Delphine Delafon

Parisian bag designer Delphine Delafon is fleshing out her universe with the launch of a wardrobe capsule based around cool second-skin knits and leather basics available in a range of colors that give off different attitudes, “from chic to gothic.”

Styles range from buttery lambskin shirts and Seventies-infused bicolor sleeveless suede coats with metal poppers to patchwork snakeskin jackets and knit dresses with seam accents inspired by the idea of “a girl who wants to transform a pair of tights into a dress.” Completing the look is Masai-inspired jewelry in gold and silver-plated brass. “The bag shapes are always quite simple and that’s what I’m trying to do on the clothes, what people like are all the mixes you can do, the variations,” said Delafon, who for the line’s mood imagined “an African or Jamaican going to some underground place in Berlin.”  (The designer will re-create the scenario for her presentation at the Institut Français de la Mode on Oct. 1.)

Known for her mixed media bucket-bag pouches on twisted chains, Delafon’s success story in part has been built on the open-door policy of her workshop. Having trained as a clothing designer, with stints at Carven and Michel Klein, she started out making bags for herself and her friends five years ago and her business grew from there. “I fell into bags by accident — albeit a lucky one,” Delafon said. She generates ninety percent of sales through custom-made orders where clients and retailers come to pick out colors, skins and materials for their bags over a cup of tea with the designer. She also sells around 3,000 bags per year, with a small line of bags produced in Portugal.

The new clothing capsule will be produced in ateliers in Paris, for the leather pieces, and the south of France for the knits, but “if a client comes here and wants her dress made shorter, with studs on the shoulder, say, we can handle it,” Delafon said. In keeping with the designer’s community spirit, the jewelry is handmade locally.