ARTISTIC ALLIES: They have been friends for years and have famous fashion designers as fathers. Safe to say, it was natural for Louis-Marie de Castelbajac, son of Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, and Tyler Alexandra Ellis, daughter of the late Perry Ellis, to put their heads together and collaborate on a new bag line.
Building on the label Ellis started on her own two years ago, de Castelbajac is joining the effort “to give [the pieces] a little twist,” as he put it. “It all went very quickly,” he acknowledged, which is why next season’s collection will include variations of already existing looks from Ellis’ portfolio, as well as four bags “designed from scratch.”
This story first appeared in the October 1, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
De Castelbajac is eager to break codes, he said, adding, “I feel like creativity has come to a standstill in fashion. People are not taking any risks.” This is particularly true when they work with luxury leather, he said, which is also Ellis’ material of choice.
His French Bag is already a funky affair. Mixing the matte texture of felt with glossy crocodile skin, the clutch comes with a beret top, produced in France’s oldest beret factory. Stingray and Neoprene make a splash in the Scuba Bag, while the Mummy was thought up on a trip to Egypt. De Castelbajac said he wanted “to look into the animals that lived in the region at that time,” which led him to conjure an appealing look based on ostrich and python, layered on top of one another and boasting a vintage flair.
Retailing between $1,700 and $4,500, the upcoming season will feature 10 to 15 looks, with a latex series already in the works. De Castelbajac said, “We will quickly expand the women’s range and introduce men’s looks, as well.”
Stockists already include Gregory’s in Los Angeles, the Siblings Factory in Brussels and Louis in Boston.