Agathe, the creator of Gabie
Who are you, how old are you, where do you live?
Hello ! My name is Agathe, I am 32 years old and I live in Saint Jean de Luz.
What is your professional background and what led you to leather goods?
After a business school I have a time worked in fashion, but my self-taught nature, my love of sewing and creation in general, as well as my never-exhausted curiosity, pushed me to look for another path, more related to manual and creative work.
I came back to the Basque Country in my family with the objective of creating my own business but above all to acquire know-how in sewing and the creation of fashion pieces. I also wanted to limit my impact on the environment, so I first started transforming old clothes, then I had the chance to meet beautiful people and to be able to collect rolls of textiles and tapestry from old haberdasheries or large hotels. From these furnishing textiles I started to imagine accessories, then little by little I got interested in leatherwork.
At first I wanted to try alternative solutions, so I made tests with vegetable leathers or imitation leather created from recycled plastics, but for different reasons, I was not convinced by these materials and I came back without ceases to animal leather. It was during the summer of 2019 that I created the first prototype of the Koloreko, but I was still not sure I wanted to get into leatherworking, it was meetings with craftsmen with precious know-how that were decisive and convinced me to continue on this path.
What vision of leather goods do you want to convey to your customers?
In my opinion, leather goods and fashion in general are like lightweight, that brings us joy and that says a lot about ourselves. We can play with a piece of leather goods, perhaps more daring than a piece of clothing, by showing more our creative and uninhibited side. If a fashion accessory is in my opinion as insignificant as it is essential, its manufacture, however, must be taken very seriously, respecting all the actors who contributed to its realization with a real requirement concerning its mode of production. In short, for me a beautiful piece of leather goods will not change the world, but brings a little happiness by highlighting what is ultimately fundamental in art and creation: human values.
It seems that you work in partnership with companies from the Basque Country, who are your partners?
Ona Tiss: This very beautiful and old house weaves textiles on old looms, which brings exceptional quality and materials with shimmering colors. Moutet weaving: A beautiful and old textile house, very modern. This house has kept a know-how and a quality of textiles intact. I collaborate with them in particular for the creation of tailor-made textiles.
My shock partner is above all my sister-in-law: of course, we are no longer talking about a business, however Amandine has agreed to follow me in all my ideas and adventures! You will recognize her in many pictures of Gabie!
Where can we find your bags and accessories?
You can find my products on my online store, on my Etsy shop or in physics in the Basque Country at my partner shops such as Loka Bulk, Alisee Victory, Etxenami or even on ephemeral stores. And of course, my workshop-boutique has been open for a few weeks, you can make an appointment with me for a private workshop tour and coffee!Discover the store in Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Who or what are your sources of inspiration when creating?
The sources are very diverse, I can start from one form, or only one color (this is what happened for the creation of the Koloreko). Movement is also essential for me: when I create a piece, I always imagine the silhouette and the movements of the person who wears it (women in general) and to do so, the shape of the bag is of course very important but you can also play with the colors and textures… The possibilities are numerous!
In what atmosphere do you like to work?
In music! I like all kinds of music but with a predilection for Prince, David Bowie, Beyoncé and Melodie Gardot.
What if you only had to keep one Gabie product?
PFor me, it totally represents Gabie's style. It is cheerful and elegant, when I created this bag I imagined the revival of spring where women's outfits are made lighter.
It totally represents my vision of leather goods and fashion in general, a very elaborate piece, which requires a lot of investment and work, but which brings a certain lightness and which one wants to wear with ease.
Where do you hide when you're not working?
Surfing in the water! And more particularly between Guetahary and Hendaye. Otherwise, I really like going to bars and cafes on the coast as well as bookstores!
Your favorite dish ?
Linguine with vongole, and more generally anything related to pasta (and garlic)!
A restaurant ?
I'll even give you 3! The essential in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, is a restaurant where I go with my family, the dishes are superbly cooked with local, seasonal products, and very affordable. The second : Etxenami also in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, as original as it is delicious, the cuisine is a mix between Basque and Japanese dishes! The place is superb and its owner adorable. And of course there are all the good Italian restaurants on the coast, but in particular Piccole Cose in Bayonne!