PARIS — Patou is branching out into leather goods with the launch of its first handbag, and it comes with solid eco-credentials.
While the French fashion label has previously offered wicker baskets, like the one sported by French actress Camille Razat in season two of “Emily in Paris,” this is the first time it has ventured into working with leather.
“We didn’t want to rush into things,” artistic director Guillaume Henry told WWD. “We wanted a bag that was positive in its design, both in terms of daily use, but also in terms of production and raw material.”
The bags are made from dormant leather stocks, with the first drop available in eight colors, each in a limited, numbered edition of 30, 60 or 100 pieces, depending on availability. In addition to black, chestnut, cinnamon and poppy red, there are gourmand hues like yellow, powdery pink, fuchsia and sky blue — the latter available exclusively online.
Shaped like a half-circle, the Le Patou bag features a flap cut out in the shape of the letter J or P, depending which way the bag is turned, in a reference to the initials of the label’s founder Jean Patou.
His monogram also appears on the metallic fastening of the bag, while the circular hardware securing the strap has been revived from the ‘80s, when Christian Lacroix was artistic director of the brand, Henry said.
“It’s like the whole philosophy of the house has been summed up in a single product,” said the designer, now entering his sixth season at the helm of the heritage brand. “We took the time to make a bag that people would want to keep for a long time.”
Le Patou launches Wednesday on Patou.com and with 30 retail partners worldwide, priced at 950 euros, or $1,250. Distribution will be expanded to 100 retailers for the second season, with colors to be updated twice a year.
Patou, owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has committed to limiting its environmental footprint, with initiatives including eco-designed packaging, clothing and store fixtures. For instance, hangers are made from 100 percent recycled materials consisting of a blend of wood and recycled polypropylene.
Eco-friendly materials, including organic cotton and recycled polyester and wool, account for more than a third of the ready-to-wear collection. Products come with a QR code that allows buyers to find out information about the origin of each piece, from original sketch to production.
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