Léo Dominguez & Violette Polchi, two parisien lovers sharing our lives for more than 7 years and decided to launch their own luxury leather goods brand.Very special thanks to them, for their time to answer our questions.
How the brand Léo et Violette came to life?
Léo et Violette was born in 2013 through a project of crowdfunding on kickstarter.com. We met a strong success (almost 160 orders in 1 month).
At the time, Violette and I were looking for a stylish bag, minimalist and functional to carry our everyday objects (computers, tablets, chargers …) and impossible to find something to our taste. So we decided to do it ourselves!
What were the reasons which encouraged you to launch our own leather goods brand?
Leather goods has always attracted us. The combination of elegance and craftsmanship captivated us since our young age. And the idea of creating a product that could keep for years, timeless and that could be to our children has attracted us.
There was also a real market. Indeed leather goods adapted to needs of today was divided into two worlds: one side geeks products and inelegant and on the other side French luxury leather good homes which were very elegant but not at all functional and suitable for transporting computers, tablets …
We started from the idea that we could take the best of both worlds and concentrate in a full range of products.
Can you talk about your products?
All our products are manufactured in Naples, Italy. All skins used in the manufacture of our products come from different Italian tanneries we guarantee optimum quality and authenticity of materials.
As for the creative part: all our models are designed by Violette. Our desire is always the same: to offer refined products adapted to your daily and elegance with a search on shapes, details and materials.
The result is a limited range of products made of essential accompanying you in style for many years.
You are very attached to be transparent on all your products. Can we explain why?
Indeed, transparency is a key concept of our brand and our approach with our clients.
We would like to explain to our clients how their products are made, how they are designed and for what purpose. Transparency is complete because we show even the cost of production and therefore the margins that we apply on all our products.
We believe that today many clients have lost the notion of what a luxury item costs to manufacture. With the emergence of low cost but also hyper luxury, the customer is a bit lost …We, our desire is really to have a direct and transparent relationship with our clients. We show the manufacturing workshop of our products through photo reports, are involving clients in the development of new products and try to be really close to what our clients expect from us.
Transparency is part of the DNA of the brand since the early hours with this project crowdfunding on Kickstarter.
How is the creative process? From idea to manufacturing?
The creation process is very often the same: we speak with Violette products that surround us, the products we use on a trip, traveling in a train ride or plane. And we try to find a product that best serve these life situations.
Violette draws a product model. Voluntarily in great detail, options. And then we refine, select the most important needs and come to a more simple and natural as possible result.
Then begins the discussion with the manufacturer that helps us a lot and advised us to improve or simplify the design. The first prototype arrives a few weeks later. And if the result is satisfied, we market the product a few weeks later.
How would you describe Léo et Violette?
An independent, elegant, minimalist, practical and timeless brand.
What differentiates Leo Violette and other brands?
Our biggest difference is our sales mode. Indeed, our products are available exclusively on the internet to eliminate intermediaries and retailers. This allows us to control the selling price and offer luxury goods, made in Italy at an affordable price.
Do you have an iconic piece?
The iconic piece is “Le Petit Cartable“. All begun with this bag and nowaday this is the product that we have sold the most. We have also sold this product in over 30 countries!
Who would be your ideal muse?
It would be a couple to best represent the brand Léo and Violette: Natalie Portman & Benjamin Millepied.
What motivates you most as creators and entrepreneurs?
Create a brand that we are proud and which we sincerely looks like. And participate in the emergence of a new fair tend and close to its customers.
Where can we buy your bags?
Exclusively on: www.leoetviolette.com
Do you have any plans or ideas for 2015?
Many projects! The idea for 2015 was to get at least 1 product per month. And we keep our promises. Moreover, we go out of a pop-up store in Le Marais and have the ambition to make another one this winter.
From the point of view of the life of the brand, we are in a recruitment phase in September. We hope to continue to grow the Leo and Violette team.
If you were a luxury brand?
Hermes. It is impossible to do more luxurious.
But if there should remain only one brand, we certainly take APC
What is your favorite dessert?
The panna cotta.
If we anticipate the end of your career, what would be the epilogue?
A happy ending and may be used as an example for other young companies like ours.
And finally, a quote that you want to share?
When things was wrong, just remember it takes six months to build a Rolls Royce. And 13 hours to build a Toyota.