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From Paris to Tokyo, a Delvaux Christmas Fashion - 17 November 2014

At the beginning of October, Delvaux opened its first boutique in Paris in the enchanting setting of the Palais Royal. One month later, the Belgian leather goods house launched the Brillant Red Moon, to mark the opening of its new flagship store on the Omotesando Boulevard in Tokyo. Not forgetting its highly praised involvement in the second Designers' Charity Christmas Tree event. Spotlight on a brand bubbling with life.

Desires, pleasures and caprices. These three key words – a lovely glimpse into the slightly Surrealist approach that emphasises the Belgian character of Delvaux, which it wears so well – were used as the basis for the object designed by the brand for the 2014 edition of the Charity Christmas Tree event. "Lucky Three", a quirky, unusual coin tray, in a trio of the finest leathers (ostrich, lizard and alligator), is thoroughly in keeping with the sophisticated artisan approach of the brand's creations. Christina Zeller, image and product director for Delvaux, says: "Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a tree, would it? This new object of desire follows the contours and architecture of the Christmas tree. It reveals itself only partly, leaving your imagination to run free. Both useless and functional, its pure, sculptural lines so typical of Delvaux are what make it intriguing. Covered with exotic leathers, it pays homage to the tradition, exigencies, savoir-faire and timeless elegance of our house."

Anti-mass-market

Elegance is in the Delvaux DNA, and has always been its hallmark... Even when most of the Brussels brand's sales came from Belgium. It was not until 2011, when it was acquired by Asian group Fung Brands Limited, that things really started to change. The recent – and widely publicised in the media – opening of boutiques around the world are symbolic of this new international focus. One in Paris in the gardens of the Palais Royal during the last Fashion Week, and one in Japan last August. "We opened our first 220m² flagship store on Omotesando Boulevard (Ed: Tokyo's Champs Elysées) last August, one in Paris in the heart of the Palais Royal in September, and one in London on New Bond Street in October. More boutiques will be opening soon in Shanghai, Beijing and Macau, but a mass-market strategy is not our objective at all," insists a spokesperson at Delvaux, a house whose positioning is clearly different from other leather goods makers known for favouring "mass luxury".

Where fashion meets tradition

"In 2011, only 4% of the brand's sales came from overseas. Now that figure is 45%.
Our savoir-faire, our artisan craftsmanship, our archive of over 3,000 handbag designs, our distinctive Belgian character and our unconventional elegance are what's got everyone so excited about our expansion abroad. Around 70% of our sales come from our iconic bags, Le Brillant and Le Tempête," adds the Delvaux spokesperson, to emphasise the house's values of authenticity and tradition. As Christina Zeller is fond of telling Belgian and international journalists fascinated by this revival, the house's archives and savoir-faire mean that it's not necessary for the brand to resort to the same mass-marketing techniques as the competition to make a name for itself on the international stage. Even so, it's becoming less and less rare to see a celebrity carrying a Brillant XL. Proof that the Delvaux 2.0 era is a reality. It's fashion, yes, but controlled and reasoned. Fashion that's made to last.

Written by Marie Honnay

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