Stéphane Rolland will launch hand bag collection
Stéphane Rolland will launch a debut handbag collection this summer, a key strategic move by the French couturier in his ambitious plans for his maison.
Entitled Pop, the bag comes in three sizes – small, medium and large – in a faux rectangular shape with a curved bottom. Each bag is finished with a 3-centimeter ball on each side. Rolland will present the Pop to retailers later this month, during the Paris ready-to-wear season.
“We wanted something intemporal. That idea was the trickiest. With lots of options, including evening, when you can add a kind of ball of little diamonds,” says Rolland, displaying two zirconium mini disco balls.
All bags are produced in Milan by the noted specialist atelier, AMA, Artigiani Milanesi Associati, used by the very top Italian marques.
“AMA loved the story and that makes it special. All my clients have been asking me to develop a bag for many years. It’s an indispensable element for women. We wanted something that was outside of any exact era. Something that plays on the codes of my design; but also something with 70s glamour. A generosity of form, and a wink at the architects of that era,” explains Rolland in his 17th arrondissement townhouse headquarters, formerly a Freemason lodge.
The 54-year-old designer was born in the Marne Valley east of Paris, but spent much of his formative years in Buenos Aires. Rolland did stints at Balenciaga and Jean Louis Scherrer, before launching his own house in 2007. His eveningwear is known for its sense of grand glamour, voluptuous volumes and bold indentations.
“Our first target is the great department stores, who have been asking us to create an accessible product for clients,” explained Rolland’s director of development Pierre Martinez, a Franco-Basque.
Top department stores from London, the US and the Middle East have already scheduled appointments for the bags which will start retailing in mid-July. The goal is 30 stores by the end of the year, and several e-commerce sites.
The Pop will come with an interior pillow to maintain their shape. They are logo free, except for the couturier’s name engraved on metal studs inside. There is an interior compartment for a lipstick; and a gold metal rectangle, so smooth it acts as a great hand mirror.
Materials vary from leather to suede to satin, priced at retail at 1,250 euros for a small clutch, and up to 2,000 euros for large padded box leather version. Exotic ethical South African crocodile versions start at 14,000 euros for a small bag, each carrying a card certificate for traceability.
“We sell more than 250 haute couture robes a year, so our couture is a flourishing business. But we needed to create accessories to complete our project. Next, we are planning a capsule ready-to-wear collection for a small group of department stores. And we are bringing out a scarf line this fall, of about 10 versions, made in Como in Italian silk,” added Martinez.
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