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Article: Nathalie Dionne: The designer revolutionising luxury


Nathalie Dionne: The designer revolutionising luxury

Did you know? The founder of this young Parisian brand is making a big splash in Paris, where her creations, made from salmon leather recycled from the sushi shops, are celebrated.

Born in Germany of Quebecois parents, based in Paris since 2002 and having worked as a stylist, style director and creative director for major international groups, Nathalie has achieved a truly masterful reconciliation of style, refinement, luxury and eco-responsibility. 

Thalie Paris (Thalie being the short form of Nathalie and meaning "the blossoming one" in ancient Greek) has just presented its collection at the Palais de Tokyo during the TRANOÏ Show, and has also joined the official calendar of Monte-Carlo Fashion Week 2021. Innovative in every sense of the word, right down to the ultra-sumptuous digitalized virtual showroom, Thalie X Frédéric Monceau. A must-see!

The house's sources of inspiration are the Palais de Tokyo, an architectural splendor and cultural mecca, as well as the 16th arrondissement, filled with museums and must-see sites such as the Trocadero, the Palais de Chaillot and the Bois de Boulogne. "My Quebecois roots have been instrumental in opening me up to the world, thanks to an education halfway between France and the American dream. However, I consider myself a Parisian of the world, and wish to invite all women to feel Parisian thanks to Thalie!" explains the visionary entrepreneur.

The haute maroquinerie label includes three innovative material ranges: the "Sushi" collection designed with Squama®, a salmon leather co-produced by the agri-food industry and supplied by the French tannery Icytos; theCactus" collection, a PeTA-certified vegan line made from cactus fiber sourced from Mexico; and the "Upcycled" collection manufactured from dormant stocks of leathers from the luxury industry. On the subject of manufacturing, Nathalie points out that "recycled salmon leather has the particularity of being limited in its surface area. The skin of a salmon is much narrower than that of a lamb, for example. This poses a real design challenge in taming this constraint, in particular by creating patchworks to cover larger surfaces. The use of new materials also required a great deal of quality control work: Thalie Paris being one of the first brands in the world to use recycled salmon leather and cactus alt-leather for the design of bags, we had to carry out a great deal of production work to adapt to the different responses of these still little-known materials".

But carving out a place for oneself in an almost impenetrable world, and in the midst of a pandemic to boot, remains a major challenge. "The greatest challenge is to reinterpret Parisian chic, that mythical, untouchable concept. Over the last few decades, the luxury industry has imposed strict codes and accustomed its customers to particular standards of quality and storytelling. Parisian luxury is an institution that seems hard to shake. Our challenge is to prove that Parisian luxury is compatible with the emergence of new, more environmentally-friendly materials, and that it is possible to be an eco-responsible Parisian luxury brand," emphasizes Ms. Dionne.

Let's face it: ethical luxury is the industry's new bet. More and more, prestigious brands are embracing sustainable development. Has the designer come up against any preconceptions or prejudices along the way? "I think it's no longer a question of convincing customers to buy eco-designed products: the damage done by fast fashion and the wastefulness of the luxury industry are no longer secrets to anyone, and many consumers are looking for eco-designed products. (...) Many customers who are used to (and bored with) the big houses are now looking for emerging brands: so, in concept, it's not difficult to convince customers to buy eco-designed products. What our customers are looking for, beyond eco-design, is quality and design that will enable them to wear a Thalie bag for years to come. Given how open-minded consumers already are, we're getting very positive feedback on recycled salmon leather and cactus alter-leather, with relatively few preconceived ideas: our aim now is to prove to them that these innovative materials are just as hard-wearing and high-quality as the traditional leathers we've known up to now".

These stylish and elegant bags are not only avant-garde - they brilliantly combine the elegance of a Parisian bag with innovation and durability. "Thalie Paris not only sells an innovative concept, it also offers true artistry. My greatest joy is to see women fall in love with a bag even before they know the story behind its materials: Thalie Paris is a complete brand, which appeals as much for its design as for its eco-consciousness", sums up the designer, for whom the main objective is to make Thalie a pioneering brand of sustainable luxury and a model of circular economy creativity, so that her label becomes a benchmark in terms of both eco-responsibility and design. Nathalie Dionne is also keen to develop collaborations with major brands and expand her international reach.

Let's bet that Thalie Paris has a bright future ahead of it! 

See the original article on Patwhite.


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