Inspired by the vivid glamour and audacious opulence of late-1970s Las Vegas, the first signature bag silhouette ‘Parade’ embodies the Janvier emphasis on luxurious statement pieces, combining cutting-edge contemporary design with timeless glamour. Borne from an admiration for the decadence and self-indulgence of 1970s Vegas, the inaugural minaudière is crafted in beautiful matte black and rose or yellow gold-plated cages. Their drawstring inner pouches are available in a wide array of delectable colours and textures, from silks in bubblegum pink and bold leopard- print to butter-soft nappa leather in classic black, metallic gold, or iridescent mint.
Co-founder and designer Elle Azhdari was born in Shiraz, Iran, raised in the Swedish countryside, and now resides in East London. Her work experience designing and producing brand identities and unique events for clients such as Nike, Coca Cola, Range Rover, and Absolut Vodka has placed her all around the globe. Frustrated by the lack of inspiring, affordable accessories available to her, whilst living and working in NYC, Elle resolved to create her own. A chance meeting with Michelle Nakash, heir to the Jordache empire – whose iconic 1980's aesthetic is another of Janvier’s inspirations – made this dream possible. Together, they founded Janvier in 2013 and have created their luxurious, super fun and must-have MAGIC RIVIERA collection of bags! Since joining ellatoalgangar.com as PR consultant Janvier has gained fans and brand supporters in Katy Perry, Portia Freeman, Susie Bubble and several others. We were hugely excited to have the opportunity to meet Elle to find out more about her and how she reached her dream of creating this enviable accessories label...
AYA: Hey Elle, first of all, can you give us a little sum up of life pre-Janvier, I understand you were born in Shiraz, then grew up in Sweden. When did you make the move to London? Did you study here?
ELLE: Yah, I moved to London to study Fashion Photography at The London College of Fashion, I graduated a couple of years ago.
AYA: And what first sparked your interest in being an accessories designer?
ELLE: I've always felt accessories are more important and more glamorous.
AYA: Was the fashion industry something you always strived towards being a part of from a young age?
ELLE: I was always into culture, so ending up in the fashion industry just happened.
AYA: Predominately, what is the brand aesthetic behind Janvier?
ELLE: A premium accessories house with an emphasis on luxurious statement pieces, often combining cutting-edge contemporary design with timeless glamour and panache.
AYA: Do you have a very specific consumer in mind when designing? And if so, was that consumer derived from people you know or crowds you’re a part of?
ELLE: The Janvier girl is unabashed about who she is. She is both sheep and wolf, garish and feminine, strong and soft. She owes no apologies for her shiny jewellery, and has no hesitations towards wearing her loud accessories with pride. She carries herself with formidable strength, timeless elegance and impeccable style - even when she might be falling apart inside. She is THAT girl.
AYA: Are there any other brands or designers you would love to collaborate with?
ELLE: At the moment it's all about establishing Janvier, but I would like to collaborate with Balmain or Comme des Garcons in the future.
AYA: Is there another fashion house you can imagine yourself designing for one day?
ELLE: To tell you the truth, right now I am so excited about my own label! I would love to design for the house of Janvier for a very long time and work on captivating projects with people I find interesting in art, architecture, cinema and fashion.
Saying that, I wouldn't say no to Balmain...
AYA: What was the initial research process which inspired the debut bag collection?
ELLE: Years and years of absorbing culture around me. My rich Persian heritage coupled with my taste for minimal Swedish design. That attractive or exciting quality that makes certain people or things seem appealing.
AYA: You have already had some pretty awesome girls snapped with one of your bags, who else would you most love to see wearing your designs?
ELLE: Marilyn Monroe and Sharon Stone's character Ginger Rothstein in Casino (1995).
AYA: I think the Aladdin Sane and the Nite Jewel are my favourite bags, (although almost impossible to decide!) Do you have a personal fave?
ELLE: Strawberry Letter. It's the first style I ever designed. It makes me think of sunsets and the thought of a new day and new opportunities. It's got the optimism of the 1980s and the breeze of Persian gardens.
AYA: Can you give us a sneak peek or a little hint about the next collection? We're very excited!
ELLE: The new collection is called ‘Magic Riviera’. In a nutshell; It's best to wear your money, if you have it!
AYA: Do you think you would you ever feel inclined to do a womenswear clothing collection?
ELLE: I love a challenge so I am sure I will attempt one day, but for now it's all about handbags!
AYA: Who or what are your personal style influences?
ELLE: My mood and the colour yellow.
AYA: Does music inspire your work, who are you listening to at the moment?
ELLE: Oh yes. All Janvier styles are named after song titles, so music is a ‘mood’ inspiration. For instance, the debut collection was inspired by Roxy Music’s Avalon album. I date a musician and thanks to him I listen to pretty much EVERYTHING all the time…but there is not a day that goes by that I don't listen to Prince or Michael Jackson.
AYA: We at AYA could absolutely envisage seeing some Janvier pieces popping up in various music videos later in 2014… Do you think yours is a brand only really suited to one scene or genre or do you think it has scope for a broader audience base?
ELLE: When I had the idea of starting Janvier, I never directly thought 'I'm going to create a fashion label'. It was about creating an aesthetic that I felt was true to me. I wanted to launch a cultural platform, allowing me to showcase all the things I've always been into and inject a large dose of that into our designs. We are currently working on a few exciting creative projects that will be revealed throughout 2014, which we hope will reach a wide audience.
AYA: In December you popped over to Miami Art Basel, tell us about that!
ELLE: It was fantastique. We stayed in the dreamy art deco district, attended plenty of great art shows, met up with old friends and made some new ones, lounged at the Versace Mansion (dream come true) and took a dip in Gianni's pool, captured many moments in time, recharged those batteries and most importantly did a recce for the Janvier 2014 presentation. Bursting with excitement, it will most definitely be something to look forward to.
AYA: Are you doing anything to showcase the brand during London Fashion Week this February? Or will you be attending any shows? Hopefully see for some LFW party fun.
ELLE: Not this time around, instead we're planning an intimate Janvier presentation in September. But we'll be attending some shows! Check our Instagram for updates @janvierlondon
www.janvierlondon.com Represented by ellatoalgangar.com
Project Manager and Consultant