Discussion with the designer, Annick Windal...
... A story of passion for handbags
What is your professional background?
I have always been attracted to style, fashion and the well-being that comes with them. After a first experience in interior design and working for a fashion design agency, I turned towards image coaching. For 15 years, in Lille and then in Paris, I coached and advised women who needed a change and were looking for a new style as well as a customized wardrobe.
How did you know you wanted to design handbags?
I like harmony, and when I advised my clients on their look, I always looked for elegant and affordable handbags that fit their figure; something chic and discrete, nothing like a tote bag. This was hard to find. Beyond that, deep down, I have always had a passion for handbags and leather.
Tell us about the creation of your brand...
I designed a first model inspired from the 1950: small, square shaped, with gussets and a chic clasp. I had it made in a workshop. The Trianon was born. I exposed a few of them in several parisian pop us stores and it was a huge success. So I decided to go for it and launch my own brand. This was in 2014. The Flore was my second design, then followed the Mirabeau and Carrousel in 2016. Finally the Bel Ami was born in 2018.
Tell us a bit more about your eponymous brand, Annick Windal, which was created 4 years ago now…
It is a high-end brand manufactured in France. All handbags are hand-made with high quality material in a parisian workshop and make up a minimalist and timeless collection; sharp and simple lines, noble materials. With sophisticated finishing, because sobriety does not suffer from any imperfection. The turnstile clasp represents the brand’s emblem.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From everywhere. On the street, metro, exhibits, restaurants…The daily life inspires me. I observe women, the way they wear their handbag, and above all how they act around it. The handbag is their reflection. I always think about what a different handbag could bring to their look.
What is a perfect handbag according to you?
In order to be perfect, a handbag must be small – we always put too many things in our bags – elegant; it must enhance the silhouette. The handbag is the natural extension of a woman’s body. It allows us to express ourselves in our movements. It must be organized and compartmentalized in order to easily find what we need. It must also be pleasant to the touch. Inside the handbags, I use lamb leather for a velvety feeling when slipping our fingers into the bag.
Do you like to play with different materials, colors…?
Yes, it is incredible how many variations of a handbag it is possible to make based on one model. Alternating between smooth leather and suede, changing the topstitching, replacing a leather handle by a chain…And of course, the colors. Playing with bright and pastel colors in the summer, using more neutral and warm colors in the winter…Combinations and possibilities are limitless and allow for a wide variety of looks.
What are your projects for your brand?
First of all, the launch of my eshop which will constitute a major shift for the brand as it will be visible abroad. Women from all around the world will be able to order their own “made in France” Annick Windal handbag which will be delivered no later than 3 weeks after purchase. In terms of new creations, the Petit Trianon will expand and enhance the collection in October. It will be a smaller version of the Trianon.