- Fashion -
A backstage view of a premier leather artisan
On the Place du Palais Bourbon, a blue carriage door opens onto the flowered courtyard of the Atelier Renard. Since the 1930s, the most beautiful leathers in the world have been crafted by expert leather artisans, who perpetuate traditional techniques. Inspired by the passion cultivated by Brigitte Montaut, visitors can join in inventing the bag of their lives!
Brigitte Montaut, how did you come across the Atelier Renard?
It was back in 2000. I literally fell in love with this workshop, which was looking for a buyer. I knew nothing about leather, but I sensed an incredible history, know-how and magic in this place. This made me want to embark on the adventure, to continue the work undertaken by Joseph Renard in the 1930s. My challenge was to thoroughly renovate the site without touching the soul of the House, to focus on excellence and to develop bespoke creations.
What goes on behind the big blue door of the Place du Palais Bourbon
Some very beautiful human encounters! A bag is a personal object that tells the story of the person who wears it. Creating an exclusive piece for a customer necessarily involves metaphorically stepping into their world in order to advise them on the choice of shapes, leathers, colors and even thread: all the details that make a bag unique and of exceptional quality. For me, real luxury is exactly that: an alliance between the time that can be unstintingly devoted to each individual, the rare quality of leather, and the joy of inventing your own object – all coupled with expertise conveyed through a perfectly skilled touch, right the way through to the smallest stitch.
What was your wildest order?
We love that our customers challenge us with their creativity and I must say that they never disappoint us! We have the opportunity to create incredible objects. The smallest to date was a case for a gold toothpick, isn’t that amazing? We have also designed a crocodile leather case to store an Admiral’s shirt whales of an Admiral's shirt collar stays, or sheaths for gold ingots! Our most monumental achievement was a storage case for one of our frequent-traveler customers, who had decided to stay in a hotel between each trip around the world, and now asks for his room to be prepared whenever he returns with his trunk containing most of his belongings. For an advertisement, we also made a giant bag in which one could stand upright. And then we created huge leather trays – designed to accommodate the gifts of guests at a birth reception – to which we hand-glued fifty thousand Swarovski crystals! These and many other challenges were fantastic adventures, shared by the whole workshop.
Grille à frapper
Naissance d'un sac
L'Atelier dans la cour