VerBreuil PariS oN thE ViRtuEs oF DisCreEt luXurY

Words by Rosie Dalton
Photography courtesy of Verbreuil Paris

Photography by Joanna Totolici.

Accessories possess the unique power to make your look feel intimately personal — but Verbreuil takes this to a whole new level. In the case of this Paris-based leather goods company, a handbag is not simply a vessel for toting around your daily essentials. Instead, each one of their made-to-order handbags is as distinct as the next. Boasting premium leathers, functional silhouettes and a deliberate absence of exterior hardware, it is little wonder that Verbreuil handbags have garnered something of a cult following worldwide.

Speaking with the brand’s creatrice Sylvie Véron Hériard-Dubreuil, it becomes clear that quality and integrity are both non-negotiable for the brand. In this sense, Verbreuil genuinely celebrates the value of traditional craftsmanship and reminds us all not to underestimate the transformative power of a well-made piece. Here, we discuss the designer’s take on “discreet luxury” and the quiet femininity of Verbreuil handbags.

ROSIE DALTON: When designing a handbag, what is the most important consideration for you?

SYLVIE VÉRON HÉRIARD-DUBREUIL: Our deep will was always to offer a collection which would unite exceptional materials and craftsmanship with a pure, different and powerful design. In saying that, the one thing I paid a special attention to is the femininity [of the bags] when worn. Each piece has been thoughtfully crafted and designed to compliment a woman’s silhouette with grace.

Accessories possess the unique power to make your look feel intimately personal — but Verbreuil takes this to a whole new level. In the case of this Paris-based leather goods company, a handbag is not simply a vessel for toting around your daily essentials. Instead, each one of their made-to-order handbags is as distinct as the next. Boasting premium leathers, functional silhouettes and a deliberate absence of exterior hardware, it is little wonder that Verbreuil handbags have garnered something of a cult following worldwide.

Speaking with the brand’s creatrice Sylvie Véron Hériard-Dubreuil, it becomes clear that quality and integrity are both non-negotiable for the brand. In this sense, Verbreuil genuinely celebrates the value of traditional craftsmanship and reminds us all not to underestimate the transformative power of a well-made piece. Here, we discuss the designer’s take on “discreet luxury” and the quiet femininity of Verbreuil handbags.

ROSIE DALTON: When designing a handbag, what is the most important consideration for you?

SYLVIE VÉRON HÉRIARD-DUBREUIL: Our deep will was always to offer a collection which would unite exceptional materials and craftsmanship with a pure, different and powerful design. In saying that, the one thing I paid a special attention to is the femininity [of the bags] when worn. Each piece has been thoughtfully crafted and designed to compliment a woman’s silhouette with grace.

“Having no ostentatious hardware is one of the signatures of understated elegance and discreet luxury.”

RD: What does “discreet luxury” mean to you personally?

SVHD: For me, discreet luxury is a quiet luxury. Real and absolute, but with no need to be overstated. It is all a question of lines and details. It’s the effort put into the things that you can see but also those you cannot. For me, this is what real luxury is about.

RD: How do you aim to explore this through Verbreuil handbags?

SVHD: We explore discreet luxury with Verbreuil in different ways. Through the strength and purity of our styles, with no visible hardware or logo. And the exceptional quality of both our fabrication and details, both outside and inside — such as the lambskin lining, the little alligator feet, the side which opens like a fan.

RD: Was the brand started in reaction to so much sameness and a decline in quality seen throughout fashion today?

SVHD: In the past few years, I had the feeling that the product was not at the centre of the design process anymore — and I believe very strongly that it should be at the heart of it. Our motivation to create Verbreuil was not necessarily “in reaction” to something though; it was deeper. The feeling that we had lost the charm of discreet luxury and wanted to rediscover it.

RD: In saying this though, your handbags also feel far more unique and personal than a traditional ‘It Bag’.

SVHD: We are positioned as slow fashion, so our models are timeless and here to stay; to accompany people through their lives. They will live, be repaired and even be passed on to the next generation.

RD: Why do you think it’s essential to continue supporting craftsmanship such as that involved with made to order handbags?

SVHD: We think it is crucial to support the unique expertise and heritage of craftsmanship. Nothing can ever equal the beauty of real craftsmanship.

RD: What does “discreet luxury” mean to you personally?

