Impeccable Imperio jp

all items in photo available at

Ever since I discovered Imperio jp, I had been trying to get to their showroom because I was so intrigued. This finally came to pass last week and let me tell you, the wait was worth it! After three hours of endless bonding and show and tell, we had barely scratched the surface! Imperio means empire in Spanish and this company is indeed an empire in terms of the depth, breadth and quality of its products. From beautiful leather bags as above to alpaca/silk gauzy shawls in a rainbow of irresistible hues as shown below, there is something for every aspect of a stylish life, from clothing and accessories to decor.

Owner Jessica Packer, the Empress of this realm, refers to Imperio jp as her redemption career. Previous to this venture, as an investment banker, Head of Corporate Credit for Latin America for Credit Suisse First Boston, she says she lived on a plane, but didn’t really live.  Then, after being in Sao Paolo, Brazil for two years, putting in 100 hour work/travel weeks, she left the bank in 1998, setting out on a soul searching two month trip to South Asia and Australia. At Christmas she returned bearing shawls as gifts from the last week of her Asian sojourn in Viet Nam. When some lunching ladies at the chic Le Bilboquet restaurant tried to buy them, she immediately raced over to Barneys to get a reaction. They didn’t work out but Bergdorfs did, as well as some boutiques in Soho, and a business was born!

animal printed cow hide pillows

Packer’s goal for Imperio jp has been to form a collection of goods made in former colonies and/or developing countries that would satisfy the luxury market’s desire for unique handmade products at the highest quality level.  As an economist with an MBA and a CFA, she knew that “bandaid” economics (buy low, sell high) would never help an economy become self sufficient or thrive. All Imperio jp’s products are surprisingly reasonable for their quality. Packer’s professional background, travel experience and multi-lingual abilities have enabled her to work with these artisans and successfully overcome the challenges of doing business in developing countries.

Thai silk pintuck shawls

So the criteria established was that all products would be indigenous to the country of origin and not able to be mass produced. Packer explains, “We wanted to help artisans and small craftsmen create sustainable businesses. Lao Tsu said: ‘Give a man a fish you will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish you will feed him for the rest of his life.’  Twelve years later we remain small and under the radar, but dedicated to bringing the finest in luxury goods from exotic places to the chicest of all venues in the US, and now are open to the public as IMPERIO jp Vida.”

Pony skin zebra printed rug

Imperio jp’s goods are sold at upscale boutiques nationwide such as Linda Dresner, Joan Shepp, Jamie Nashville, Joseph Memphis, Stanley Korshak in Dallas, Saks Jandel in DC, and they have been sold extensively at Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Saks.

Thai silk button down shirts

Takashimaya, the former NYC outpost of the luxury Japanese retailer, served almost as a “showroom extension” as Imperio jp’s bags were the bestsellers in that department for nine years straight. That is understandable when you see the quality and variety of these unique designs, all hand crafted in Argentina from the finest local leathers. The popular Gajumbo and Gamidi styles are sold with body and handles separately so you can mix and match – so clever!

Gajumbo bag in cognac napa leather
Gajumbo bag in silver metallic leather
Gajumbo black patent "mushy" leather
assortment of metallic handles
Gamidi 2 bag in curry napa leather
Structured tote in saddle leather
Gamidi 2 bag in elephant pebble leather

Thinking of getting the new iPad 2? Well you there’s something here for you as well!

I love the beautiful pebble leather and tab detailing.

Imperio jp waited for 11 years to enter the world of e-commerce until they discovered the wonderful online luxury shopping destination Taigan, which I have mentioned before. You can find them on the site here. (registration is easy – just an email and a password).

Sheer silk tie dye shawl

There just isn’t enough room to cover all their wonderful wares. The Thai silk confections are dreamy. From elegant pieces for ladies who lunch to fabulous examples of boho chic, there is something for everyone.

Opera Thai silk shawl in rose
Tie dye silk shawls
Striped silk ikat shawls

We haven’t even touched on the incredible collection of new, antique and museum quality ikats Packer collects and sells. Here is a little visual teaser. We will be revisiting this subject with a repeat trip to Imperio jp in a week or two. It’s an education!!

As Packer says, “There is joy, energy, and responsible business ethics in everything we create, and we are proud to bring the finest luxury items from around the world to your door or to your store.” Amen!

Visit Imperio jp at Taigan or if you’re in NYC, at their by-appointment showroom at 944 Eighth Avenue (buzzer #1) at the corner of 56th and 8th, less than two minutes from Columbus circle. Call 212 246 9221.

Either way, you’ll be happy you did – you can thank me later!!

45 thoughts on “Impeccable Imperio jp

  1. Yummy stuff, the kind of things I could easily lose my head over. Really loving those striped ikat wraps! Beautiful find!

    xo Mary Jo

  2. Wow, these are the most exciting handbags I have seen for a long time….just good leather, great design and no buckles, charms, braided bit, etc. Here is a purse you could use for years!

