After every Fashion Week we’re left with a forecast of trends to know for the following season, thanks to the collections that designers like Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, and Phillip Lim debut on the runway. Over on the sidewalk though, editors, bloggers, buyers, and the street style set are setting the tone for what’s trending right now.
While New York Fashion Week’s fall 2015 shows are yet to wrap up, the street style crowd have already made it clear that—while Céline and Chanel will always earn you style cred—there’s one (less expensive) bag brand you should be carrying right now, and that’s Les Petits Joueurs.
You might not recognize the name (yet), but we bet you’ll recognize the designs: Quirky, fun, humorous prints and words made entirely from lego that accent leather top-handle tote bags and box clutches. It’s high-fi, statement-making, and the perfect bait to attract the attention of street style photographers.
The story behind this fast-growing brand really is the best type of entrepreneurial tale: A few years ago, a then 19-year-old named Maria Sole Cecchi dropped out of law school, and left her home in Florence to move to Paris and work in a handbag store—although she didn’t speak a word of French.
She worked in retail, learning English and French, until one day she decided to glue lego to one of her old handbags, and take it for a night out in Paris. The handbag was a huge hit, and Maria started designing for friends, before going finding a professional Florence-based manufacturer who could produce 600 bags for a line she would call Les Petits Joueurs.
Soon after Maria’s boyfriend moved to Brazil and she followed, approaching potential South American stockists with her 600-bag strong handbag line.
That was in 2010, and today Maria’s line is made by hand and shipped around the world. Her handbags use actual lego pieces ordered directly from the manufacturer in custom sizes and shapes. They’ve been featured in the international pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Nylon, Vogue, Grazia, and this fashion week on the arms of most fashion girls who are in the know.
It’s the brand’s unique look and limited supply that’s spurred its incredible growth. Thanks to the label’s distinctive designs, there’s no mistaking a Les Petits Joueurs handbag on the arm of a fashion girl, unlike some less conspicuous up-and-coming handbag designers. That, coupled with a growing fan-base of Instagram stars sharing their snaps of the label–is breeding desire among other fashion girls eager to own one for themselves. Price tags for the pieces sit firmly under $1,000, also making the label more accessible than most It-bags from past seasons.
To keep the frenzy going, Les Petits Joueurs only produces a strictly limited offering of each design: They are completely uni-seasonal and made by hand. So if you want to own one, we recommend you move fast.