Do you know Olympia Le-Tan?
She is a French designer, many celebrities love her bags, if you want to know about her life, her mood, just read this interview!
Question : So then you started again in 2009 more like a real business. And you relaunched with a collection of clutches and minaudières that are reproductions of vintage books. What was the concept behind it?
Olympia : Well, I grew up in a house where there were lots of books. My dad [illustrator Pierre Le-Tan] has a big collection of old ones with nice covers. I started collecting them when I was a teenager. The covers inspired me. And I learned how to do embroidery from my grandmother. I just thought they were a good base to develop.
Question : Where do you find your books? Do you have a favorite store?
Olympia : My favorite in Paris is Shakespeare and Company. In New York it's the Strand.
Question : And London?
Olympia : Well, there's a street in London where there are loads. I don't really have one particular favorite. I also buy a lot online. There's a website called abebooks.com where all the little book shops are, so you can just type in the name of an author or a book and write, 'First edition 1933.' Then everything comes up and you can find it in Mexico or somewhere like that.
Q: So this collection is bigger, and you started last Spring to add some clothing, some of those little Liberty dresses that I loved. Tell me more about this.
OLT : Last summer, there were just five dresses. It was a medical theme, so they were a bit like nurse dresses but in Liberty-print fabrics. This season, my team expanded, so it's a proper ready-to-wear collection. There are seven looks, one for each day of the week. We presented them on Saturday night at the Musée Nissim de Camondo on seven fake Bettie Pages. They were real burlesque dancers who did a little performance and then stripped off.
Q : And there were maids picking up the clothes, with their uniforms on. They all looked like versions of Olympia, with the short bangs.
OLT : It's 'Bettie Page Goes to the Library,' so they all have proper, serious dresses, but very tight and sexy.
Q : Your book clutches are all limited-edition, correct?
OLT : Yes, 16 pieces each, numbered on the back.
Q: In your view, what's the special allure of a limited edition?
OLT : Well, that way not everyone has the same bag, and you can track down who has what number.
Q : When you first think about which books to replicate, is it a mix of the cover design and the title? And have you read all of the books you've re-created?
OLT : It's mostly the titles. In my first collection, I had read all the books. Then it started to become a bit out of control, so now I've read most of the books but not all of them—especially not all the cookbooks and medical manuals!
Q : And it's all done by hand?
OLT : Yes, completely, in France.
Q : What about your ready-to-wear?
OLT : That is made in France, as well.Q: For this collection, what materials are you most using?
Q : Which I love! Like the inside of all your clutches. What is your strongest market? France, the UK, the US?
OLT : There's leather, and then the tartan fabrics. It's sort of a mix of English and French. The Liberty fabrics, the college stripes.
OLT : I have no idea. At first it was France, but this season it seems to be Russia, for some weird reason.
Interview via vaultmagazine