Interview with Bruno Jourd'hui, CEO of Maison Boinet
Maison Boinet celebrates the excellence of “Made in France” with belts and leather goods
Since 1858, Maison Boinet has been celebrating the excellence of “Made in France” and the know-how of craftsmen, and today has confirmed their benchmark status with belts and leather goods. The brand, at the crossroads of eras, aims to be a bridge between tradition and modernity and creates timeless pieces that cross over styles and are carried from generation to generation. Much before the sustainability trend, Maison Boinet had always developed products that respect sustainable development and ecology. Since 2014, strengthened by their Living Heritage Company label, the Parisian fashion house has been pursuing its overseas expansion, particularly in Asia, and wishes to continue to build its brand sustainably. It is a brand that is resolutely in line with the times.
What is your history with Premiere Classe ?
We first started with Who’s Next in 2011 and then we waited a year to attend the oasis of the Tuileries which is more in line with our clientele. We presented our Premium collection aimed at high-end clients, as Premiere Classe is more suited to our target market.
Why are Premiere Classe editions a must-see event in your calendar ?
Premiere Classe is still the leading trade-show for accessories, whose intimate layout allows designers and brands to present a cutting-edge selection. It is a real alternative to showrooms for presenting your collections. In addition, the international reputation of the trade-show attracts the best buyers from across the globe. Premiere Classe therefore is still the must-see rendez-vous outside of Paris Fashion Week.
Do you have a Premiere Classe ritual ?
We attend every edition, two times a year, to meet with the top buyers and representatives from the biggest department stores worldwide. We primarily sell internationally, particularly to Japanese clients and Premiere Classe remains a privileged interface with the foreign industry professionals. Every season, we prepare for the event in advance by organising meetings with buyers, as each of our collections can be personalised according to individual tastes and trends. We really want to dedicate time to each client to show them our materials and products and to talk to them, in order to put forward the most suitable offer for them.
Tell us about a memorable experience you’ve had at Premiere Classe ?
During our first edition in March 2011 we were immediately very successful with Japanese clients, however a few days after the event, the Fukushima nuclear accident happened. It was terrible and we truly believed that this would delay our collaborations with our Japanese clients, but we were very surprised by their professionalism. They confirmed all of their orders and we started to work together. Otherwise, on a lighter note, I have met a lot of friends here, my best friend in particular, Géraldine Cohen , the founder of MySuelly. There is a real community at Premiere Classe that we see at every edition.
What do you see for the future of fashion ?
The main change that I’ve noticed has come from clients and consumers. People are becoming more and more curious and are asking questions about the origins, sourcing and manufacturing of products. Since 1858, Maison Boinet has been promoting the know-how and excellence of Made in France and we have always upheld complete transparency. We manufacture in France and all of our sourcing takes place in Italy and Spain. Contrary to the “sustainable” marketing trend that we are seeing today, it is truly part of our original values. We produce everything in workshops and, since 2014, we have had the Living Heritage Company label.
A new “green” trend for Maison Boinet ?
We are facing a genuine reality: we produce a lot of leather waste, especially when manufacturing belts. So, we are now developing belts which are made from these leather scraps. We are launching into the world of upcycling and second-hand produce.
Upcoming projects ?
Last year in 2018 we launched our e-shop into the general digitalisation movement, in order to gain a more direct relationship with our customers. We are also developing our social media to further improve our visibility and interface. We are continuing to work with luxury brands, and we hope to remain a key belt brand all whilst developing our leather goods we launched 2 years ago and hope to make successful. Finally, in terms of business, we hope to develop the market alongside China, which is an ever-changing market that is hard to grasp, so China is our new major challenge.
Will we see you at the next edition of Premiere Classe in January 2020 ?
Of course! Premiere Classe is a trade-show that we are particularly fond of. It is a unique rendez-vous where we can meet our current clients as well as new ones. It is also the place where where you can confront the new issues in fashion and discuss the realities of daily life with other exhibitors. We share our personal experiences and we share our know-how. It is a excellent opportunity and has a friendly and open atmosphere.
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