Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia - the latter the niece of Britain's Queen Victoria – grant Loewe the honour of the official title of “Supplier to the Royal Court”. For ladies, a handbag in iguana, crocodile or snake from the firm, now helmed by the founder's son, Enrique Loewe Hilton, has become the ultimate symbol of elegance and refinement.