Moynat Window 348 Rue Saint Honoré, Paris

Paris, 1896.

A French actress whom the New York Times would describe eight years later as the “best dressed actress in Paris” was performing on a Paris stage in front of an audience admirative of, yes her talents that rivalled only those of Sarah Berndhart’s, but also of her femininity, her beauty, her voluptuous shape.
The actress was Gabrielle Réjane and in the audience was no other than Pauline Moynat. 

Photo of Gabrielle Réjane and her letter to Moynat
Réjane, a rather shall we say “liberated” Parisian, was decades ahead of her time. Pauline Moynat was enamored by this rising star and everything that she embodied, except for just one small detail that is: Réjane’s handbag.
It was merely functional and had absolutely no aesthetic value to it (as was the dreary case for ladies’ leather goods at that time).

Pauline, the avant-gardist that she was, decided that something must be done and done it was: 

She created the first ladies handbag, le “Sac Réjane” especially for Réjane.

The original Réjane brought femininity to women’s leather goods with its curves, strap and shape.  It embodied Réjane’s personality, that of a chic, feminine Parisian who valued her liberty. 
And…it was the first time in handbag history that a handbag was named after a celebrity.  

Kelly and Birkin…move over, the Réjane has reclaimed her place.

Paris, 2012

The Moynat REJANE in precious Taupe, Blue and Black Taurillon Gex Leather
A blistery cold Parisian day, warmed by flowing flutes of  Krug champagne,  exclusive and artisanal AOKI macaroons, soft music reminiscent of another era and a somewhat bourgeois, yet liberal crowd:  It was against this backdrop on the 6th December this year that Moynat unveiled its re edition of the Rèjane, after over 100 years since its first appearance.
Once again Ramesh Nair has proven his ingeniousness in transforming history into modern day aesthetics without losing sight of over 150 years of brand heritage.
For a younger look just pull out the side of the Moynat Réjane!
Inspired by MOYNAT’s signature “Malle en forme”  Ramesh has rendered the new Réjane more curvaceous, yet softer on the sides, added MOYNAT’s signature handle and an ingenious industry first:  applied two stunning side rings to fasten the strap so as not to risk scratching the precious French Taurillon Gex leather. 

The incredible artist Tae-in Song, a Beaux Arts graduate, who hand paints the initials on the Moynat Bags (left)
The Malle en forme (right) which inspired Ramesh Nair

The Taupe Réjane beautifully worn by Moynat’s Conseillère de Vente Lisa Marie 

The lucky woman to tote this handbag will be carrying not only over 100 years of Parisian history and detailed finesse, but a handbag handcrafted to perfection in no less than 10 hours! 

Only to girdle the handle requires three hours, not to mention the time needed to hand paint the edges three times over and apply those fabulous palladium covered brass buckles and fixtures.

I see the Réjane as an absolute must for the “bourgoise libérée”! 

The Taupe Réjane worn over the shoulder by Moynat’s Conseillère de Vente Lisa Marie 
In any of  the three ravishing colors (black, taupe or petrol blue) and thanks to its amazingly perfect medium size, the owner of the Réjane is guaranteed to be chic and feminine by day and depending on the evening wear she chooses, stunning or even discretely seductive for an evening out (..and yes, why not in?).   
A modern day Gabrielle.

Brent J. Markley


Brent J. Markley from Paris for Green Pebbles Blog