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Shop Talk

Leather Reincarnate

“In my past life, I was a Leather Jacket.” says the cute little handbag as she nestles into a pretty blouse. One may say she’s been talking to too many new-age junkies. But then again, we’re the ones talking to handbags.

It’s true, in the Haut Marais district of Paris, you’ll find this lovely studio/boutique where leather jackets are transformed into functional bags. At Matières à réflexion design duo, Laetitia Azpiroz and Cyrille Railliet collect jackets and transform them into handbags right in the shop. Most of the jackets come from Emmaüs, a French charity organization, some of them come from Eastern Europe, particularly the ones with 70’s detailing. One can even bring their own jacket for transformation. Each piece is selected for it’s detailing and quality making the bag extra special.

“We look for details such as pockets (which we usually keep as such on the front of the bag), ‘fronces’ (plies ??) on the shoulders or on the front of the jacket, geometrical paterns on the back of the jackets …”

The boutique itself it also a a wonderful experience, as you’ll find not only bags but clothing and accessories all from local Parisian designers. Giving not only the bags a complete ensemble, but the feeling that this shop is really about supporting the community of designers. Railliet also writes for Haut Marais, a great blog about this budding neighborhood (worth a peek, even if you’re not headed to Paris).

Matières à réflexion

19 rue de Poitou
Paris 3e - Haut Marais
01 42 72 16 31

Above: Bags displayed with Karine Jean blouses (the jewelry is too small to see in pic, but it’s lovely)

Lower pics from top left: Small clutches with chain straps.

The bags in the boutique, and the workhorse sewing machine

Cassette & Microphone necklaces! I love them!

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8 comments for “Leather Reincarnate”

  1. I’m most fascinated by the blouses.

    Posted by WendyB | June 20, 2008, 1:06 pm
  2. i am foaming at the mouth looking at the wares in this shop!!!!

    Posted by c in c | June 20, 2008, 5:46 pm
  3. Jennine - Thank you for visiting us !

    Wendy - Blouses are by an upcoming French designer called Karine Jean !

    Posted by Cyrille | June 21, 2008, 4:55 am
  4. The pieces in this shop are really lovely-can you maybe give me an idea of the prices?

    p.s. I’m going to Paris next week (so excited!) and I really appreciate the posts about Paris, thank you!

    Posted by alice | June 21, 2008, 11:36 am
  5. You had me a 70’s Eastern European! There simple isn’t enough Communist glamour in the world!

    Posted by Imelda Matt | June 21, 2008, 4:42 pm
  6. haha.. communist glamour is certainly underrated… maybe we’ll see more soon???

    Posted by jennine | June 22, 2008, 12:09 pm
  7. the color blocked one is quite cute

    Posted by Prêt-à-Porter P | June 22, 2008, 9:23 pm
  8. I am so inspired by this store, especially the bags. I am doing something similar to this in the U.S. Check out my website to see more one-of-a-kind bags from recyled leather at http://www.refindoriginals.com.

    Posted by Anita Hopper | July 18, 2008, 6:30 am

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