April 11, 2009

Leather



You see this beautiful leather? Hermes! Yes, Hermes, THE HERMES! At least that's what the lady at the store told me...

Last week, as I was heading back home from school with the girls, I passed this nice little "cordonnier" again. It's a nice little place - I should take my all time favorite boots there to see if they can still save them from the trash can, but I'm deviating... They do more than regular shoe repairs at that particular cordonnier. They create slippers on demand, sell little coin purses, belts, and have other small leather items as well.
This time, I noticed they had big, colorful leather skins in the store. So, I went inside and asked if maybe they were selling leather scraps too. No luck. The leather wasn't for sale and they didn't sell scraps either. But... the lady of the store knew of a place where they did sell leather, by the weight. She couldn't remember the exact name of the street, so she went through her entire (no kidding) inventory book and wrote down the address, even gave me directions to the store.
You see, that's another great thing about Paris and Parisians (and the French in general). When they notice you're really interested in something, they're happy to help you and to refer you to other places where you might find what you're looking for. This happened to me a couple of times already. I found out about "merceries", a great second hand Japanese bookstore, fabric stores, ... that way. Really nice! Thank you, guys!

A couple of days later, I decided to go over there and have a look. I found the place and it was just amazing, the assortment of leather they had: all sorts imaginable, in every finishing thinkable, in different thicknesses... But, all I could see were huge pieces. When I told the sales person about the cordonnier who had sent me and that I was looking for just small pieces, she took me to a couple of bins in the back of the store. Sold by the weight, with a minimum of one kilogram. Now, I have no idea what I'll be doing with one kilogram, but at the rate she told me, I would have been crazy not to buy any leather. I paid about the same amount for a tiny piece at a department store a while ago. I went through the bins, chose some orange, taupe and chocolate brown leather. Too bad, they didn't have purple...
After I'd paid, I chatted a bit with the sales person - while business men were running in out to make their choice - and she told me that they buy their scraps from... Hermes! Can you believe it!? I might not have a Hermes it-bag, but at least I have the scraps!!! And if Hermes says purple is out, then why bother! Although, I might reconsider that last one, as I really like purple!!

So far, I haven't had the time yet to make something out of it. But I do I have a couple of things in mind.
To be continued, ...

9 comments:

Laura said...

What an amazing find! I'll add "buy leather" to my to do list for when (if) I return to Paris!

nicole/brussels said...

Als ik dit lees,moet ik mijn visie op de"norse fransen" herzien! Van behulpzaamheid gesproken zeg ik"chapeau"
By the way,mooie stukken leder!
Leven in Parijs is leuk, denk ik!

blue moss said...

ohhhh i am so jealous...but super happy for you. we used to have a store that sold leather scraps by the pound and i loved it...but it closed. your leather looks amazing. i can't wait to see the all the wonderful things that you do with it :)
m

Jan said...

Twiëde huid...

**WE BLOG ARTISTS** said...

Just came across your blog...love it...and the photos are so fresh and crisp!
I'll be back :-)
Char.

virginia said...

the leather is beautiful, and i've been bookmarking handbag designs as inspiration.

here is one:

http://www.polluxhandmade.com/about.html

Pascale said...

Thanks for your nice comments!

As to leather scraps: sometimes they're easier to find then you think. Last winter, I cut off the top part of some high boots my oldest one had outgrown and which she got totally wrecked anyway... It got me two nice pieces of chocolate brown leather! I guess you could do the same with old/ stained purses or jackets. Just an idea...

To Virginia: thanks for the link! These bags are really cool and so much in line with what I had in mind doing. I particularly like the tall tote - very simple, very basic, just the way I like it!

jen said...

wonderful! i am in paris this week. thanks for your recommendations on my blog! i fell in love with merci today. the flower shop was so beautiful. can you tell me where this great japanese book shop is?
thanks!

Pascale said...

To Jen and everybody else interested in Japanese books and magazines:
the name of the store is BOOK OFF. There are actually two stores located right across from each other - make sure to check out both! Here's the link to the store with a map (it's not too far from the Opéra Garnier): http://www.bookoff.co.jp/en/info/kaigai05.html.
They mainly sell second hand books (in very good condition).
Good luck!

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