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Betty x Lancaster
Betty x Lancaster Betty bag, designed by the fashion blogger Betty Autier (www.leblogdebetty.com). View Close

After a year-long collaboration and a visit to the photo shoot of her latest Autumn-Winter collection in Montreal, the idea of a Lancaster bag imagined and designed by blogger Betty came to us quite naturally. (www.leblogdebetty.com)

Modelled on the pretty Parisian brunette, Betty's bag has got a rock & bubbly feel to it that is the perfect accessory for her black & gold outfits with a hint of glitter or a strip of leather here and there. Contrasts are what make this satchel stand out and it is as trendy as it is charismatic. A deep black, a rectangular shape, clearly outlined pleats and an angular clasp make up a strong style. The look is softened and feminized by a 3-petal flap, a scattering of rounded gold nails and a few velvet touches. In short, a harmonious blend of all of this winter's most successful trends that will delight all fashionistas.

Ora-Ito x Lancaster
Ora-Ito x Lancaster Design of the first flagship Lancaster 422 rue St Honoré in Paris View Close

Leather goods brand Lancaster sets up shop in the Madeleine quarter with the luxury giants. This very first flagship shop represents a major turning point for the brand, a way of establishing its authority. To do this, Lancaster called upon visionary designer Ora-Ïto, who completely revolutionised the codes of retail by creating a fully black-clad setting.

/// MINERAL DEN

For energetic Ora-Ïto, it was a sizeable challenge: finding Lancaster's architectural identity and creating the setting which currently incarnates the brand's codes. Tow years of designing, development and work were necessary for Ora-Ïto, always the perfectionist, to be satisfied with this retail artwork. The 80 m2 luxurious mineral setting over two floors can now be found at 422 rue St Honoré in Paris. 

/// INSPIRATIONS

To bring body and life to this sculptural and herculean project, Ora-Ïto drew inspiration from two sources. The architectural stance was inspired by Soulage, one of the designer's favourite artist.

As a tribute to the master, Ora-Ïto chose not ONE, but SEVERAL blacks to be rendered inside the flagship by blending various materials. Starting with Staron, followed by grey mirrors, textured mat black (ceramic) laminate on which are layered leather goods or lush carpet. Black leather seats emphasize the look. This all black setting is a perfect representation of the high-end target which Lancaster has set itself. This is why the brand gave free rein to Ora-ïto, who took the time needed to build this dedicated space. While complying with the specifications of the brand, Ora-Ïto wisely encouraged Lancaster to go the extra mile and let him build this work of art in total opposition with the marketing constraints too often imposed upon artists.

Inspired by the Oriental origins of the brand's founder, French designer Ora-ïto used the idea of staggered rice fields, the most famous being those of Longji (northwest China). This is why he designed the architecture of the Lancaster space by lining the shop with strata. These Staron planks (mineral powder composite material developed by Samsung) that line the whole shop are made entirely by hand and individually.

Here and there, they come out of their axis to create a product presentation area. The visitor is guided up to the first floor by the continuous planks that make up the stairs. The lighting design – integrated LED lamps  – beautifully highlights these lines by creating various shades of black. The effect is stunning, like crystals imprisoned in rocks. A glass ramp and a mat black hand rail add to the feel of a loss of bearings. This minerality brings to mind one of Ora-Ïto's creative principles: organic rationalism.  /// Ora-Ïto

ORA-ÏTO is the label and name of the French designer who created the very first virtual brand at the age of 19.  Born in 1977, this iconoclastic artist, a real ball of energy who has shown enthusiasm in taking on the craziest of projects, became famous throughout the world at the end of the 90's by hijacking major international brand products such as Vuitton, Apple, Nike or Bic and turning them into 3D objects... Energetic Ora-Ïto created his studio in the year 2000 and has been creating and surprising his fans ever since.

In 2002, he was awarded the Oscar for best design for his aluminium Heineken bottle and its original capsule packaging. His very first lamp is one single continuous and slender line: ONE LINE, celebrated by his peers during the Milan Furniture Fair in 2004 and awarded a Red Dot Design. In 2005, he organised his first major monographic exhibition at the French Cultural Centre in Milan, ironically named MUSEORAÏTO.

All major brands have called upon him to imagine and create their products. A bathroom for Supergriff, a full kitchen for Scavolini and accessories for Guzzini, furniture or lighting for Zanotta, Cappellini, Artemide, B&B Italia, etc. He even designed the Idylle perfume bottle for Guerlain in 2009. 

In 2011, he was named "Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" (Knight of the Order of the Arts and Letters). He's got a lot going on at the moment: the opening of his first eponymous Hotel O, motorway rest areas, and even the rehabilitation of the solarium in the Cité Radieuse originally designed by Le Corbusier in Marseille. 

His website: www.ora-ito.com.

Elsa Hosk x Lancaster
Elsa Hosk x Lancaster Creating a game bag designed by Elsa Hosk supermodel View Close

To celebrate the opening of its new shop at 422 rue Saint Honoré in Paris, Lancaster releases an exclusive handbag designed by top model Elsa Hosk.

On the eve of the launch of the 2012/2013 Autumn-Winter collection, the young Swedish ambassador of the brand for the last three seasons has taken on the challenge of a first collaboration.

With great commitment, the model created her own design, drawing each detail to suit her taste and influences, even defining the various choices of materials and colours. The result of this project is a satchel that screams glamour and rock, with strong metal accents and a daring contrast of suede and full grain leather.

>>> The Elsa Hosk x Lancaster bag is available in 2 sizes and 4 colours: Black, Chestnut, Green and Peach.

>>> Official visual of the Elsa Hosk x Lancaster campaign (Photo: Guy Aroch).

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