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August 23 2014

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The Many Faces Of Delvaux

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Delvaux, the Belgian luxury goods house, was all but an insider’s secret until Barneys began carrying the line last fall. Since then, its brand of subtle, sophisticated luxury has been gaining ground as a new favorite among those who prefer to take their luxe logo-less. But Delvaux isn’t new. The house was founded in 1829 and has been the Official Purveyor to the Court of Belgium since 1883—a fact that could fly under the radar if you’re not tracking the comings and goings of Crown Princess Mathilde with the same zeal as, say, of Alexa Chung.

Heritage and craftsmanship are Delvaux’s buzzwords, which helps to explain why the 15,000 bags it makes a year all come out of its Brussels atelier, L’Arsenal, a former military arsenal from the turn of the century, each one produced start to finish by a single artisan and his two apprentices. The styles, too, are classic: The Delvaux Brillant dates from 1958, and the Tempête, from 1967. (Colors keep the offerings current; the Brillant will arrive in emerald green this spring, as do special editions: The Brillant GM Souple was developed especially for Barneys.)

With its emphasis on history—and its four-figure price tags—Delvaux tends to attract an older consumer. But as the label hopes to show in a new series of videos by director and videographer Jake Davis, they work just as well on aristocratic ladies of a certain age, like legendary model Carmen Dell’Orefice (above), as on younger socials like Zani Gugelmann (below) and even bohemiennes like perfumer, hotelier, and scarf designer Francesca Bonato (bottom), who with her model husband, Nicolas Malleville, runs fashion’s favorite hideaway: Coqui Coqui in Tulum, Mexico.




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