The Fashion Folk S01 ep3 : Jacques Morabito, Morabito Leather Bags, [Paris]
Interview with Jacques Morabito
Today, I think customers are looking for design, brand name but they are not aware what makes the quality of a leather product. I remember 20 years ago that customers knew better than I did. I learnt my job with my customers. They knew perfectly well all the different types and qualities of leather, of stitching, of inside lining. Their requirements were incredible.
My Grandfather started to manufacture objects made of tortoise shell. It is a
difficult material, he was very highly reputated, and had a reputation for
especially for the blond tortoise shell, which is, the most valuable and he used
to make any special orders that customers would request.
KM: Why tortoise, what about turtle or other material?
There is a density and the transparencies. It is like honey, all the other
materials like plastic or any other kinds cannot reproduce this specific look
which is so beautiful.
KM: What was special about Morabito Luggage compared to other luggage
you could buy?
I think the difference was special orders. He could manufacture any special
orders within a short time and that made him quite famous. In fact at that time
he was the main competitor to Hermes, also he mixed crocodile and tortoise
shell together, and that was really quite beautiful.
KM: What did your father do with the business, what did he add to the magic
Well, he created a lot of models of handbags, and he created special clasps.
Any new designs and he also he developed the jewellery business.
KM: Why jewellery? It is very different to handbags.
Because my grandfather's business was basically jewellery and tortoise shell
items were part of the jewellery, so we have always been jewellers. So he
rediscovered, if I may so, the business and developed it.
KM: When did your father retire from the business?
He retired 20 years ago.
KM: And I gather that you took over from then?
KM: Did he train you in the business, I mean were you working in the company
with him, before he retired?
No, unfortunately not, No when he died I had to take over the business all of a
KM: What were you doing before that?
I was studying law - I wanted to become a lawyer, thanks God.
KM: What were your first thoughts?
My first impression was that we had no export markets in fact. Everyone was
coming from all over the world to our store in Paris. My first thoughts were to
open our export markets.
What I inherited was first of all respect of the customer, which means top
quality. Whatever the cost, to keep the quality at the top. With this as a basis I
started to develop new models.
We had some let us say 5 or 6 famous best sellers, and around these best
sellers I was able to develop new patterns, but with a relation anyway that was
the Morabito Style.
Today, I think customers are looking for design, brand name but they are not
aware of what makes the quality of a leather product. I remember 20 years
ago that customers knew much better than me. I learnt my job with my
customers. They knew perfectly well all the different types and qualities of
leather, of stitching, of inside lining. Their requirements were incredible.
KM: What are the things you look for in a very good bag?
Stitching is the first thing. When the stitching does not look perfect, already
you know that the product is second quality product. The aspect of the leather
is very important. It should not be too regular. The more defects you see on
the leather the more natural it is.
If you look at your skin…
…You can see many things many defects, it is very natural.
One day a lady comes to the store wearing blue jeans and a sweater, and she
buys a few handbags and wallets from me and she asks for the tax. So I look
at her passport and on the passport I see that there is no family name and
there is no number. The first name was Sonia. Then I realised that there were
some very small letters before that is written HRM Sonia. So I close the
passport and I see that she was the Queen of Sweden and I say Oh your
Majesty I beg your pardon. She said No. No. No this is my holiday and I am in
Paris alone - no bodyguards, no one. You call me madam and that will be fine.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Jacques Morabito, Morabito Leather Bags, Paris