SVHD: For me, discreet luxury is a quiet luxury. Real and absolute, but with no need to be overstated. It is all a question of lines and details. It’s the effort put into the things that you can see but also those you cannot. For me, this is what real luxury is about.

RD: How do you aim to explore this through Verbreuil handbags?

SVHD: We explore discreet luxury with Verbreuil in different ways. Through the strength and purity of our styles, with no visible hardware or logo. And the exceptional quality of both our fabrication and details, both outside and inside — such as the lambskin lining, the little alligator feet, the side which opens like a fan.

RD: Was the brand started in reaction to so much sameness and a decline in quality seen throughout fashion today?

SVHD: In the past few years, I had the feeling that the product was not at the centre of the design process anymore — and I believe very strongly that it should be at the heart of it. Our motivation to create Verbreuil was not necessarily “in reaction” to something though; it was deeper. The feeling that we had lost the charm of discreet luxury and wanted to rediscover it.

RD: In saying this though, your handbags also feel far more unique and personal than a traditional ‘It Bag’.

SVHD: We are positioned as slow fashion, so our models are timeless and here to stay; to accompany people through their lives. They will live, be repaired and even be passed on to the next generation.

RD: Why do you think it’s essential to continue supporting craftsmanship such as that involved with made to order handbags?

SVHD: We think it is crucial to support the unique expertise and heritage of craftsmanship. Nothing can ever equal the beauty of real craftsmanship.

RD: Can you tell me about some of the materials you use in crafting your bags and how you select these?

SVHD: Our handbags are made of various genuine leathers, chosen depending on the inspiration and design. We select very carefully all of the tanneries we work with and I personally choose each one to ensure it is of the highest quality.

RD: What about the use of unexpected colours and shape? Do you find it difficult to create original products in a global market that has become so saturated over recent years?

SVHD: Creativity and originality are at the centre of everything we do. I have always been passionate about design and innovation, so I like to look at things differently. I believe one of our strengths is that we do not come from this industry originally, so our creativity isn’t restrained in any way. We are to challenge the ways things are done. Achieving those unique shapes, for example, took lots of patience and more than 3 years of fine-tuning. The very pure design allows us to use any colours or materials and still stay very refined, so I enjoy offering the unexpected.

RD: Has the decision to move away from visible hardware been a deliberate one and, if so, what do you think this lends to a bag?

SVHD: Yes it was a deliberate decision. Having no ostentatious hardware is, for us, one of the signatures of understated elegance and discreet luxury.

RD: How do you hope that a Verbreuil handbag will make a woman feel?

SVHD: Elegant, singular and powerful. We received messages from our clients saying that they are “proud” to wear their bags. This is the best accomplishment we could dream of.

RD: Finally, how important is the family-run nature of your business?

SVHD: Very important — working as a family is an amazing experience. We all share the same passion for handcrafted products and the same business ethic.

RD: Can you tell me about some of the materials you use in crafting your bags and how you select these?

SVHD: Our handbags are made of various genuine leathers, chosen depending on the inspiration and design. We select very carefully all of the tanneries we work with and I personally choose each one to ensure it is of the highest quality.

RD: What about the use of unexpected colours and shape? Do you find it difficult to create original products in a global market that has become so saturated over recent years?

SVHD: Creativity and originality are at the centre of everything we do. I have always been passionate about design and innovation, so I like to look at things differently. I believe one of our strengths is that we do not come from this industry originally, so our creativity isn’t restrained in any way. We are to challenge the ways things are done. Achieving those unique shapes, for example, took lots of patience and more than 3 years of fine-tuning. The very pure design allows us to use any colours or materials and still stay very refined, so I enjoy offering the unexpected.

RD: Has the decision to move away from visible hardware been a deliberate one and, if so, what do you think this lends to a bag?

SVHD: Yes it was a deliberate decision. Having no ostentatious hardware is, for us, one of the signatures of understated elegance and discreet luxury.

RD: How do you hope that a Verbreuil handbag will make a woman feel?

SVHD: Elegant, singular and powerful. We received messages from our clients saying that they are “proud” to wear their bags. This is the best accomplishment we could dream of.

RD: Finally, how important is the family-run nature of your business?

SVHD: Very important — working as a family is an amazing experience. We all share the same passion for handcrafted products and the same business ethic.

Share Facebook / Email
Debrief

BitOThis BitOThat WintEr fOotwEar eDit With EmilY AndrEwS

Next Story

Moments

DeTails: lAyErinG With MpnT EarrinGs

Previous Story