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Personalities from Paris: Handbags Designer Renaud Pellegrino


When we look at the catwalks and latest fashion collections we tend to attribute the body of work to the artistic director, yet behind every release is an army of creatives who collaborate closely to serve the brand.

Renaud Pellegrino is one of these fashion veterans, he is best known for being the senior accessories designer of the Yves Saint Laurent empire, and his high-profile collaborations with Dior, Givenchy, Harry Winston and Baccarat to name a few.

In 1983 the passionate artist launched his brand Pellegrino Paris and remains keen on adding the extra oomph that an accessory brings to an ensemble.

The French designer who believes that: “Couture and fashion were born in Paris… and nothing can replace Paris,” had so much to say about his career and special memories from the golden era of fashion.

Firstly, tell us about your relationship with accessories design
When you focus on a category like I have done, you get to the bottom of the question. You need to have an immense curiosity for human beings and their way of living. Because in the end, drawing and creating accessories is above all about delivering the needs of society, so you have to be very observant and ahead of your time.

Renaud PellegrinoYou have collaborated with fashion designers like Yves Saint Laurent. How was it like to work with the master couturier?  
I worked with Monsieur Saint Laurent for 8 years. It was a very rich experience, and he is a very talented man who taught me a lot.  
Can you share a special memory? 
Up until his death I would receive a hand-drawn greeting card from Monsieur Saint Laurent every year. It was always a kind gesture because despite the years gone by, he had the delicacy to think about his former employees. This to me proves, more than anything else, that he was a great man.

You have witnessed what is known as the golden age of fashion. In your opinion what made this era so special?
At the time there was real enthusiasm for everything creative. The designers were simply masterminds. The clientele was there; women dressed up and went out. There was undoubtedly an ease of life, which unfortunately, no longer exists. The era was quick to follow this movement of constant newness, to always create and go further. Today we do not create anymore, everything is a question of money and a race for profitability.

Your couture bags have always been so elegant yet innovative. How is your creative process like?
Couture requires the idealization of an attitude and an accessory can provoke that. A bag can be suitable for all women, and this is what pleases me because elegance is not about body or shape. Elegance is in the detail and Pellegrino bags are very rich in details. 


What is your vision for Pellegrino Paris in the upcoming years?
I think a brand constantly wants to grow and expand its awareness. We are fortunate to have a superb clientele and we would like to be able to attract a new generation who isn’t acquainted with our story and to eventually open Pellegrino Paris stores in international capitals.

After all these years of experience, what is a piece of advice you would give to an up and coming designer?
Perseverance. Never get discouraged, reflect, and don't be afraid to speak up. But the key word above all is: WORK.