  3. Thank you? I could curse you! I want everything. Sigh.

    I love this story. Trust me, I have seen all too many people in my travels who are all too happy to strip an artisan clean of his wares for nothing and without a return. I also think it is great that Jessica was brave enough to leave behind a cushy position to follow her dream.

  4. I never tire of the stories of leaving “success” for following a passion and then coming into huge success!! Quite the luxury items here, Imperio is where it’s at :) XO

  5. I shall thank-you now for elevating my knowledge of the meaning of the word “Imperio”- along with all the fabulousness.

  6. Love shops that are under the radar. The very best kind. Thank you for introducing us to the wonderful origins of this designer and her wonderful products. I am feeling more stylish and global every time I read one of your posts!

  7. This story is close to my heart! I love how she just made up her mind to do what she loved.
    There are so many beautiful pieces here, and I can’t wait to look for this line at Saks.
    Thank you for sharing this story.

  8. Such a terrific story. I’m so impressed by the beauty and craftsmanship of their wares, their commitment to handmade and countries of origin, and by Ms. Packer’s decision to take a risk and follow a passion. Such a terrific story. XO

  9. Beautiful quality – love the back story!

    Taigan has been such a great resource for stores that don’t want to operate their own online site. I knew they were special when my favorite, chic store in Dallas appeared online with them.

    You are indeed a great style sleuth!

  10. I’m in heaven! I love it all…the bags, the scarves, the pillows. I would spend hours and hours in their showroom as well. Ah and I so miss Takashimaya. They always showcased the best brands. And I always found the most interesting treasures there.

  11. OMG, I’m! Those handbags, those shawls & I can only imagine seeing & feeling them in person. What a find, Q. Thank you so much for introducing us to this wonderful spot. And, I applaud the owner for the ethics and quality she demands. Bravo!

  12. I love reading about people who have stopped to think about their lives and made a change. Listened to their soul and thrived, it’s inspiring. Does anyone else have mix/match handles for purses? A genius idea. I am quite smitten with the Structured Tote, delicious.

  13. Loved this post – both the mission of the company and the goods are wonderful! Of course, I am bananas for the gold metallic totes, and loving the leather zip pouches too! Great find!

  14. Beautiful bags and shirts. I love Taigan’s stuff, and Julia Reed, their artistic director, is a complete hoot. Puts out a great newsletter too.

  15. Wow. This is a new one for me, I could get in *very* serious trouble at this establishment! The silk button-downs and shawls are so rich and vibrant, I would need one in almost every color. :)

    Enjoy a splendid Thursday,

  16. Imperio has such beautiful things!

    I’ve bought a few things on Taigan so far – food, handbags, even another Takashimaya shop – Kiyomi PJs! Thanks for another great find!!

    • Methinks this may be a Gretchen as in Imperial buddy on FB… Love my Kiyomi PJs also and am drooling over some Scarpa shoes and am personally going to visit every single Taigan shop in New Orleans when I go in a few weeks – thank you for the kind words, best, Jessica

    • Hello Acquired – part of the joy of making the bags is knowing that there are customers who will enjoy as in have fun with putting them together/designing their own combo. Would love to see what acquired objects you do/carry – best, Jessica

  17. Hi, Q — really appreciate your (oh so) nice comments over at FatScribe. Very cool. Really like your website. Looking forward to learning more about what you do over here on your side of the blogosphere. I’ve seen your comments on other blogger’s websites, so we must both be running in good company. also, check out (and when you get some free time (seriously, no rush) … i started these companies years ago (my two older brothers who are much smarter than i are at the helm!) and the LuxeMont brand is still going strong (though, not in the direction i had originally envisioned!

    ciao for now…

    Jg. for

  18. I can surely understand why you were so anxious to get into the so many beautiful things! I especially love the tie dye silk shawls..the colors and patterns are just fabulous! Thanks for sharing….

  19. Wow! Words cannot express the appreciation we feel for the divine forces behind Quintessence blog. At first I was just a fan of the blog and felt that there was a kindred spirit somewhere in cyber space fueling my need to discover new images and ideas with impeccable taste and stylish writing. Then meeting Q has proven that we were meant to be life long friends and have a lot of catching up to do! If anyone is interested in any of the items shown, we will offer Quintessence readers a 10% discount through the month of March, just mention Quintessence in the order, or email us to inform us of the order at Many thanks to all for the gracious and kind words, and I look forward to meeting you – kind regards, Jessica Packer

  20. These things are so lovely. I especially like the purses and the tie-dyed scarves. This company should do well since everything looks to be of such high quality. Thanks for letting us know about it.

  21. Oh, I need to look at their website and visit them. The handbags are are super nice! Love the color choices, the clean lines and the size of them!

  22. Ahhh, now I understand the Takashimaya connection. I especially loved the leather bags.

  23. Great story! Beautiful products! Feel very fortunate to have a showroom in my area in Miami. A fabulous place!

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