During Paris fashion week I met up with the laid-back and quite eccentric Jerome Dreyfuss who has been a designer now for 16 years and counting. I met him in this gorgeous little oasis, centered in the middle of everything, but yet in hiding for everyone who doesn´t know where exactly to go. With a secret little back garden, big glass windows to bring in the warm lights of Paris´s architecture and an energy that represented calmness and balance.
He surprised me a bit with his being (because designers can be a bit… un-social sometimes), where he smiled and laughed and told stories about how and why he is where he is today. Even though he makes bags and shoes to die for with next-level leather qualities and details to explore closer, he is not that materialistic himself actually. “I live in a house without electricity. I just don´t know why we need it.” He lives with his two kids and wife that´s no other than Isabel Marant (designer at Isabel Marant), where they have the philosophy to use what´s around you, make things, be creative instead of watching TV or binging a Netflix show in their spare time. When I asked him how he charged his phone, he simply replied “at work!”. If it only was that easy for everyone, ey?
But back to the beginning of the Jerome Dreyfuss story. He tells me that it was actually quite the coincidence that he started making bags. He was out one day, drinking lots of wine with his friends and they pointed out that it was so hard to find good handbags without big logo´s, yet with a supreme quality. So there he sat, a bit drunk, feeling impulsive, saying “guys, I´m gonna make you some bags”. And the first chapter was written.
And the adventure was (and still is) a pleasant ride, making Jerome Dreyfuss the brand to wear when you didn´t want to show off big logo´s or spend a fortune. And in some of his bags, there is also some tech to use for making the day a bit easier. “I remember always coming home to a dark hallway because of the lack of electricity, and I always struggled to open the front door, because it was just too dark sometimes! So I used a lighter to find the keyhole, always burning my fingers. So I decided to add a little flashlight inside the bags. Not only perfect for finding keyholes, but also a great companion when actually finding stuff in your bags”. That´s something, hey? I actually agree on that one, sometimes it´s just too hard finding anything in my bag, like imagine if it actually was some system in them, right?
Not only is he very passionate about function and design, but also the environment when it comes to producing. He is strict when it comes to fast fashion, sale and thousand different collections during one year, and he always uses authorized leathers and fabrics for minimal waste, production toxics and the good of the animals. “I really care about my products, and I want people to have them. But I don´t want to ruin the environment for it. It´s too important for all of us”.
A fantastic man to meet, and I really hope he continues in his excellent works for not only his namesake brand, but also with his other creative projects. Absolutely someone to watch!