Inside the atelier with Sally Perrin…
Sally is glamorous, chic, and fun. She spends about 2/3 of her time in Los Angeles and the rest in Paris with her husband who is originally from Limoges and their two daughters.
She recently started to design a line of sumptuous handbags and leather accessories and invited me to the atelier, where I went ga-ga over the gorgeous leather goods. Later that afternoon Sally kindly invited me to her apartment for tea and we chatted for hours about love, life, and of course, Paris.
A few years ago you launched a new luxury line of handbags and leather accessories, reviving a multi-generational family business of your husband Michel. Can you tell us about the original company and how you modernized it with your new line?
The house of Perrin Paris was established in 1893 as a well-known family run glove making business, later expanded into tannery.
We opted to re-launch the brand by introducing a line of handbags to compliment the glove collection. I still believe in shoes matching a purse in color, or gloves and purse in the same color, and like presenting this option to our customers. We offer many models of fingerless gloves that are more an accessory than a necessity. Many of our handbags are structured and ladylike but we also have elegant satchels for the gal-on-the-go that form to the body, allowing a woman the freedom of movement (and free hands!) We also offer a collection of leather and crocodile sunglasses. We have brought the savoir faire and tradition of leather craftsmanship into the 21st century by offering a line for the modern woman who appreciates a timeless product.
You now are involved in the design and execution of the merchandise. Tell us about what influences you and inspires you and also about the bags and accessories you create.
My motto is keep it simple and chic. I like a unique shape, hand-crafted in the most beautiful of skins. I often create models that are an extension of the arm/hand. I am most complimented when people come into our boutiques for the first time and are delighted in discovering how original and elegant our designs are.
What are your bestselling items in your Los Angeles shop and in your Paris atelier?
As of late, the new Croisiere Tote and Capitale Clutch-these 2 models are getting a lot of press! The Ball Bag is our iconic and most identifiable model.
If you could design a handbag for anyone in the world living or dead, who would it be and what would you design?
For Edith Wharton: a beautiful pale blue ostrich leather reinforced case to carry her typewriter.
How does the way the women from Los Angeles dress in comparison to the way Parisian women dress?
What I find most amusing is how LA gals walk around in heels during the day! They are either very casual or overly done up.
You recently moved into your dream Paris apartment, which is stunning. How did it you find it and please tell us about the design and who designed it.
We found a small ‘bijoux’ of an apartment on the Left Bank, by word of mouth. The French family had owned the apt. for over 75 years and the grandson, in charge of the sale, took a liking to us. I promised him many beautiful moments would be celebrated as a family in the apt. that his grandparents loved. We keep a beautiful coin of theirs, framed, in the library so that they are ever-present. Our dear friend and talented designer Sally and Michel Perrin worked his magic on the interiors.
Note: Click here to see photos from Harper’s Bazaar of Sally’s amazing apartment
What do you prefer about Paris?
Old stone, l’art de vivre, marrons glaces’ , the inherent elegance of Parisians. — Richard Nahem
Richard’s photo gallery of Sally Perrin and Perrin Paris:
Where to find Sally Perrin:
35, rue des Petits Champs, 75001
Metro: Palais Royal
Open Monday to Saturday 11AM-6PM
Door code to enter on Saturday 16A32
Tel. +33 (0)1 42 97 40 26
Los Angeles Boutique
346 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, 90210
Open 10AM to 6PM, seven days