Bohemian punk rock chic amazon
Delphine Delafon’s bucket bag is THE item that all the girls from Paris to Tokyo are crazy about. It’s already a “classic”.
Her workshop in the Xth district in Paris is like Ali Baba’s Cave filled with extraordinary fabrics, exotic leathers in incredible colors, all sorts of trimmings where Delphine, this tall bohemian-punk-rock-chic amazon with her husky voice, receives her clients, designs her unique collections and manufactures her stylish bags.
When did you decide to launch your own brand?
Since I’ve been 15, I wanted to have my own brand and sell my own creations that carry my name.
It started during my pregnancy. I was at home and made a bag for myself. My girlfriends saw it and immediately wanted one too, and then friends of friends and so on. I’ve invited them over to my house so they could choose the materials and fabrics. The idea was that each of them has her very own, personalized bag.
Through word of mouth I’ve got more and more clients that after 2 years it became a serious business.
The first 500 bags were all made by myself with my sewing machine in my kitchen. But at one point the orders got so big that I decided to delegate the work and get a real workshop.
Since the beginning of your brand, you offer your clients a “made-to-mesure” service. Do you think that nowadays there’s a big demande for one-of-a-kind pieces?
Even though I’ve launched a collection of bags some seasons ago that are made outside my workshop, a kind of a ready-to-wear collection to be more accessible and to respond to shop orders, the request of the “made-to-mesure” offer is constantly growing.
“Nowadays clients are ready to spend more money in order to have their one-of-a-kind Delphine Delafon bag. They appreciate the savoir-faire and the fact that it’s made in my workshop in Paris. They love to come to my atelier, to meet me and choose together the materials for their bag.”
Each Delphine Delafon bag is made in limited edition and numbered.
After the bags, you’re launching now a fashion line. What is the common thread between the bags and the clothes?
For my fashion line I would like to keep the same concept as for the bags, keep the manufacturing as handcrafted as possible, and 100% made in France. There’s no label sewn inside the clothes, but they’re signed “Delphine Delafon” by myself.
I would also like to keep the concept of clients coming to my workshop and have their clothes personalized.
For me these kind of details are extremely important, to show that it’s all about craftsmanship. I’ve noticed that people are very receptive for the designer’s feelings towards his own creations and his brand.
Instead of doing a catwalk show, your Spring/Summer 2017 presentation was a big social festive happening. Your Autumn/Winter 2017/18 presentation was a 3 hours performance inspired by traditional catholic Silician funerals mixed with punk elements and neon lights. That’s a very unconventional way to show your collection.
“I would like to be conventional but I just can’t. So I continue doing it in my own way.”
Each show is an intense collaboration with a group of people that I like a lot and where everybody brings in ideas. I love to collaborate with friends who know me and my artistic universe and build a project together.
Where do you find this amazing variety of fabrics and leather?
Fortunately there are still some suppliers in Paris not far from my workshop where I get beautiful leather, lizard skin, python skin, alligator skin in all different colors.
I find a lot of the fabrics on my trips. My boyfriend has been living in Vietnam and Cambodia for one year, so I went to see him quite a lot and bought beautiful old traditional fabrics. I’ve also been to Kenia last year where I’ve found fabrics with amazing African prints.
Is there an artist, dead or alive, that you adore?
Since I’m 12 I’m obsessed with fashion photography.
“My all time favorite is Helmut Newton. I love the atmosphere and the sexual aesthetics in his pictures.”
Is there an art piece that you love and that overwhelms you?
Music is fascinating to me because it’s something very abstract and intangible but can evoke very strong emotions.
I’m a huge fan of the Beatles and especially the song “While my guitar gently weeps” is lifting me out of the ordinary and takes me to an imaginary place every time I listen to it.
What comes to your mind when you think of Iran?
I think of a country who has a very strong and intense political history and of the status and condition of women which is a subject that I care about a lot.
Portray by Nina Koltchitskaia
Spring Summer 2017 Collection and rest of photos by Basile Mookherjee
Text: Anahita Vessier
Translation: Anahita Vessier
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