Gerard Darel, Laid-back elegance.
French brand Gerard Darel has always skilfully managed to blend tradition with innovation. Inspired by timeless icons like Marilyn Monroe, but also by the chic and contemporary style of Parisian women, the couture fashion house creates clothes for men, women and children, together with bags and accessories that are refined, but functional.
Parisian at heart.
It was in 1971 that Gérard Gerbi and Danièle Darel combined their names to create the Gerard Darel brand. Very rapidly, their blue jersey blazers with white mother-of-pearl buttons was received with enthusiasm and the brand met with immediate success. In 1987, the first boutique opened to the public in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a Parisian neighbourhood known for being bohemian and chic, which is well-loved by artists. It was an opportunity for the pair to showcase their womenswear collection, in which clients would find all the elegance of a modern wardrobe: wool jumpers, little black dresses, prints, camel coats, etc. It was not until 1996 however when Danièle Darel bought at auction the necklace of Jackie Kennedy, discreetly charming first lady of America with a unique sense of style, that the brand acquired the international acclaim that it enjoys today. The necklace that was brought out in several different colours went on to become one of the brand's iconic pieces.
In 2003 the 24 heures bag was brought to life, with an allure that was the epitome of relaxed chic and a particularly practical design that won over many women. The supple leather it was made of and the large choice of colours made it a timeless, informal handbag, ideal for everyday, coming in different versions (the miniature 24 heures bag, the knitwear saddlebag, the python bag, etc.), which are all just as popular. The small Gerard Darel leather goods, from the very chic suede clutch bags to the big leather Portobello purse, boast the same know-how and level of quality: designed in the studio in Paris, they are made between France and the Mediterranean basin, using Italian hides and leather. Modern, elegant women can also walk the walk in Gerard Darel boots, heels, plimsolls and sandals.
Family business, international icons.
The second Darel generation is now at the heart of the business. Laurent Gerbi-Darel is the CEO and creative director, whilst his wife, Valérie, designs collections for children and accessories. From 2003 to 2008 Charlotte Gainsbourg was the brand's muse. Her naturally sweet demeanour and her casual vibe perfectly embody the Gerard Darel spirit, and the sensational success of the 24 heures bag owed much to her image. When Danièle asked Charlotte to be the model for the new advertising campaign in 2015, the actress readily accepted and played along happily, donning the total look. Other names that feature on the list of the brand's muses include Robin Wright, Laetitia Casta, Mamie Gummer and singrs from the group Brigitte: To showcase the 36 heures bag or its leather jackets and blousons the Parisian fashion house chose unique, authentic personalities. Recently, Gerard Darel launched Pablo, its second ready-to-wear label boasting just as much know-how and refinement as its sister brand. Its philosophy? "The art of being chic without looking like it". Graphic cuts and combinations of materials can be seen in the ready-to-wear collections and also in the leather goods and accessories.
Mothers and daughters love swapping Gerard Darel's signature bags, shoes, Breton jumpers and leather coats and absolutely adore these key pieces: