An exclusive look inside delvaux
I’m back! My whirlwind trip is over and tbh, I’m so excited to share with you the stories and snaps I took along the way. Watch this space.
First up: my first time in Belgium for a tour inside the Delvaux headquarters. I am so happy to be given the opportunity to visit the maison’s headquarters and share this experience with my sister Laureen!
Right after #TheBurnands’ wedding at Winchester (heavily documented on Instagram and Snapchat lol!), Lau and I took the Eurostar in London to get to Belgium where the Delvaux headquarters is located. Despite the ZZZs, you gotta do what you gotta do.
By this time, we arrived in Belgium. We stayed at the Hotel Amigo, which was beautifully situated near the Grand Palace. It’s also perfect because it’s close to the touristy spots of the city. More #OOTD options for me and Lau yay!
Dine time! We were joined at Restaurant Le Mess with creative director Christina Zeller and press manager Jessica Volpe. Creative director Christina Zeller, who took the reins at Delvaux in 2011, brought with her a whole new level of elegance and modernity into one of the oldest leather-goods makers in the world. That’s how you do it.
Le Mess is a healthy haven. A carrot-orange-ginger combo detox drink is served first before any meal, and I was so down for that zing. Weird enough, my fave was the fish and chicken platter. Christina told me to indulge in life’s péché mignon, or in this case, the restaurant’s stuffed brownie. So much for healthy living goals, no? She also joked about how when I meet the perfect guy, I should tell him that he’s my péché mignon!
Restaurant Le Mess is a 2-minute walk away from the Delvaux HQ. Could this trip be any more perfect?
We headed straight to the Delvaux headquarters in Boulevard Louis Schmidt after our hearty brunch. It was a total fashion field trip. What do you get when you combine heritage, craftsmanship, modernity? Yup, definitely Delvaux.
Believe it or not, Ludo (pictured above), has been with Delvaux for 25 years!
CHATTING WITH CHRISTINA ZELLER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF DELVAUX
Liz: Can you share more about the fabrications and manufacturing of the pieces?
Christina: At Delvaux, we have a luxury that not all other houses have: time. We only launch a new model when we are ready. Product development can sometimes take over a year due to the fact that we test different types of leathers, hardware materials, and shapes. Each product is given a dedicated test period to ensure that its functionality is up to par and that the bag is worn well. It happens that even if the design and concept of a bag is great, the result is not what we hoped for so we continue to make changes until the bag meets our standards. One of our greatest advantages is that we have an internal Research and Development department so we can check in daily on all of our models and make small adjustments along the way when needed.
Liz: What is the one theme you keep returning to when it comes to inspiration and design?
Christina: It would be, “Simplicity is the ultimate satisfaction.” Simplicity can be difficult to find in our fast changing world, which is why it’s important to keep simplicity as an inspiration because it has, in a certain way, become rare. There is a delicate, underestimated beauty to simplicity in shapes, lines, and forms. This is what makes Delvaux bags timeless and elegant and able to withstand the test of time.
Liz: Delvaux has a line exclusively for gentlemen; how does the men’s collection relate to and differ from the women’s?
Christina: Similar to our women’s collection, our men’s collection also has iconic pieces that are structured and rigid, but also very functional for everyday use. We are evolving into a ‘no gender’ generation where men, just like women, are able to carry a bag as a statement piece and not just for a functional purpose. This is why over time, la Pochette Presse, which originally only existed in our women’s collection, has now also become a staple piece in our men’s collection. At our last showroom in Paris, many of the male journalists were carrying different models of la Pochette Presse and some were even bold enough to carry a Brillant. J’adore.
Liz: Tell us more about the influences behind the recent collection and upcoming collection.
Christina: The most recent collection was largely inspired by the Art Deco style and its graphic forms and structured architecture, making each piece both precious and precise. The shapes of our bags being so iconic, they have been reinterpreted this season into different sizes—for example, the le Tempête Mini, which snuck in right between the Micro and MM versions. The focus is also on clean and stark colors with a very delectable palette. In our upcoming collections, we are experimenting more with mixing different colors together through innovative techniques that hav never seen before .
Liz: How have your customers’ tastes evolved over the past years?
Christina: As la maison has grown internationally over the past years, we no longer are focused solely on pleasing a Belgian clientele, but are creating for the women of the world. We have one collection with different colors and shapes that are suitable for women everywhere.
Liz: Can you talk us through some of the new styles we might expect from Delvaux?
Christina: Le Mutin is our newest model, the future emblem of la maison. It was inspired by La Chasseresse bag that was originally created in 1962. It’s the first ever sporty model for the active women.
Liz: A certain level of individuality is evident in each bag as only 1 person is tasked to create each, making it so special. How many years have Rudo been working with Delvaux? Is it common for the employees to stay for a long time?
Christina: Ludo has been with Delvaux for 25 years. It is very common for Delvaux employees, especially the artisans, to stay with us for a majority of their careers.
Liz: What are some exciting developments planned for 2016? Can we discuss the exhibit?
Christina: The museum is definitely the biggest project of the year for la maison, I’ll be able to tell you more about that when you come back to visit it!
Liz: Yay! One last: which of your bags is your personal favourite?
Christina: Le Brillant because it was born in 1958, just like me.
We had the best time at the Delvaux HQ. To be able to witness the inner workings of Delvaux is such an honor, made super fun by good company and the Delvaux team. Enough with in-your-face logomania and go with the timeless, discreet, and modern sophistication only Delvaux could offer.
Thank you, Delvaux! See you next year for the exhibit!