ABOUT THE BRAND
Founded in 2008, the Anglo-French handbag label offers simple and chic handbags for everyday occasions. The brand is sold worldwide and has a strong following of clients. They appreciate the brand for its uniqueness: every season, a capsule collection is created by Emeline who designs bearing in mind her Anglo-French heritage and the understanding of what works in two of the greatest fashion capitals. Parisian chic impacts with London quirk resulting in high-end bags in classic styles, updated with bold colours and contemporary textures.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Where are you from?
I grew up in the West of France to a French father and an English mother and from a young age I had an artistic temperament enjoying art and painting. At the age of 15, I moved to London, finished school and went to King’s College London where I graduated with a degree in Hispanic Studies. Fashion came later and almost by chance when working for another designer selling her bags. This prompted me to go to London College of Fashion to study Handbag Design. After living in London for 15 years I moved to Paris in 2009.
When did you know you wanted to become a bag designer?
Upon graduating I did a stint in the office world but quickly knew the nine to five office life wasn’t for me. Art and design were always the areas I loved the most so when I met a handbag designer at the age of 25 I seized the opportunity to work with her. After that I started designing my own bags and sold them on Portobello market at the weekends. A couple of buyers approached me to stock my designs in their shops meaning I had a bit more money to work on a bigger collection and this is how it all started.
Tell us more about the design process of your bags, from inspiration to the final product?
The process of design begins with research and drawing taking up to four weeks before an atelier starts to work with selected leathers. A few prototypes go back and forth until the design is perfect and then the bag will go into production with an experienced team of craftsmen.
Outside of fashion, inspiration comes from the silver screen, architecture, nature and watching people. There can surely be no better place to watch people than Paris where I have lived for the past 6 years.
How would you describe your designs?
I think the brand reflects the fact that I am Anglo-French, it is a fusion of understated Parisian chic mixed with a dose of London cutting-edge style.
Who is your customer?
She is feminine, chic and likes classic looks that are updated to reflect current fashion trends.
What were your challenges in setting up your brand?
So many challenges! First of all being a designer is an emotionally difficult career choice and initially, getting out there and being exposed was difficult. With time I learned to do my job without letting the fear of being rejected get in the way. I learned to commit to my goals, take in the criticism and the praise equally, digest it, keep going, and today I am told I have a point of view. I think it is the best compliment a designer can be given and I am proud of it.
Then in terms of logistics the hardest part is managing suppliers and making sure they deliver on time. That can be tricky and can slow down the entire production process. Stock management is also difficult – making the right quantities and guessing what is going to sell the most, I don’t think I have mastered that yet!
Do you have any advice for other independent designers?
Believe in yourself. It’s also very important to surround yourself with positive people who will encourage you and push you forward. Then learn from your mistakes, don’t let them drag you down, we all make them!