Elegance begins with the soul
Then comes the bag, of course. Handbag, carried, slung over the shoulder, vegetable tanned, in order to push the delicacy a little further than the person and extend it to the planet that hosts us. Olivia Clergue embodies, in her unique way, a certain French elegance, and the richness of the contexts in which she was born is no stranger to this. When you have the immense Lucien Clergue as your father, the one from Arles and his Rencontres photographiques which he founded in 1968, Picasso as your godfather and first drawing teacher, Michel Tournier and Jean Cocteau as family friends, to name but a few, it is almost impossible to miss this “je ne sais quoi”. Olivia will study sculpture at the Beaux-arts de Paris, then the more technical aspects of her profession as a leather goods designer at Esmod.
Olivia’s childhood takes place under the Camargue sun, surrounded by everyone the 20th century has to offer in terms of genius artists. Her vision of fashion is influenced by Yves Saint Laurent’s creations, which her mother particularly liked, and Arles’ traditional costumes, especially the reticules* worn by the country’s women, whose memories can be found in her first bags. The Camargue equestrian tradition also shows in her work, as evidenced by the use of natural leather tanned without heavy metals, combined with visible white thread seams.
Since 2008, Olivia Clergue has been designing her collections, unfailingly succeeding in achieving the famous “instant classic” that everyone dreams of with more or less success, these pieces that enrich and extend the concept of the essential. On the shapes she creates, come the colours. Thus the models are more or less wildly declined in shades and nuances whose subtle filiations we will enjoy to imagine.
*Small cotton, sometimes embroidered, or silver thread chaplain bag containing the bare essentials for a night out (handkerchief, salts).