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Renaud Pellegrino: Thirty Years of Technicolor


“My aesthetic is about motion that creates…attitude,” says handbag designer Renaud Pellegrino. Considering that his signature Sac Danseuse features multicolored satin panels and two pairs of golden ballet slippers that seemingly kick out of the base, we’d say that’s a pretty apt analysis. Pellegrino may not be a household name, but the Paris-based designer, who counts Catherine Deneuve, Paloma Picasso, and Lauren Bacall as fans of his hyper-luxurious handmade clutches, evening bags, and minaudières, has been catering to the haute set for decades. In fact, 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of his eponymous range. And it’s a particularly sweet birthday, too, since he recently opened a plush new boutique on rue Saint-Honoré after nearly shuttering for good in 2009 (long story, his former parent company got into a financial kerfuffle, but L’Atelier du Maroquinier scooped him up). “I do feel happy to see that shapes that I created 30 years ago are still relevant,” says the designer. “My warmest memories are precious moments shared with [pleased] customers—famous or not.”

According to Pellegrino, who actually got his start designing handbags for Yves Saint Laurent in the mid-seventies, “lightness, functionality, and proportion” are the three most important qualities in a handbag. A more visible focus, however, is his vivid use of geometric blocks of color. For instance, his Fall ’13 palette ranges from fuchsia, moss, and lemon to burnt orange, lavender, and champagne. “I swim in [colors],” he tells “For me, the most exciting thing in a collection is when I have to choose the colors and decide how to mix them—when all the colors are like explosions for your eyes.” His graphic wares, many of which were snapped on the street by Tommy Ton during the recent Paris shows, are of the timeless variety. With its clean lines, Pellegrino’s Fall ’13 satin box clutch—each side of which is shown in a different hue—feels like a modern burst of energy. However, his Sac Danseuse and equally classic Sac Cardinal—both of which have been reissued in celebration of the anniversary—feel fresher than ever.

Renaud Pellegrino is located at 149, Rue Saint Honoré, 75001, Paris; +33-1-42-61-75-32.

Photo: Courtesy of Renaud Pellegrino