Insider
|22 Mar|5 mins

Things You Need to Know About Jérôme Dreyfuss

Sarah Tarca fell in love with the man behind THE ICONIC’s newest designer bags and you will too.
Sarah Tarca
22 Mar
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His soft, perfectly designed pieces of heaven are the signature of understated French style, toted by every Parisian It-Girl and model. So, when I was asked to interview him I mentally prepared myself for carefully guarded responses and wanky fashion speak. To my surprise the supremely talented Mr. Dreyfuss is many things: laid-back, funny, frank and refreshing in a way that feels very Australian - yet, cooler because it’s laced with a French accent…

So be warned. This may induce serious designer crushing.

Insider
|22 Mar|5 mins

Things You Need to Know About Jérôme Dreyfuss

Sarah Tarca fell in love with the man behind THE ICONIC’s newest designer bags and you will too.
Sarah Tarca
22 Mar
Share:

His soft, perfectly designed pieces of heaven are the signature of understated French style, toted by every Parisian It-Girl and model. So, when I was asked to interview him I mentally prepared myself for carefully guarded responses and wanky fashion speak. To my surprise the supremely talented Mr. Dreyfuss is many things: laid-back, funny, frank and refreshing in a way that feels very Australian - yet, cooler because it’s laced with a French accent…

So be warned. This may induce serious designer crushing.

Bobi bag in Leopard Sauvage (sold out), Malcolm wallet in Nubuck Olive, Irini sandals in Fest Miel

1. He’s a feminist.

Jérôme loves women, but not in a creepy way. No, this deep appreciation for women is what inspired his business to begin with - just ask his wife, the inimitable designer, Isabel Marant. “My wife kept losing everything and I was trying to organise her life by making practical bags,” he says. “Since then I’m just trying to understand the needs of the women all day long.” He considers each ingenious feature that has since become his signature - like mini torches so you can always find your keys, phone pockets, and multiple straps so your bag is never a burden.

2. He thinks Aussies are cool… even if he can’t understand us.

Jérôme is not one for the Australian beachy, laid-back clichés. “For me, the first word that comes to mind is cool. I have many Australian friends and they all are really cool,” he says. “And I love the accent too, even though it takes me almost an hour to understand. It’s like you speak with ten pieces of gum in their mouth!”

The Bob collection in Noir, Rosa and Gold Matte

3. He knows when a bag will be a cult favourite.

“I know something will be a success because I’ll be working on a piece in my room alone, and one of the girls will come into the room and without me saying anything they’ll see it and say ‘Ohh what is that? I love it, it’s so cute!’ When you have more than three people come in and do that you know the piece is going to work,” he says. The last time he had that feeling was with the Felix saddle bag “which is good because it’s named after a good friend of mine and he was complaining that he didn’t have a bag named after him. Now he does and it’s a bestseller.”

4. He cares - about your wallet and your health.

Unlike other “it” bag designers, Jérôme isn’t just thinking about farshun. “It never works when it’s just about decoration - I always have to adapt my designs for real life. I think sometimes fashion is a bit far away from reality. Women need to carry so many things, so it’s important that bags are super light. I’m always thinking of that woman who is investing in a piece... It’s important for me that she can wear it for five or ten years and that it’s still what she needs.”

Rémi circle bag in Noir, Gabi loafers in Noir

5. His favourite things are not what you’d expect.

Jérôme is the antithesis of the designer cliché. He wears colour (ok, navy), there’s no affected air, he doesn’t care about celebrity endorsements and is clearly not a fan of the Kardashians; “I don’t know if putting Kim on the cover of a magazine is very respectful of a woman, or of the younger girls to think that Kim Kardashian is a picture of beauty and success.” He’s a down-to-earth guy - he’s interested in architecture, likes Nina Simone and his idea of heaven is simply spending the weekend an hour away from Paris with no running water or electricity. “It’s paradise,” he says.

I could talk to Jérôme for days. I ask him what it would be like if I were a fly on the wall in his studio. “You would smell the leathers, see a lot of colours, you’d hear a lot of music,” like his favourite Afropunk band, Tshegue, and “we’re always saying ‘putain!’ (f*ck in French). That’s what you’d hear the most!” he laughs. It sounds like a fun place to be, and he invites me to drop by if I’m ever in Paris. I die a little inside and immediately click on to THE ICONIC to see how I can have my own piece of Jérôme Dreyfuss. Looking at the collection, I can understand why he’s so successful. He is the brand, but the brand isn’t about his ego, or even about fashion. It’s about designing for women, with women in mind. And damn, is he good at it.

Sarah Tarca
Writer
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