I’m sure I’m not alone when I speak of mental escapes at the moment. One thing this current time has given us is the opportunity for mental escape – from our day to day. The story that follows is a story of true inspiration come to life via the creative aura of none other than the iconic Audrey Hepburn, through the deft hands of Thalé Blanc‘s Deborah Sawaf.
Yesterday, during a live broadcast on Instagram in her first “Tea With Thalé” segment (at least we hope it’s her first of many), designer Deborah Sawaf, Creative Director of Thalé Blanc made one of the most astute comments I’ve heard to sum up the way I’ve been feeling of late, but simply couldn’t find the right words to express. In her conversation with Instagram influencer YouMe, Sawaf said, “[prior or our current situation] we always seemed to be running & chasing, but now it’s not clear to me what we were chasing. This situation has given us all a chance to stop & do!”
This ability to stop & do, to not let an idea pass by unaddressed or not explored is an ability that Sawaf seems to possess in abundance… following is one such story:
10 years ago, while traveling with her family in the south of France, South of France, she & her family took an extended drive to the Italian beach hamlet of Forte dei Marmi, where they went to visit longtime friend & former Los Angeles neighbor, Sean Ferrer, son of Mel Ferrer & Audrey Hepburn.
Sensing Deborah’s need for a creative recharge, Sean graciously offered the Sawaf family his mother’s home, which was situated on the property directly next to his home. Deb & her family took up residence in the legendary property for a few days & nights. Soon, Deborah came to realize that she wasn’t just staying on the property, but rather was being ‘absorbed’ by the energy of the home in ways that only a true creative can. She found herself called to her creative craft once again, inspired by the aura & energy of Audrey herself.
She couldn’t exactly explain it per se, but she was called to design a handbag inspired by her time in Audrey’s home. She pitched the idea to Sean. He too was intrigued to see where this creative calling would take Deborah, so he asked her to put her ideas into a sketch & send for him to see. She returned to her home & immediately began creating from this new fountain of creative energy flow.
A week or so later, Deborah sent her sketch to Sean & he immediately replied back, “Lovely… you can call it the ‘Audrey Bag’!” Little did Sean realize it at the time, but his response, & his mother’s creative aura, served as the genesis of the Thalé Blanc collection of luxury handbags, which has been anchored by the Audrey bag or some version thereof since the collection began.
Deborah points out that the Audrey Bag, as well as the entire Thalé Blanc collection, pays respectful homage to the spirit that Audrey Hepburn herself embodied. Like her muse, Deborah Sawaf herself counts philanthropy as a key component of her brand’s DNA. Each Audrey Bag embodies far more than a simple design reference, but rather portrays a philosophy as well as a structure. The graceful curves of the physical bag elude to the iconic graceful poses of Audrey the person, & the philosophical aspects behind the company which makes each Audrey bag serve as a lasting tribute to the spirit of giving personified by the legendary actress & muse herself.
For Spring 2020, the Red Audrey Clutch as designed & produced as a special tribute piece for the year that would have marked Audrey Hepburn’s 90thbirthday. An additional piece in a Lipstick Red Patent Leather will be coming out for Fall 2020 as a final tribute to the legendary actress, creative, & philanthropist whose grace, dignity, & spirit live on as the definition of what defines an “icon”.
The Audrey range of the collection now encompasses three versions of the original Audrey Bag, the original size (12.5 x 10 x 4.5 inches), the Mini (9.5 x 7.5 x 3 inches) & the Micro (8 x 7 x 2.5 inches) & the essence of the Audrey bag, specifically the trademark shape of the closing flap, has been carried over in a clutch version of the classic which is aptly called the “Audrey Clutch.” The clutch version is also available in a variety of finishes & colors, many of which are also seen in the varying versions of the namesake original.
The full Thalé Blanc collection now encompasses a broad range of styles & silhouettes & rumor has it, is about to be expanded to include a Ready-to-Wear collection called “Statements.” The full assortment can be found on the Thalé Blanc website or at Deborah’s boutique on South Robertson Blvd. in Los Angeles.
Designer Website: www.thaleblanc.com