Patou launches debut Le Patou bag
The house of Patou has launched its first bag, a sustainably produced limited edition bag made of 'sleeping' stock leather, and christened it Le Patou.
The house quietly made the small shoulder bag available through a few select department stores this fall, testing the market before unveiling it this month to the press.
Le Patou marks an important development in the rebirth of the storied French house, which was only relaunched four years ago by luxury behemoth LVMH. Founder Jean Patou opened his first salon just before WW1 in 1912.
“We wanted to get feedback from a tight selection of clients, before showing it to the media. The clients have been very enthusiastic, not just because they like its look, but also because of the story behind it,” explained Patou’s designer Guillaume Henry.
“There is huge competition when it comes to bags. So, we wanted to add our own story. Le Patou is very close to the DNA of brand. Jean Patou created a very practical style day one, designed for French women in daily life. So the bag had to be friendly as we are a generous brand, like a good French pastry. Plus, I’m a gourmand myself,” explained Henry.
Designed with a “smiling face,” thanks to its half-moon shape, Le Patou is created in candy colors like Sun, Poppy, Smiling Pink and Cinnamon. Its initial run is just 300 limited edition bags, each of them numbered. Though distribution will now expand to 25 top boutiques worldwide. Next season, the number will rise to 60 stores. Le Patou is already available on the house’s website, priced at 950 euros.
“At Patou, we don't use fur or leather and we are very sustainable. We tried vegan leather but there are actually a lot of chemicals in it. Then, we tried mushroom leather, but didn’t like the result. But we found sleeping stock, made for some major brands, and the quality was great. The sort of quality product you could one day offer to your granddaughter. I prefer saying sleeping stock, as it’s much more positive than dead stock!” explained Guillaume.
Henry joined Patou in September 2018, handpicked by Sidney Toledano, the CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, which includes Kenzo, Givenchy and Pucci, among other fashion houses.
After relaunching in 2018, Henry took a full year before showing any product, as the fashion house had no office nor any archive.
“Patou’s website was just a .fr and not .com! My first idea was to build a wardrobe, and to create a very specific point of view. Now that we have created an audience and our sales are getting bigger, we wanted to create a bag that was true to what we do,” added the designer.
Patou under Henry has yet to stage a show, but as it has since 2019, will present its next collection before press and buyers during next month’s Paris Fashion Week in a day-long presentation when all guests can meet and speak with Henry.
“I like the idea of a presentation and a conversation,” he concludes.
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