Prive

RSVP Paris

Since the very beginning of De Choix, we’ve been on the hunt for innovative products. Some more technologic, some holding a sentimental values. But what if we suddenly decided to go back to the core of it all? What about quality? Here you have it, served on a transparent platter of honesty, enhanced with few fresh veggies, painted with simplicity and garnished with trust. We can’t help but love it.  

Speaking of fashion – especially if luxury – it’s often easy for shiny tags outshine the actual quality of the products we invest into. But what if someone decided to cut all of the funfair down to one, basic factor: real quality? A small production of extremely refined yet minimalistic leather goods, each numbered from 1 to 100. Carefully sourced materials, skilled craftsmanship and no medium in between the two. Unparalleled quality at a true price. These and more are some of the key features of RSVP Pairs, small leather goods brands based in the French capital. It didn’t take us long to fall in love with the exquisite aesthetic of RSVP, which brought us to chat with its founder –  Thomas Cerkevic – about the core identity of his brand.

RSVP 2

Thomas, let’s start from you. Tell us something about your story and how your background has influenced you.
I’m 28 years old, born and raised in Paris. My grandfather became a tailor after moving here from Poland in the 1920’s. My mother had an effortless sense of elegance, very Parisian although she was born in Morocco. I started my career as a business consultant, but I’ve always known I would have had to do something more hands-on at some point. I started working at my brand in March 2014 and we launched in September 2015. The fact that I had no previous experience in the leather goods industry was a challenge, but it all felt very natural to me. I’ve always had an unfulfilled curiosity for craftsmanship, it must be part of my DNA.

You’re the founder of RSVP, an exclusive leather goods brand based in Paris. What brought you to lunch your company?
It was a combination of factors. It started organically and then became a thought process. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I’ve always wanted to create my own business and reaching a challenging time in my personal life made me feel like it was time for me to build something of my own. Most of all, I was frustrated with what the market had to offer in terms of leather goods: I had been on the lookout for high quality products with a minimal design at a reasonable price point and I just couldn’t find any. I thought there was room for improvement, that’s how RSVP was born.

Tell us what fashion means to you.
Irreverence, elegance, craftsmanship

Were you always passionate about leather goods?
I was always passionate about craftsmanship in general. I admire people who use their hands to earn themselves a living, I find it very comforting. Leather goods was a natural choice for me, I’ve always thought of it as living texture, with something very sensual about it. The French leather industry is one of the oldest and best in the world and that’s why I decided for RSVP to be based in Paris: I believe making things here is the future, not the past.

RSVP has a very unique concept about it, where choosing quality over quantity and being transparent about price tags are among your focus points. But how are things done chez your company?
Transparency is a key point for our brand – with everyone we work with, from the suppliers to the clients and within our team – as it’s a synonym for trust. It’s important for us to be honest about the quality of our products and on prices. Most of all, we try to have fun with what we do. After all, it’s just leather goods.

Reading about your brand – its dynamic team and its faithful suppliers – it seems almost like a big family devoted to the production of beautiful leather goods. Tell us more about your dynamic as a team.
It’s a really small team of highly invested people, but it’s consistent and well organized. We try to get the best people to share our vision with and then we let them do what they do.

What is your role at present?
I’m in charge of commercial development, image and finance. My partner takes care of sourcing, production and logistics

How would you describe RSVP’s aesthetic?
It is meant to be slick, unpretentious and sophisticated. Still, I don’t know if that’s exactly how it turns out. I’d rather let people describe it.

RSVP 3

Tell us more about the name RSVP.
It’s from the French acronym Répondez S’il Vous Plait. It’s a reference to the fact that we let our clients choose what we produce, like an invitation. If we don’t get enough answers back, we cancel the party. Apart from that, it’s an acronym used worldwide, it has no ambiguity on its pronunciation and was inspired by a dear friend of ours, the calligrapher Nicolas Ouchenir, who was such a great inspiration to us when we started working on the project.

What are the elements that differentiate RSVP from any other leather goods company?
Simplicity, pricing and quality.

In the website you state: ‘We believe there is no such thing as luxury’, but you also mention that the RSVP was launched after you spent years working for major luxury brands. How do the two combine?
We look up to high-street luxury brands. They drive the industry forward, maintain craftsmanship and enhance creativity. We also think that a more laid-back, casual and down-to-heart approach is now possible, but we also believe that when you boil down luxury to one thing, it only comes down quality. So we try to focus on that and take it very seriously, yet we try to have fun while we’re at it.

Your website really does communicate a feeling of informality and fun, which is very different from the formality of most luxury brands. How important is it for you to have a friendly and open approach?
It’s essential, but I think you said it all. I’m glad the feeling is conveyed.

Who do you think of as your customers?
Urban, digital-natives between 25 and 40 years of age, conscious about what they buy, looking for staples, fashion-forward, un-ostentatious items, focused on high quality rather than the label.

What is that you aim for them to think and feel when purchasing and wearing one of your products?
‘I’ll wear this every day until it breaks (hopefully, never), then repair it, then at some point give it to my son / daughter’.

How do you see RSVP evolving in the future?
We just want to keep doing what we do, at our best, for as long as possible.

If you had to pick your favourite among all the products RSVP has ever made, which one would it be?
Our Navy lizard card holder. Hands down.

RSVP 4

Visit RSVP Paris’ Official Website here.

All images via RSVP Paris.

You Might Also Like

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply