LONDON — A new accessories label has entered the market, and it’s taking a page from the playbook of couture — and luxury cars.
Métier — which first launched as L.O.N.B. — is the brainchild of designer Melissa Morris, who said she wanted to create an accessories range that caters to the demands of a modern-day, luxury lifestyle.
“We travel more, we are always on the go these days and I felt that a consideration of how we live needs to go into the bag; I couldn’t find that in the market,” said Morris.
Having taken three years to perfect her product range — which includes season-less men’s, women’s and travel bags that are never marked down — Morris opened a store in London’s Mayfair in 2017 to support her customer-centric approach. She quickly found a luxury clientele drawn to her niche, focused offer and willing to invest in the brand, too.
Morris is relaunching her label with a new name that reflects her commitment to “uncompromised luxury,” having just raised the company’s first round of investment by a group of private clients. Métier translates as “skill” in French, and she is also opening to wholesale, partnering with the likes of Harrods, the Conservatory and Lane Crawford.
The brand’s web site, under the new name, launched Monday and includes an e-commerce platform.
“We started with a direct-to-consumer approach and the London store was our first anchor to get to know the customer. But having now gained traction and confidence, we felt ready to partner with retailers,” said Morris, adding that she will not look to broaden her product range with the new investment, as much as market the brand better and raise awareness beyond the circle of local Londoners and luxury travelers she built by word of mouth and having a presence on South Audley Street.
“The store was profitable within the year,” said Morris, who is planning to open a second outpost in New York, to offer personalized services.
She added that Europe and the Middle East, Qatar in particular, are some of the brand’s biggest markets, with the U.S. also showing signs of growth.
The brand’s collections put functionality and quality at their core, with some of the best-selling styles including a chic weekender that features hidden pockets; a women’s briefcase; roomy totes that can be folded into more evening-appropriate shoulder bags, or a “Sergeant” bag that features clip-on compartments with different-size pockets for organization.
Prices range from 1,250 pounds for a small pouch to 15,750 pounds for a crocodile shoulder bag.
The bags come in a range of colors, from classic camel shades to bright yellows and blues — inspired by the colors in vintage Porsche catalogues — as well as a cognac-colored suede lining, which was again inspired by the linings in vintage cars.
Morris uses a type of French calfskin that is only accessible to brands approved by the tannery after a rigorous four-month interview process, as well as exotic skins such as crocodile and ostrich, to answer to the demands of the brand’s luxury clientele, which often commission custom pieces.
“The idea has always been to go back to what luxury really is — functionality and customer-centricity has always been there in couture,” added the designer.