Today’s POP is Rachel. The Postmodern IT Bag.
It sounds almost too idealistic: a bespoke handbag fashioned with luxurious leathers and skins to exact specifications. Details are considered over a series of meetings at the designer’s private apartment where you are invited to pore over fabric swatches with a cup of tea to hand. It is then crafted personally by the designer, numbered as an original, and all for a reasonable price which factors in a sliding cost scale depending on the quality of the fabrics used and the complexity of the chosen design.
This intimate level of craftsmanship and expertise is a rarity, yet it is the exact design process
This made-to-measure service is delivered with a refreshingly down-to-earth demeanour. Having grown up in both California and France, Delphine has the relaxed manner of a West Coast girl (her current obsession is newly-adopted LA native M.I.A.’s video for Bad Girls.)
But not to forget her innate Parisian eye; the bags themselves are luxurious mini-duffels. Chain drawstrings looped through the circular metal fastenings keep the designs effortless yet with a contemporary feel, and they can be finished with an innumerable list of finishing’s including studs, fringe and cross-stitch fastenings; Delphine is completely open to collaboration.
With a range of stockists in Paris including MERCI, Baby Buddah (Saint Germain des Prés) and HOD (Le Marais), the buyers also undertake the same process of designing personal selections for their stores. This means that you can visit any of the boutiques in Paris stocking Delphine Delafon bags and see three different yet complementary takes on her unique signature.
We love Delphine; she takes charge of all aspects of design and revitalises the art of craftsmanship in doing so. She caught up with us to chat about keeping it one of a kind.
What initially fuelled your decision to create a line of bespoke bags?
I never really decided to create a concept. I was pregnant and had a bit of time, and wanted to have a bag of a certain design that I couldn’t seem to find anywhere. So I made one for myself. Then my friends and family started asking me to make some for them, and as I had a few skins and leathers at my place, I told them to come and choose the leather they wanted and so on.
What sort of materials and customisations are available to your clients?
Anything they want! I am not the kind of person who can say no, unfortunately. I have many fabrics to present to clients at my atelier – reptiles, veal, lamb, etc. But I can find anything they want. It is good because sometimes it can give me new ideas and inspiration when someone is looking for a particular skin.
At the very beginning, I was so surprised that people wanted to order my bags that I wanted to please them the most I could in finding precisely what they wanted. I discovered after a few months that this was the thing the girls liked most with those bags.
It is a distinct and rare relationship to be able to interact directly with the designer and creator of a fashion piece. Do you enjoy this intimate experience?
Again that surprised me at the beginning but I think yes. I like it because it breaks the routine of the job. Every day is a new bag, a different client, new ideas. I have big issues with routine, so maybe this is the perfect job for me.
Customisations aside, how would you describe the design signature of your bags?
Customisation is actually the signature. There are so many good accessories and bag brands that I think it’s the only reason clients are coming to me! Besides this, the bags are numbered.
What essentials never leave your own handbag?
The irony is that before making handbags I had never used one! Now I do because I have to. I feel more comfortable with my stuff only in my hand or pockets.
What are your plans for your brand in the future – would you like to expand into a customisable ready-to-wear line, or any other accessories?
I am working on a clothing line, which was actually my first job in the very beginning. A few years ago I created a brand with another stylist but after three years together we split. She kept the brand and I left.
I am not so comfortable with accessories, but the good thing with creating the bags is that they made me realise the total love I have for leathers and skins. I will be working a lot with leather clothes which really excites me – clothes are my first love.
For private orders, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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