In addition to their signature knitwear, the guys over at Exemplaire have been busy working on a new collection featuring sleek leather goods that will, no doubt, put you in the mood for the crisp days to come.
The rules that Frenchmen Louis Leboiteux and Jean-Victor Meyers play by are simple: expert craftsmanship and quality materials. At the center of their first accessories collection is ultra-smooth calfskin and matte-black alligator.
Read on to find out more about their inspiration as well as discover images from our fall lookbook.
Tell us about your new collection. How has it evolved from last year? What made you decide to move into leather goods?
Our Fall/Winter 2013 collection is more sophisticated and detail-oriented than in the past and we used more elaborate knitting techniques. We decided to launch our accessory line to complement our ready-to-wear. We took a similar design approach, using the best materials and highest level of craftsmanship to create practical items.
All of our small leather goods are made in France. The collection includes card holders, wallets, a travel wallet and a travel kit that come in smooth or grained calfskin, or calfskin-lined alligator with an ultra-matte finish and a sensual, velvety feel. Each skin is unique and is sourced from the finest French tanneries. The alligator skin we use is imported and crafted in accordance with regulations, following strict quotas set by the stringent provisions of the Washington Convention. They come from controlled stocks; each animal is ringed with a unique traceability code guaranteeing quality.
What are a few of your favorite restaurants in Paris?
J-V: There are so many great restaurants in Paris, but Tong Yen and La Petite Maison de Nicole are among my favorites.
L: I love going to Kai Ten for sushi. I also like L’Eclair and Monsieur Bleu.
Do you have any travel plans this fall? If so, what Exemplaire pieces will you pack?
J-V: I will probably be going to New York and Los Angeles. No matter where I go, I always travel with basic cashmere sweaters and cashmere and silk sweaters. I wear them all the time with our new bomber jacket.
L: I will go skiing to Megève during the holiday season and will definitely pack our turtleneck with the cable-knit detailing—it will be perfect.
What’s playing on repeat on your iPod these days?
J-V: “Instant Crush” by Daft Punk and just their last album, Random Access Memories. In general, Keane, Phoenix and lots of classical music.
L: Jay Z’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail, The Black Keys and Oasis.
What would we find you doing on a typical fall weekend in Paris?
J-V: I usually try to escape from Paris during weekends, but when I do stay, my weekends are very low-key. I spend time hanging out with friends, trying new restaurants and bars, going to the movies and sometimes I work a little!
L: You’ll find me working out, shopping, going to the movies, hanging out with my friends and occasionally going to a party or two.