Lancel's Leonello Borghi Featured

Our interview with the iconic brand's artistic reative director

French maison Lancel just celebrated its 135th anniversary, in style, naturally. Best know nowadays for its signature handbags which include the Premier Flirt, the Adjani, the Daligramme and, the Brigitte Bardot. The latter of the two designs are credited to artistic director Leonello Borghi, who arrived at Lancel in 2010.

Borghi has injected all the more luxury and ‘French légèreté’ into the brand’s collections. We recently caught up with Borghi at Lancel’s Paris showroom to chat about design and legacy

What is the secret to creating a classic, iconic bag?

That really depends on the authenticity of the story. If there is a really creative approach behind its design, then the bag is more likely to become a timeless classic. Take the Daligramme (style), for example. We happened to discover a bag in our archives which Dali designed for Gala, with the help of Lancel’s craftsmen. When I saw it, I felt like I had discovered the Da Vinci Code. I asked myself: why did Dali come to Lancel in particular? Why this chain? Why these symbols? There are so many stories behind this bag, and that’s how an icon is created. It’s important to always remember that the brand is the star. I’m just one of Lancel’s guardians.

Why do you think that accessories have become almost as, if not more, important than clothes?

I think that a woman can express her personality much more easily with a bag than with an item of clothing. Accessories accentuate an outfit; you can play around with them. I love the way you can choose a different colour or style to create a different look.

How do you cater to the needs of the modern woman?

There is a common factor shared by every type of woman: every woman makes emotional purchases and every woman wants an accessory to make her look good. The bag is so much more than an item of clothing – a woman has it with her all day long so it needs to be able to accentuate her beauty.

What are your must-haves for spring/summer 2012? / Quelles sont les essentiels de l’été 2012 ?
This summer is all about colour. We’re featuring a lot of colourful leathers including some magnificent sunny yellows, a stunning raspberry hue and a beautiful turquoise as well as some lovely calming base colours like the signature Lancel red, whiskey, mocha and ivory.

Among new launches, the l’Angele, which has been created to celebrate the brand’s 135th anniversary, is a real treasure chest of tricks with its hidden mirror. We have also launched l’Amante which is very discreet and chic, it features a closure which allows you to alter the length of the chain. For me, it’s all about details: they are what stir emotions within a woman.

Lancel, the brand story

The Brigitte Bardot bag

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