Who are you Delphine?
I am a 29 years old Parisian. I was born in Los Angeles but my family is French. My grandmother was married to an American for 20 years and my parents lived in the United States for 6 years so I’ve spent a lot of time in the US. I am really attached to the country and particularly to New York.
I’ve been working in the fashion industry for the past 10 years. I worked several years with designers such as Carven, Michel Klein and Irié before I decided to start my own clothing line with a friend who I met at Michel Klein. We launched our company, Heimstone, together in 2007 and it has been a great adventure. But unfortunately, three years later, our relationship became too complicated, so I decided to go my way.
How did you start designing bags?
I first started to make bags for myself … My friends and acquaintances then placed some orders and it created a snowball effect! I started to catch the press interest and then the requests started pouring. Today, one year later, I am the proud designer of the Delphine Delafon brand! The bags are “one of a kind” and are all numbered.
When was your first collection born?
In 2009, after I left Heimstone, I did freelance work for a year and a half for different projects – an art gallery, a night club, with photographers etc… And then I got pregnant, had a bit of extra time and started creating bags…
All your bags are custom made, how much work does it take to create one of them?
It is a complicated process to make bespoke bags, but it’s interesting, challenging and it’s what makes the brand truly unique.
I do everything myself. My studio is in my apartment in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. I receive my clients there and we talk about what they want. We select the fabric/leather together and think about about the look of the bag, where to put the fringe, the studs or whatever they choose. Then I revise the leather; as it is for a bag, it has to be reinforced before I can start to stitch.
Some bags take 3 hours to make, some up to 6 hours. It depends on the fabric and how complicated the design is…
What is the ordering process like for your clients?
They call me and we set up an appointment. They come over and we discuss the bag over tea or coffee. I really enjoy the traditional, hands-on approach to creating the bags…
In the current age of big brands likeVuitton and H&M, I think it is good to come back to fundamentals.
I have a lot of orders now, so there is a waiting list of a month minimum!
Can they bring their own fabric/ Leather?
Of course! I work with my own fabric and leather all day, so when someone comes in with something new, it is really exciting!
I had a client who once came with a fabric from Uzbekistan, another with fabric from Bolivia, …
And I like fabric so much that it is really cool to discover new types.
Price range for your bags?
It depends on the fabric. They start at 300€ for a simple fabrics and can cost up to 600-800€ for those made with reptile leather.
If you had to create a line for a famous designer or famous brand, who would it be?
Which celebrities would you be flattered to see carrying your designs?
Charlotte Gainsbourg, M.I.A, Maywen Le Besco, Kate Moss.
You are based in Paris, what is your favorite place in the city?
I love my city, it is so beautiful!
I live in Montparnasse and really like the area because it has an important artistic background.
My favorite place is my husband’s restaurant, La Sieste. I also love to go to the Vanves flea market not too far from there.
Again, La Sieste.
A favourite bar or club?
Les 3 Maillets, a jazz club in the 5th arrondissement.
A favourite place to shop?
If you could live anywhere else, where would you live?
New York, Marseille, Argentina
I am currently working on a clothing line for next year. Fingers crossed!
It will be a very small collection, upscale with a lot of leather clothes!For more information access Delphine’s website here or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org