Marian Paquette

BY Anum Bashir

Ever dream to own a handbag that’s equal parts ethnic, embroidered, eclectic, and convenient? Turns out there’s a remarkable lady all the way over in California creating some hella good ones.

I first encountered Marian Paquette during my usual excursion to Paris during Fashion Week while journeying through wonderfully quaint showrooms rich with up and coming talent. I fondly wear my handbags from the brand, and now have managed to sit down with Marian to learn a little bit more about what she does, and how she does it.

AB: What’s your full name, and where were you born?

MP: Marian Edith Paquette, born in Quebec, Canada, and moved to the United States at age 6 where I grew up in San Clemente, California. Today I reside in Laguna Beach where my brand is also based.

AB: What got you into handbags?

MP: I have been an interior designer for 20 years. I started researching about reclaimed fabrics and began collecting them. That’s where it all started with reclaimed fabrics making bags that would one of a kind. I self-taught myself on how to make bags. I’ve always had a passion for handbags, especially vintage.

AB: Tell us a little bit about how your label came to be?

MP: I wanted a label that depicted who I am. Marian Paquette is my maiden name and I’m very proud of my heritage and family history.

AB: Do you think one’s creations should be a direct reflection of who they are as a person? What do your bags say about you? 

MP: I do feel my bags are a reflection of who I am. I love individual style, and I love making a statement. I feel a woman’s handbags should do the same for her: A beautiful handbag can serve as a reflection of that woman. A mood, an attitude, etc.

AB: Tell us a little bit about your design process? How much fun do you have designing bags that have slowly become the life of a party? 

MP: My new design process travel well. If it can’t lay flat in a suitcase then I’m not making! I do it differently. I start with a fabric that gets me excited. And then, I seek out unique elements that will embellish it further.

AB: Favorite pieces from your upcoming SS17 collection? Personally, I can’t seem to choose a favorite.

MP: I don’t necessarily have a favorite piece for SS17. But my fabrics have to have textures, almost like a third dimension. I am especially loving the dyed snake skin leathers lately. I can match them with so many fun colors and fabrics.

AB: What does Fashion Week mean to you? Is it all work, or do you find time for pleasure?

MP: Fashion Week is all about work and play. I especially love matching up with other people that have a passion for creativity and art. It’s almost contagious and gets me inspired.

AB: What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

MP: The first thing I do in the morning is have my cup of coffee of course! Then it’s off to the bar class/yoga before I immerse myself into my studio for the day.

AB: Last thing at night before you sleep? 

MP: Settling down into the evening with a book or magazine is my usual thing to do. If not a good book, I must also read my horoscope. Helps me plan for the next.

AB: In your opinion? What’s the best way to blow off steam?

MP: I wear my heart on my sleeve. So, blowing off steam is easy for me. I like to be frank and up front and get it off my chest.

AB: Favorite colored color?

MP: My all time favorite color is Midnight Navy.

AB: Favorite lipstick?

MP: My favorite lipstick color has to be Red by Chanel. I’ve been wearing it since I was 18.

AB: What’s your go-to outfit be it night or day?

MP: My go-to outfit is Jeans. Day or night dress them up or down.

AB: Cats or dogs? 

MP: I like to give all my bags a name. They have a personality. I did name one bag “Lucy” after our sweet Labrador. She’s loyal and independent.

AB: Favorite vacation spot? 

MP: My most recent favorite vacation spot has to be Spain. It’s got so much character, history, art, with a touch of European flair.

AB: Favorite food?

MP: Mexican with a Margarita of course!

AB: Guilty pleasures? Vices?

MP: Wine

AB: Biggest pet peeve? 

MP: Attention to detail on all levels.

AB: Who is the Marian Paquette girl?

MP: Marian is a true CAPRICORN; classic in dress and lifestyle. When traveling I always try to seek out a great antique store or flea market. Work isn’t work; it is the best kind of play!

AB: Where do you see yourself 3 years from now? 10 yrs?

MP: In the future, I see myself expanding the line of items from where we are now. I envision also taking some of the fabulous fabrics I have into a  home accessories line. I imagine creating some luscious pillows and ottomans, for example.

AB: Tell us a fun fact about you that no one knows.

MP: One thing people may not know about me is I am great with tools. I actually have a true worker’s tool belt! This all came about when I was remodeling homes in the past.

AB: Piece of advice to young women trying to break into this tough industry.

MP: My advice to young women would be…Believe in yourself, work hard, and don’t give up. Let your vision become a reality!

Thanks Marian!!!

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