Thursday, November 25, 2010

Interview: Ceci est UPLA!

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 You're walking down the streets of Paris, near Café de Flore and your eyes glance over at an effortlessly stylish women wearing a chic, classic, shoulder bag. In a few seconds you find yourself overwhelmed with questions. "Where did she get it? When was that bag first invented? Is that the secret behind her style?" And if you just keep walking a couple more blocks, you'll find all of the answers in  a 300m2  boutique-studio named UPLA  in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Près. You enter the shop and are fascinated by all of your choices. The bag that the woman was wearing is available in 25 models and 60 versions each with a different color, material or pattern. 
And how can the UPLA style be described? In four words: "cool, chic, timeless , and so Parisian".

Now, let's return to reality...
Sabine Perring is currently the creative director of UPLA and kindly offered to answer a few questions.I am not going to ruin the surprise for you. Just keep reading and I hope all of your questions will be answered.

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 UPLA'S classic "besace du pêcheur"

 1 - Upla is a famous for its classic messenger bag called a "fisherman's pouch" also known as besace du pêcheur in French . How and when was this timeless bag born ?

The Upla brand is born in 1973 in the district Les Halles. This is a symbolic place of the seventies, quite “underground”. The creators were so "avant-gardists" because they have invented the first thematic corner shop, with all the products they loved. You could find Dutch bikes, Crabtree and Evelyn perfumes, such as organic jam, Smith’s carpenter pants, Swedish pull-overs... That’s in 1975 that they invented the fisherman’s pouch. It’s an immediate hit: men and women no longer want to wear a bag on the shoulder, they’re libertarians and want to show a new way of life. This place becomes a must.

2 - The brand was first created in the 70s. Do you think the costumers have changed since then ? 
Yes and no.
No, they have not changed. There is an affective link between our female customers and their pouch: they have become attached to it. Some women follow us since our inception, and we never disappointed them.
And yes, they have changed in the way that our pouch has changed. Now the pouch can be seen on girls from high school or university, at chic parties, with high heels and a little dress. Or you can see it on mothers at the square, who use it to carry the baby bottles and the children snack. These are style completely different by the pouch always looks fresh.

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UPLA during the 70s

 3- Seeing strangers wearing one of your bags must still be exiting. How do you fell about that?
It makes me very proud to see our bags crossing the boundaries. I can’t help thinking these people have found in our collection something that they really liked.
These are proofs we are right to think about moving to the other side of the Atlantic next year.

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4 - As artistic Director of the brand, what does your job consist of? 

First of all, I am surrounded with a very close team, very involved and so bustling with energy. We keep an eye on the tendencies, but we don’t want to lose our identity, our roots, and so we feel free to take only what we want in fashion.
Our first motto is to stay faithful and true to our brand.
My role is quite similar to a conductor: I do anything from the choice of the collection to the production.

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 UPLA's atelier

5-Who makes up your design team in your boutique-studio in the heart of Saint Germain-des-Prés?
 We actually have a great commercial space in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, near the corner of the café de Flore.
For the winter 2011 season, we took the decision to work with some young designers around the pouch. We can’t wait to see the results.

6-Do you think the economic crisis has changed your way of working ? Did it have any impact on the brand ?

 Not really. Women come back to values, and our brand is timeless. They wear our bags, they store them, buy a new color or choose leather instead of cotton, but they always love bringing their old bags out again. It is because they are still in.

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 7- Upla's style is simple, chic, elegant and heavily influenced by Parisian style. What kind of woman would wear one of your bags? What does this style represents in terms of personality ?

 A determined woman, who thinks the it-bag is out, and who is not blinded by fashion. She picks up in fashion what she wants, what she thinks is good for her. She is not a prisoner of the trend, she is precise and she prefers safe bets.
She is realistic.

 8-Finally, how would you wear the basic pouch ?
These days, I wear my pouch long, under my haunch, with jeans and a Chanel jacket, with high heel boots. That’s my Saint Germain chic street style.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicAfter reading all this you're probably wondering what does UPLA mean. It stands for
Union des Produits Laitiers et Avricoles (Union of Milk and Poultry Products). If you're curious to know more and see all of the bags, don't think twice and check out the official website of UPLA! You can also purchase any of UPLA'S bags online on their e-boutique. You can also follow UPLA in Facebook. I also wanted to thank Sabine Perring for taking her time to answer these question. Merci!

*All of the images are copyrighted to UPLA

NOTE: Come back soon because I have a surprise for all of you!

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  1. Lovely interview!! and amazing bags!!!

  2. I loooooooove Upla. Especially "La besace du pecheur". great interview :)

  3. This is such a wonderful interview! I am in love with those bags, they are so beautiful!

    <3Chelsea Elizabeth

  4. Awesome post!
    Love this messenger!


  5. Congratulations!!! It´s a good interview.I follow you!! hope you follow us

  6. Lovely to see you in Paris... This is a magical city! Non?

  7. just came across your blog! very nice one!

    (new post: Puss in boots & follow me)

  8. Great interview!

    ♥ kisses ♥

  9. what a amazing blog!

    start dreaming on

  10. love it! congrats honey..

  11. Congratulations, that interview was so informing and interesting!
    Kisses, Froso from Style Nirvana

  12. that's a cool bag! thanks for sharing.

    ~ x♥x♥ :)
    ~ x♥x♥ :)
    ~ x♥x♥ :)

  13. great post !
    the bags are awsome !
    i love the bright orange one..

  14. hi i am following you i like your blog! Follow back if you wish! here is my blog

  15. Great interview! The bags are so cute :)

  16. Omg those bags look so fabulous and deliciously retro. :) How awesome. This was a great interview. I'm looking forward to the surprise! xo

  17. Love your blog and vintage looking pics!