Back in 2017, Aude Jan and Charles Gout were ready for a new adventure. So the couple quit their jobs, left Paris, and bought one-way tickets to Mexico City to go on holiday with friends. "Our creative minds, which had faded away in the gray Parisian dreariness, woke up again," Gout, co-founder of emerging handbag brand Audette, tells TZR. Inspired by the city's vibrant colors and architecture, the duo decided to stay. Gout says Mexico City was a place they had dreamed of, without realizing it. Once settled, they decided to revisit a collection of prototype bags, a project that Jan created in France, and give them another chance. The result: the French designers launched their label Audette.
Jan's upbringing, raised by a mother who worked as a model maker for luxury fashion houses like Chanel and Dior, meant she learned the art of sewing and pattern making from a young age. Combined with Gout's experience working on the creative side in the advertising industry, the duo were poised for success. After just six months of launching Audette, the label's bright, structural styles began to attract local attention, Gout says.
"We created Audette with the desire to design handbags with explosive and sometimes disturbing colors on pure forms with impeccable lines," Gout explains, adding that they were tired of simple, neutral designs. The designers draw inspiration from architecture, colors, and light found in their lively city, including their neighborhood, Roma Norte. Color is an integral part of the brand's offerings. At the start of each collection, Audette first puts together color palettes that they are inspired by. Once settling on the exact color, its leather goods are then custom-made using a Pantone color chart.
Shape is equally as vital in Audette's design process. "It is a search between geometrical shapes and pleasant volume of the handbag to achieve the harmonious proportions of the object," Gout tells me about the process behind finding the perfect bag shape. "To do this, Aude and I work and model each prototype bag to the nearest millimeter before having the patterns made by the workshop," he notes.
Each bag is currently handcrafted in their hometown of Mexico City. "For the material we have selected the finest leather from the greatest Italian tanneries that meet the highest international environmental and quality standards," Gout explains. The brand aims to keep all production local. "We are working on the development of leathers with Mexican tanneries that can meet the same standards that we have currently achieved," he adds.
Slow fashion is a core component of Audette's DNA. Gout says it's the only way the label has found to offer high quality products, stay in close contact with its customers, and remain creative. Being a short 10 minutes away from their workshop has allowed the founders to form a close bond with its craftsmen. Audette also strays away from following the typical fashion industry calendar. "It is impossible to be creative and to propose quality products when the main objective is to propose new references every month." Therefore, the up-and-coming label has opted to adjust its lineup once a year by releasing new colors and one to two styles.
Gout says without a doubt the brand's most popular item is the Nuit bag. "It's a half moon purse, shaped with a particular rigid structure and a magnetic flap to ease its opening, an ideal handbag for your essentials," he says. On top of that, it's the first model the brand crafted. So whether you're a minimalist or maximalist, Audette's delicate designs deserve room in your handbag lineup.
Below, shop some of its unique offerings, all of which will add a splash of color to your look.
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