HERITAGE WITH A TWIST

In the impressive space created by Printemps Doha at Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), the OHLALA team had the chance to talk to the man behind the exclusive brand, LÉTRANGE.

The DJWE is the meeting of luxurious brands under one roof. You are intrigued by the latest stunning collections of regional and international brands and the elegant booths created especially for the occasion.

There’s not long to go until the doors of Printemps Doha swish open in Q3. Here’s a sneak preview of another exceptional jewel in the Printemps crown… LÉTRANGE.

It’s our absolute pleasure to meet Sébastien Létrange, who’s the impetus behind the brand in the 21st century. A member of the seventh generation of the Létrange family, Sébastien tells us the spellbinding story of LÉTRANGE – one of the oldest leather goods makers in France. Established in 1838 by a saddler at the Palais du Louvre, the brand patented its own designs, served a prestigious clientele – including Jules Verne, Victor Hugo and Eugène Delacroix – and won medals at world exhibitions in the 19th century. By the Second World War, Henriette Létrange – Sébastien’s great-grandmother – had taken charge. Visionary, demanding and fond of travelling the world, she was the reason her great-grandson became a globetrotter. Henriette was also one of the reasons he revived the family business in 2014.

Sébastien describes his life as a series of happy accidents, which have led him to this point. He never aimed to run LÉTRANGE. But he’s clearly thrilled to be in the driving seat.

What makes LÉTRANGE different?

“It’s heritage with a twist,” says Sébastien. The brand has a reputation for innovation, and they’re continuing this trend for their contemporary clients. LÉTRANGE’s uniqueness is perhaps best epitomised by one of their bestselling handbags, named after the ship that another famous client, French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot, sailed to the Antarctic in 1908 – it’s called the Pourquoi-Pas? “Why not?” translates Sébastien, with a charming Gallic shrug. It’s a motto he loves. He’s never been afraid to take chances, and neither has LÉTRANGE.

“The Pourquoi-Pas? is the most versatile bag on the market,” says Sébastien. It’s extremely spacious, with room to fit a smaller bag – a pochette – inside. Take it on a fabulous minibreak in a cosmopolitan city, then leave the Pourquoi-Pas? at the hotel and tuck the pochette under your arm to sightsee. And there are endless combinations – not only a variety of colours and materials but so many ways of carrying this beautiful bag. If you’re suddenly presented with a huge bouquet, there’s even a way of tucking this inside the bag too. Because … why not?

When LÉTRANGE comes to Printemps Doha, they’ll also bring the Attachant. This simple, stylish bag is designed for men and women. It comes in three sizes and is fully customisable. Again, there’s a twist. There’s no stitching. Instead, leather tabs fit into slots to create a bag that’s truly timeless. Buyers will be invited to choose their exact specifications, and the bags are made to order.

But what if Printemps customers want to design their own handbag and take their bespoke creation home the same day? Surely that can’t be done. Yes. Yes, it can.

The Égo design is made from a single flat piece of leather, designed by an engineer to be flipped and folded like origami. In lieu of stitching, there are bolts, so many different bolts. Exactly as if they are visiting the LÉTRANGE workshop, clientele will pick the leather and the colour. A range of bolts will be brought out on a jewellery tray, from simple metal bolts – plain or initialised – to diamond, onyx, emerald… The list goes on. “The Égo will be made your way,” Sébastien promises.

There’s one more handbag we really need to talk about – LÉTRANGE’s Empreinte 178. Serenaded by a first-rate string quartet playing flawless Mozart, this exquisite bag was unveiled at the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 2022 in an exclusive collaboration with Printemps Doha. Its handle is crafted entirely from 18-carat white gold. It’s studded with 178 diamonds, totalling over 31.3 carats. It’s one of the most precious bags in the world and a jewel of wearable art. It sparkles beautifully on its own stand and is utterly irresistible. No wonder Sébastien is proud of it.

Planning is not part of my DNA,” Sébastien concludes. When Printemps approached him, he immediately knew they were a perfect match. Did he want to take his beloved brand to Printemps Doha? His reply is easy to guess. Pourquoi-pas?

For more information on LÉTRANGE exclusive pieces, please call 3018 2685.
@printempsdoha

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