Women of all ages on both sides of the Atlantic have associated the name Lancaster with quality handbags and fine craftsmanship since the company was founded in 1990. Lancaster bags are both chic and sporty, with an emphasis on practicality— notably the convertible shoulder bag/backpack, one of the label’s innovative recent creations. That Lancaster chose Paris’s posh rue Saint Honoré for its first dedicated boutique, and French designer Ora-Ito to create the decor, speaks volumes about the company’s vision for the future. Or maybe make that futuristic vision, since the new shop resembles a spaceship. All in black, with accents of chrome and mirror, the sleek, undulating walls provide a backdrop for Lancaster’s hallucinatory color palette—one of the company’s great strengths.
Take the crossbody Versailles bag, in patent leather or soft cowhide, a versatile little bag that comes in 15 colors, ranging from intense lipstick pink to a lovely muted papaya—a comely shade of orange that works perfectly with pretty much any outfit you throw at it. The jaunty Inès Sixties bag, in supple calf with a long chain handle, is a great day-into-evening bag, and the Exotic tote in burgundy or black faux croco is Lancaster’s answer to the classic Hermès Birkin bag. The range of styles is impressive, from tiny evening bags and clutches to oversized satchels and totes, including limited-edition models with reptile insets that are available only in the new boutique. They’re all engineered for comfort, maneuverability and practicality, at irresistible prices.
422 rue Saint Honoré, 8th,
Originally published in the February 2013 issue of France Today